Going Where I Have Been

This is in the last hour of my 1700+ mile jaunt to Denver and back, a 6 day road trip with only loosely defined plans-- mainly just to spend some time not glued to a laptop (ironically, I was glued to a steering wheel).

 

There is so much that is magical about a road trip, especially to counter the aspects of living out of your car, but mainly the freedom of choosing directions, where to stop, where not to, what kind of horrible non nutritious food to ingest. My preferences is secondary highways, and only resort to the bland interstate when time is short.

 

As I rode along many familiar roads, I kept wondering what it would be like to see myself go by in years past; when I first drove west n I-40 in 1987 for my first move to Arizona; the back and forth I did in 1991 in the weird Summer at Los Alamos, numerous family camping/road trips.

 

But alas, I saw no ghosts, only majestic and sometimes eerie large open, empty spaces, many devoid of human touch, and many many too many littered with human touch.

 

I got to finish listening to audiobooks- Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything which was as sweeping and broad (and sometimes funny) as the open lands I zoomed across. Bottom liner- the entire existence of this current human race was a long series of mathematically unlikely events and luck. And we seem to squander such a thing.

 

I also listened to the preview chapter of Thomas Friedman's new book Hot, Flat, and Crowded -- he is likably bold in his assertions that to "save" the earth its going to take more than token statements and swapping out light bulbs- it would require a massive international rebuilding of energy and infrastructure and change that the world has never done before-- and I would agree that the prospects of any of the current politicians to lead this are nil. So for future generations that are going to face the impact of a doubling of the CO2 emissions... well its not going to be pretty.

 

But there were so many highlights; solo camping in the Jemez National Forest, climbing to the top of the Great Sand Dunes, seeing friends and family in Denver, crossing many a range on highways 285 and 160 to Durango, and just mainly... being small, but moving, across giant open spaces.

 

So what if I missed some new web browser? I was on the road.

 

There's nothing like a road trip.

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Taken on September 2, 2008