This week: Observations: On A Road TripEdited by: Fyninstein
More Newsletters By This Editor
1. About this Newsletter
2. A Word from our Sponsor
3. Letter from the Editor
4. Editor's Picks
5. A Word from Writing.Com
6. Ask & Answer
7. Removal instructions
A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.~~John Steinbeck
The journey is part of the experience – an expression of the seriousness of one’s intent. One doesn’t take the A train to Mecca.~~Anthony Bourdain
I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I may have ended up where I intended to be.~~Douglas Adams
Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road, Healthy, free, the world before me, The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.~~Walt Whitman
Because the greatest part of a road trip isn’t arriving at your destination. It’s all the wild stuff that happens along the way..~~Emma Chase
Still, round the corner, there may wait, a new road or a secret gate.~~J. R. R. Tolkien
My daughter and I just got back from a road trip. Michigan to Dallas, Texas to a teensy town in eastern Oklahoma to Eureka Springs, Arkansas to a trek to get down on the Mississippi (in Missouri) and then back to Michigan. Somewhere in southern Indiana, we decided that we must have passed through a portal. We kept expecting to hear the theme song from 'The Twilight Zone.'
We all have places with odd names where we live. But we are used to those. Near me are Hell, Paradise, Ypsilanti, and Bad Axe. We have towns named after where folks had been from. Everyone does On this trip we went around the globe (in the US) to or through Moscow, Paris, (at least three different ones), England, Madrid, Greenland, Brazil, Lima, Geneva, Cork, and Holland. We veered off-planet and drove through Mars, Pluto, Uranus, and Constellation. We also discovered towns with intriguing names such as Blue Eye, O'Fallon, Boomtown, and Effingham. There, we saw a gas station with the name 'The Last F'. Someone missed a grand bit of marketing there. We'd been driving through corn, cotton, and soybean fields for several hours and I mention to my companion that we truly were in West BFE. She was unfamiliar with the term and I had to explain it. Next thing you know, a sign appeared for Cairo. Portal. Odd timing!
We say Ren the Klutz! outside of Dallas and had a marvelous visit. Lost of housing developments out that way. All the same design. All the same brick. We had visions of everyone leaving for work at the same time, turning and waving to their impeccably dressed other halves before jumping into their cars. Very Pleasantville! Beyond the portal.
We pulled into a gas station and in front of us was a gentleman letting his huge goat out of the back of his car. Just a random goat getting gas.
GPS, beyond the portal, is not your friend. At one point, we were following its directions and it sent us down a long dirt road. It was beautiful, trees arching over the road, blue morning sky peeking through leaves not yet turning. We come around a graceful bend to find the Mississippi River -- just beyond the big house up on a rise. A kennel of dogs went nuts. An older bandy-legged gentleman walks up to the car with a scowl plastered across his face. "This is private property! You can't be here." There hadn't been any signs, nothing posted. We apologized, explained about the GPS. He didn't care. But. But we were soooo close. I swallowed and asked if we could just drive up the hill a little to get a picture of the river. He grudgingly agreed, walked behind my car, and took a picture of my license plate. We got our picture and got gone. All the way down the gravel road I was expecting to meet a police car coming the other way. We didn't. On the way out, I noticed there was an old rusty gate, but it was wide open and grown over with weeds. You'd think they'd have had a sign or something!
Another time, there was a dot in the middle of nowhere, where Rhymer of the Rotted Rainbow lives. But none of the roads went there. GPS lead us to a street with the right name, but no Rhymer. We tried another way. This time it led up to a narrow sidewalk-looking stretch that was, apparently a road. Which, in turn, lead us to another NARROW dirt road with no edges. Well, either a rock wall OR a six hundred foot drop-off. Great view, but. Carefully followed the twisty-turny little road, straight out of Zork, to a fancy gate and LOTS of' No Trespassing or Else' signs. Through the gate, pulled over and called for help! Rhymer rescued us.
Wonderful visit, by the way. Lost of writing talk, book talk, dogs, cats, and yacking. Along the way, we met some fantastic people, particularly in Arkansas. Friendliest folk ever! Wide-open spaces where one could watch light shows of thunderstorms miles away. Killer sunsets. 2576 mile round trip in six days, two of which we were not 'on the road.' Long days on the road full of mom-daughter yacking, singing, and listening to audiobooks. Blew through 4 gigs of data, did lots of Christmas shopping as well as lots of impulse 'I want THAT!' shopping. We saw gorgeous countryside and way too much city traffic.
I had my daughter texting me phrases and lines as they came to mind so that I wouldn't forget them when the time came to let all we saw bubble out into the poems that were already forming. I couldn't and can't wait to let it all out. We took tons of pictures. One was of a banner flapping across the teensy main street of Blue Eye, population 36, for their high school reunion. We joked about the six people that would show up. Over the Ozarks on narrow mountain roads with views to tomorrow. Continuing over the Ozarks in torrential downpours. Down surface streets country roads with a 70 mph speed limit. At home, these might be 45 mph if that. They were bumpy, patched and riddled with potholes. Go figure. Oh, wait. Portal.
Fields and fields of cattle and sheep and goats. Eagles soaring, riding the wind currents. The Milky Way as one can never see it at home. We drove through New Madrid without feeling any earthquakes. And there were some! We laughed. We talked. We did all the mom-daughter yacking we never seem to have time for anymore. We bonded. We tried (well, I did) to come home with a dog named Moogy. Epic fail that. We experienced and saw and observed. We turned around to go back and see if we saw what we thought we saw. Or to get pictures of something fun or cool or just plain old pretty. I took notes because there was simply so much that I need to write about. And I shall.
Submit an item for consideration in this newsletter!
Have an opinion on what you've read here today? Then send the Editor feedback! Find an item that you think would be perfect for showcasing here? Submit it for consideration in the newsletter!
Don't forget to support our sponsor!
Quick-Quill says: When I write a novel, I will add History to the story to establish a setting or something I hope connects with the reader. It has also become the story, like the one I'm plotting now.
To stop receiving this newsletter, click here for your newsletter subscription list. Simply uncheck the box next to any newsletter(s) you wish to cancel and then click to "Submit Changes". You can edit your subscriptions at any time.