Monday, September 23, 2013

My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of road tripping

This past weekend, I embarked on my most epic road trip to date: 2,090.5 miles in less than 72 hours. I've driven much of the United States: I-95 from Boston to Jacksonville over the course of several years of East Coast living; West Point to Chicago one snowy winter break; Virginia to Kansas for CAS3 when I was a young Army Captain; and multiple shorter trips for races, weddings, weekends with friends, you name it.

But most of my driving has been on the East Coast, and much of it has been shared with another driver. This time, it was just me and my company car, loaded up and ready to go to my cousin's wedding. And if you're like me, and have driven much of the interstate system in the U.S., you know that our country is an amazing place. We are so blessed to live in a nation where we can travel freely across state borders on an interstate system that is so well kept, with scenes and geography so uniquely American.

I could go on and on (kind of like my drive did) but instead, here are some random thoughts captured mostly with the amazing voice-to-text function on my iPhone while driving from Northwest Arkansas to Steamboat Springs, Colorado…


Thank God for the ESPN radio app. Why would anybody have satellite radio anymore, if they have an iPhone?

Google maps to me when I turned at Salina, Kansas: "Continue 494 miles on I 70 W." Colorado, here I come!! I'll be there in nine hours.

Windmills are mesmerizing. They are the summertime version of driving in a blizzard.
somewhere in Kansas
I'm officially a big windmill fan
Somewhere past Hays, Kansas… Allman Brothers and then Stevie Ray Vaughn. Road trips demand classic rock.

This is what people mean when they say "wide-open spaces":
Colorado is as flat as Kansas in the part right next to Kansas

What are the single, old-fashioned windmills in the middle of a vast tract of land actually doing?

I have a remarkable ability on all of my road trips to hit rush-hour traffic in the biggest city on my route on a Friday afternoon.
I know I was driving when I took this picture. Technically, I was in the driver's seat. Because I was not moving.
In Colorado, when you see a sign that says "Falling Rocks," they really mean it. I couldn't figure out how cars the same size as mine kept kicking up rocks to hit my windshield. Then I finally put two and two together.

You could have almost no historical context on any state, but if you put together a list of cities, towns, creeks, rivers, and counties, you could come up with its story.


I loved the road trip. I thought that many miles in such a short time would be grueling; draining; almost unbearable. But I was wrong. I hope to have another chance to drive west - huge, wide open spaces with miles of ribboned interstate just waiting to be explored.

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