Nancy's Travelblogue

... there isn't a train I wouldn't take, no matter where it's going. -- Edna St. Vincent Millay

Location: California, United States

Monday, August 29, 2005


With 7000 miles under my belt --umm, under my tires --this summer, I can say with confidence that I am a dedicated ground traveler.

Planes shuttle us from one airport to another, from one city to another, from one hotel or meeting room to another and it hardly matters which one because they all look the same. Are the same. That's not to mention long lines, getting frisked, getting baggage searched, germs on planes, and crowded seats. At least they got rid of the lousy meals; now they don't feed us at all.

It didn't used to be like that. I can remember my very first plane trip, from Kansas City to Grand Junction CO sometime in the 1950s. It was a four propeller plane that seated about 30 passengers. Stewardesses handed out box lunches (as flight attendents do now) and we were given "barf bags" which people really used. It may not sound like the best of times, but for a young child eager to see the world, I relished the magic of stepping onto a plane and being transported within hours from boring old home to grandparents house in the mountains.

In my car I take offwith the wind in my hair, the sun roof open, into the wide blue wherever-my-spirit-leads-me. I'm dangerously tempted by backroads and remote corners. Only in a car on the backroads can you
  • Have breakfast at a remote restaurant on a remote Paiute reservation
  • Get chased by dogs who are herding sheep across a mountain highway
  • Take a look at the petroglyphs at the end of a dirt road
  • Refresh your feet in the Colorado River when the temperature is 100+ in the shade
  • Stand casually in the middle of the highway in the middle of the desert with no one around (see photo above)
  • Watch the moon rise over the dessert and the sky fill up with stars

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