The past two weeks have been amazing. We logged in 3,825 miles on the trusty Suburban, traveled across four states, and feasted our eyes on the beauty of America, and reunited with friends and family. Said goodby to an old friend that turned ninety last Saturday, I know I won’t see him alive again. Saw great grandchildren for the first time. It’s been years since I did a trip like this, probably won’t do it again. I have crisscrossed the western United States many times in my life, enjoyed every minute of the adventures. William Least Heatmoon, a native American writer, wrote a book called “Blue Highways”. I followed his journey part way across the upper western United States, in my truck and camper, saw some magnificent sights. If you really want to get acquainted with what America is all about, that’s the only way to do it. Below is a picture of a blue highway we traveled in Nevada last week.
I stood on the centerline and took a picture in both directions, each one is identical. No people, no cars, no buildings, just nature. No sounds, no wind, just absolute solitude. Something not often experienced in our daily lives. When I took the blue highway trip in the early late sixties, both of my girls were very young. We were on a highway in Kansas, very similar to the picture above, except thousands of acres of wheat on both sides of the highway, and not a soul or car anywhere to be seen. Being southern Californians, I wanted my daughters to have an experience. I pulled the truck off the road, shut off the engine and stood in the middle of the highway. The only sound was the wind in the wheat. Not far off the highway was an old fashioned windmill, spinning in the wind. I took them down the entry road to the base of the windmill and stood at the base and listened to it creaking and squeaking, and the wind rustling the wheat. In my mind I was creating a lifetime memory. I will guarantee that if I asked them today if they remembered that moment, their response would be; ” we were in Kansas? “
I will tell you how I know this. I came home from work on Friday afternoon, told my wife and girls to get the camper loaded up, we would be leaving right away. They asked where we were going. I said, “we are going to drive all night and watch the sunrise on the rim of the Grand Canyon. It will be a once in a lifetime experience. We arrived at the rim of the canyon about 4:00 am. When daylight started to break, we sat up our chairs facing the east. It was cold, the girls were wrapped in blankets. My oldest daughter said, ” what are we doing again?” I reminded her we were there for the sunrise. Everything came off as planned, I was very proud I was able to give them this special memory. About 30 odd years later, at a family gathering, I mentioned that historic morning. They both looked at me with blank stares, neither of them remembered it.
My youngest daughter loved horses. On our family famous “blue highway” tour, we stopped at a general store in Montana literally in the middle of nowhere, no other signs of life anywhere. We went inside to get some road snacks and a young boy about my daughters age was sitting on the bench in front of the store, in traditional cowboy attire, well-worn and a bit dirty. He had a cast on his arm. My daughter was not, and never has been bashful. She engaged him in conversation and asked how he broke his arm. His reply; ” ridin’ them wild horses”. I will guarantee you my daughter who is now 62 can recite that conversation verbatim but can’t remember the sunrise at the Grand Canyon. Go figure.
Traversing the United States by automobile, or similar conveyances, is exciting, and rewarding. I literally have hundreds of stories to tell about auto travel via two lane blacktop roads. Countless songs and stories have been written about life on the road. My father traveled to California from Oklahoma and back, by hitch hiking and riding freight trains looking for work in the 1930’s. I must have heard his stories a hundred times, but never got tired of hearing them one more time. You can still have those experiences today. I just experienced two weeks on the road, seeing things I never saw before. Yep, gas was expensive, I went through 221 gallons of that wonderful stuff. It’s wonderful stuff, because it’s freedom. Sometimes you have to bear a little pain to experience freedom.
If you can afford it, give the Democrats the finger and burn the hell of gasoline. Let ’em know they aren’t going to deprive you of the great pleasure of the open highways. I can’t enumerate the FJB and Let’s go Brandon signs we saw along the way on businesses and painted on the back windows of SUV’s and Pickups. It’s good to know the true feelings of America, not what you see on TV. That’s the kind of information you get on the roads. Go see for yourself.
God bless you and your families. Stay safe, stay vigilant. Vote the bastards out of office.
VERITAS VINCIT ~ LIVE FREE OR DIE
One thought on “THE VIEW FROM ST. CHARLES”