“It takes a great deal of courage to see the world in all its tainted glory, and still to love it.” (Oscar Wilde)
When Ruth and I returned from India at the beginning of March, we seriously wondered if we had placed our health in jeopardy on this vacation by being exposed to the spread of the Corona Virus. After all, we had flown back from Kochi to Miami on two long flights filled with primarily Asian passengers. So although we in fact remained healthily free of the virus, fear of exposure and resultant home quarantine became our daily norm.
Almost three months later, any thoughts of cruising or plane travel in the near future are quickly dismissed as out of the question now with social distancing firmly embedded in our mind. Yet our enduring isolation has created a powerful need to explore open spaces of the great outdoors again. So these two former teachers will resume our latest road trip adventure from Fort Lauderdale west in June/July with a counterclockwise, loop itinerary as shown in the map photo above.
So tell me fine readers why are two restless wanderers willing to “roll the dice” and get on the road again amidst life’s health uncertainties now? Is it simply too soon? Yet if you settle into the lyrics of this iconic “Traveling Wilburys” song below, I suppose you will hear strongly our answer. “Well it’s alright.”
“Well it’s alright. Even if you’re old and gray.”
The nostalgic spirit of youthful curiosity will never grow old for us along Route 66 and other historic roads “off the beaten track.”
“Well it’s alright. Even if the sun don’t shine.”
Rock and Roll, Indians/Browns sports and a tranquil walk along Lake Erie are always a happy combination to visit in any kind of weather for this Cleveland bred man.
“Well it’s alright. As long as you lend a hand.”
The environmental movement reigns strong in the Pacific Northwest and we are often willing to lend a “go-green” hand there to preserve and protect the fragile natural environment.
“Well it’s alright. Sometimes you gotta stay strong.”
Anticipating those challenging road trip hikes like the deceptively steep gullies at Utah’s Goblin State Park provides plenty of motivation for us to be more mindful of staying physically fit as “baby boomers” throughout the year.
“Well it’s alright. Riding around in the breeze.”
Experiencing the vast expanse of wide open spaces as we traverse the dry deserts of the American West provides an exhilarating feeling of personal solitude and freedom.
“Well it’s alright. If you live the life you please.”
To stand in awe amidst the towering vortexes of Sedona, Arizona radiates the positive energy of peaceful contentment of a life well served.
“Well it’s alright. As long as you got somewhere to lay.”
Breathe in the fresh air of a free flowing, mountainside river that lulls you to sit awhile in lonely solitude. Now that’s the sort of social distancing that I can live with well.
“Well it’s alright. We’re going to the end of the line.”
Traveling over 3,000 miles from Atlantic to Pacific shores by car typically manifests for us as an arduously long marathon. At the end of our journey, you might expect then we would find this spectacular view over a “Big Sur” cliffside to be the ideal spot to bask in the success of what we have accomplished.
“Well it’s alright. Remember to live to let live.”
You might wonder why I would hug this California Redwood tree. Very simply, both of our species are united as living earth companions who share an enduring will to survive.
“Well it’s alright. If you got someone to love.”
Any thoughts of experiencing Corona pandemic loneliness as we travel along the road are banished as so many of our friends welcome us into their lives again in person.
“Well it’s alright. The best you can do is forgive.”
History teaches me to never forget that the lessons of the past often repeat in the present. I thus stand solemnly on our road trips by such important historical monuments as this Gettysburg Address Memorial hoping to find time tested ways toward becoming a uniter rather than a divider of both friend and foe.