“Wherever you get to is better than where you started. To stay on the road is a massive achievement.” (Anthony Joshua)
There’s no doubt in my mind that we’ve chosen a remarkable time to embark on our next westward bound road trip across the United States. For in the first four days of this vacation, Ruth and I seem to be spontaneously witnessing a long overdue reopening of our country from the pandemic lockdown in so many places we visit. In Vicksburg, Mississippi, I witnessed the enthusiastic buzz of biker contestants who would soon arduously compete in a race crossing over the long bridge of the Mississippi River. At Arlington, Texas, I noticed how fun loving “tailgaters” gathered freely together to picnic in stadium parking lots before a Dallas Cowboys football game and Texas Rangers baseball game. During our Albuquerque, New Mexico visit, I felt the excitement as thousands of tourists rose in early morning to witness hundreds of balloons soaring in the sky amid this picturesque valley setting at the International Balloon Festival. Meanwhile, I joined crowds of people in an open circular courtyard of the Pueblo Culture Center in downtown Albuquerque as Native Indian people dressed in authentic attire performed an entertaining Buffalo Dance ritual.
But don’t get me wrong! It’s not the destinations themselves but those moment to moment sensations between that form our “bread and butter” reasoning for road tripping those long distances west. Imagine us taking this vacation, for instance, while sidetracking along backroads adjacent to Mississippi River shorelines as a fascinating contrast from our east coast, “hustle bustle” ways. Or picture our curiosity to “get your kicks” again amid 1950s times in our slow drive along a Route 66 strip in Tucumcari, New Mexico. Envision as well our eagerness to escape city life into the vast prairie environs of Central Texas. Who knows? We might make a unique discovery about some celebrity we admire there!