A Miraculous Road Trip Procession

“ It is greater than the stars – that moving procession of human energy; greater than the palpitating earth and the things growing thereon.” (Kate Chopin)

I’m happy to announce that Ruth and I will soon depart on our latest U.S. road trip from Fort Lauderdale to the “Far West” regions of the country. Beginning with a Southwest Airlines “hop” to Omaha, Nebraska for a short visit with friends followed by a longer flight to begin our drive in Anaheim California, we thus anticipate more efficient use of our time on this latest fly/car vacation. For we can then prioritize spending longer time out west at several of our most nostalgic destinations. The general scope of this clockwise itinerary can be examined in the title photo of this blog above.

For this entry, I thus let my fictional imagination flow freely as I envision below in “light hearted” fashion, some unusual welcomes that might happen at each of these revisited places.

Omaha, Nebraska

We inhale the pungent smell of dung as a herd of black cows encircle a giant float composed of ripened stalks of corn outside the main terminal at Omaha’s International Airport . From a seated throne on the float, Miss Nebraska, the state’s 2023 Beauty Queen friendlily tosses us fresh cobs to greet our arrival.

Anaheim, California

Upon being greeted by a friendly Mickey Mouse in full costume character at Orange County’s Disneyland, he joins arms with us and informs us that he knows how to beat Florida governor Ron DeSantis at his own power game to control the affairs of Orlando’s Disney World.

Los Angeles, California

Our rental car booked at LAX Airport is preprogrammed to stream only old Beach Boys surfer hits at voice command for a nominal fee.

Morro Bay, California.

A procession of older guys in late 1960s Ford, Pontiac, and Chevy roadsters circle around massive Morro Rock to scurry away thousands of hungry sea gulls who fly frantically above our heads to welcome us back to town.

Santa Cruz,California

Opportunistic beggars assume we are ex hippies and panhandle us for spare change as we’re invited to bond with them at a free concert at the beach on the day of our arrival.

San Rafael,California

No motel rooms are available in this very liberal municipality for the weekend. But a prison supervisor at a local climate change protest offers us a free stay for three nights at San Quentin if we’re willing to volunteer weed clearing in the prisoner garden.

Portland, Oregon

We are given for free some heavy duty rain gear and umbrellas at the State Border Visitor Center in anticipation that it will be pouring in the Portland vicinity at all times of our upcoming visit. We’re also advised then that if we venture to the more conservative inland areas of Oregon, it might be more practical to carry a gun.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

For photographing at least five wildlife sightings during our next hike at nearby Grand Teton National Park on this visit, we’re offered a free paint set and easel from the Jackson Chamber of Commerce to demonstrate our naturalistic art talents.Yet while we are flattered by the opportunity to create and possibly sell each of these animal self depictions on canvas at the famed main square of town, we soon realize frigid temperature this time of year will consequently render our outdoor experience intolerably miserable that day.

Steamboat Springs, Colorado

It’s mud season in Steamboat on the popular ski slopes and walking trails. But there’s no problem taking care of those filthy shirt, boots and trousers. For we can just ask for the deluxe treatment at an automatic car wash facility in town where we can stand alongside our vehicle after our hike as it’s being washed, rinsed, and waxed during its five minute cycle.

Panguitch Utah ( Bruce National Park)

It’s important we take advantage of the free trail map reading and flare usage sessions at the local library. For our I phone or other practical guidance devices will be basically useless for finding our way in those tortuous canyons, blind alleys and other geographically confusing natural areas in this region of the state.

Las Vegas, Nevada

Opportunity knocks along the Vegas “time share” scene as I’m cajoled by slick promoters an offer to indulge with my wife in a memorable evening on the famed “strip” involving extravagant dining and entertainment “on the house.” Yet I painfully realize later that I’ve actually agreed to purchase two weeks vacation time each upcoming year in the deathly desolate environs of the Mojave Desert.

Williams, Arizona

Nostalgic remembrances of youth call forth as we consider joining a friendly group of rebellious motorcycle riders who invite us to cruise Route 66 for possibly the last time in our lives. As a suitable followup activity nearby, we might extend our drive with similar courage by taking a long look at our spiritual fate in the afterlife as we gaze wondrously over the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

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