zen of an american road trip

©2011 gary garbett.com

Taking a road trip is one of my favorite things in the world. I’m sure it harkens back to the days of my childhood when my family would pack up the station wagon and journey through America. With my father’s career as a Navel Officer, we did our share of long distance road travels every couple of years, in addition to our countless summer vacations of camping. I have vivid memories of viewing the country from the backseat of Dad’s authentic Detroit made automobiles, especially his 1968 turquoise Gran Torino. With the windows rolled down and the wind whipping in a little faster than the posted highway speed, it was spectacular.

We made the 4000 mile plus drive across the entire United States from coast to coast at least four times, including a 1300 mile jaunt along the Alaska Highway, back when it was just a two-lane gravel and dirt road and long before there was ever a thought of paving it. We reached our destination late that summer in Anchorage searching for the ferry departure to Kodiak and for a carwash to remove the heavy coating of red clay covering Dad’s Ford.

Seeing America from the road has always been a Zen like experience for me. I find a centering peace in the miles of memory, beauty, and the numerous hand painted signs for Mom and Pop type stores that read “just ahead”.

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