“Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.”
― Jack Kerouac, On the Road
A few days ago I was watching an old rerun of Britain's Top Gear television show. I'm a fan of both the British and American versions, and usually spend a couple of hours a week watching one or the other. You might say I am a fan of anything "Automotive", and watching a program with car enthusiasts who ought never to be allowed near one is a fun way to spend some down time. I know, in my heart, that I'm one of them, and so get a vicarious thrill of watching them screw up in ways I'm fully capable of matching.
|A rough section of Route 66|
|A foggy road in North Carolina|
|New York, Seventh Avenue|
|Las Vegas' famed Strip|
So when I travel, I often get away from cities and try to experience more of the countryside, the environment surrounding the city to help put that destination into a better context. Recently I've blogged about our trip up to Santa Fe, Taos, Sedona and all of the open road between them. Our friends flew out to meet us and flew back to LA, missing, I think, some of the more fascinating parts of the trip.
|BC's Sea to Sky Highway|
In my life I've managed to drive in extreme conditions in most areas of the country. Alaska, Hawaii, across the mainland five times. Up and down both coasts. Out to Key West, Hana, Carcross (in the Yukon) and up the main coast to Boothbay Harbor. Out Cape Cod. Circumnavigated Lake Tahoe. Both sides of the Napa Valley. Internationally I've driven through the Loire Valley and between Paris and Giverny; we've been the length of Anguilla, and all around both Saint Martin and St Barth.
|The Columbia River Gorge|
|Driving Lake Tahoe|
But the point is to get out of the hotel and explore. For me that's the open road, but at the very least rent a car and go out of the area. Find a historic site a few miles from where you live and go visit. Grab the kids and head for a picnic in the nearby mountains. They'll hate it, but at least you can inflict nature on them -- make sure you're out of cell range and you'll score double points.
Today is supposed to be a real scorcher here in the City of Angels.
Maybe I'll grab the keys and head down the Pacific Coast Highway a bit. There's always an adventure somewhere.
|On the OPen Road|