Cruise Control of the Mind
The fresh air whirls around bringing with it a renewed sense of life. While the pumping music feeds the required energy to go the extra mile and the sense of control you have with your grip. The deep breath inducing the waning of stress with every white stripe on the road, that’s become a dot.
I’ve crisscrossed this country five times, visited 47 of the 50 states, and have an unknown amount of miles under my foot. Yet, there’s so many great roads left to be explored; the Al-Can, the Pan-Am, Hwy 61, and so many other scenic byways the list just seems never-ending. I don’t want to say it’s never running away from something, or for that matter running towards something, if anything it’s always trying to be in the present moment. Smelling the air and staring down a stretch of pavement with a full tank of gas.
The mind is wonderfully distracting, I’m often away on vacation without leaving the comforts of my surroundings. It’s not the same at all, but it helps. On any given day, I check out like that probably 3-5 times a day. I’ve already been awake for 3 hours, and I’ve already been on a boat and on a drive. These distractions can come from previous memories, like that long stretch of road known as the San Andreas desert on I-5, or something unknown that I make up in my own mind’s eye.
Sometimes, I stare at google maps, wishing they’d put some circles around a city you predetermine so one could get an idea of driving distances from your base. A six hour drive is a comfortable drive, yet the 12+ hour drive from St. Louis to Denver in a day is tough, but watching the sun come up and backlight the Rockies, is unbelievably beautiful. Driving the stretch between Death Valley and Lake Tahoe, climbing from -250Ft below sea level to a height of over 8,000Ft on HWY395 along the east side of the Sierra Mountains is a great day drive that wiggles in and around the timber and lakes, through quaint towns like Bishop. It’s a great stretch!
It’s sunny outside and I feel like my inner beatnik is screaming, or maybe slurring something today about being On The Road.
“It was drizzling and mysterious at the beginning of our journey. I could see that it was all going to be one big saga of the mist. “Whooee!” yelled Dean. “Here we go!” and he hunched over the wheel and gunned her; he was back in his element, everybody could see that. We were all delighted, we all realized we were leaving confusion and nonsense behind and performing our one and noble function of the time, move. And we moved!” — Kerouac, On the Road