14 July 2008


Traveling. A Road Trip. At first, I had thought that we were merely choosing to drive from home to the Wyoming spa, but then I discovered where Jackson Hole, Wyoming actually was. At that moment, the time in the car transformed from a drive to an excursion. This means that I will have traveled through three states--Minnesota, South Dakota and Wyoming--to arrive at the Spa, and this does not take into account my original journey to Minnesota from Wisconsin. Which is really all well and good, I suppose, until I remember that we must drive back home as well. That means we will have traveled through six states by trips end! I’m not terribly fond of driving myself, but Mitch doesn’t seem to mind as long as I keep the music going and challenge him in Trivial Pursuit. So far, after almost 1000 miles, we are even and incredibly trivial.

The interstate highway system represents the most incredible investment and statement of life style I can imagine. Here are thousands and thousands of miles traveled by solitary people in private pods moving somewhere at terribly rapid speeds connected to each other only by the radio. Over thousands and thousands of miles, this highway system is the only way to get from here to somewhere: there seems to be no public transportation. Interestingly, in South Dakota, along the media of the highway, someone is haying. I suppose that some level of government rents out the space to the farmer for harvesting of hay. Why weren’t these medians used for public transportation? A great rail system which connected cities to cities and states to states and people to people. I means, on a train you have to see other people up close and not mediated through window glass.

A gross oversimplification, but not without some truth. When I looked I discovered that there is no train service to Wyoming from Minnesota.

What links state to state however are the fast food restaurants. They are ubiquitous, dotting the streets of towns and cities morphing one town into the next. What begins to distinguish one place from the next out here is the space between towns, and to see that you have to be in the car. And it is often quite beautiful

Back to the road and the pursuit of trivia.


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