Road reflections…


After more than 3.000 miles on the road and 10 states, several realizations and suggestions need to be shared. Here is my version of “deep thoughts” for the day.

  • Heavy METAL (Think Ratt, Quiet Riot, and other classic hair bands) is alive and well in the South. The local radio stations in east Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and on all had plenty of tunes to bang your head to.
  • We live in an amazingly diverse country- naturally and culturally. Listening to all the different dialects, accents, and phrases, coupled with the changing climates and landscapes, is a potent reminder of this.
  • That said, we live in an amazingly homogeneous country; identical stores, restaurants, hotels, and cafes dot the various towns and cities we visit or drive through. It’s like one, giant (Texas?) mall. How many of you notice the same thing in the different airports throughout the country? …Buy local. Support a small business owner. Take a chance.
  • Coming from a hardcore coffee culture in the NW, road trips are tough on us caffeine junkies. Thank God for Starbucks…wait. Homogeny. Oh well. Pick your battles.
  • There something weirdly alluring about that southern charm, hospitality, and drawl. “You surrre kan, darlin’…” I feel like a pampered child when I interact with the women around here. Are there lots of Southern momma’s-boys? There has to be…
  • Put some audio-books on your iPod for the long stretches. This has kept me (partially) sane. DON’T play any of those stupid “I’m going on a trip and bringing a …” games. Zzzzzzzzz….
  • And finally, I miss all my friends and “family” back in the NW. We’ve gotten lots of comments on our Oregon plates. “…Or-i-gone, huh? I hear it’s real nice up there.”

“It sure is”, I confirm. “And the people are even better.”

Hope you’re all well,



~ by Jared on April 11, 2009.

2 Responses to “Road reflections…”

  1. The road is a strange and mysterious place throughout a world where most cultures have melded to some degree. Americans are diverse but some constancy exists wherever you travel in our great nation and in most parts of the world.

    There are certain experiences and things which now transcend their place on the planet. The golden arches and Starbucks look virtually the same whether in Vancouver BC, New York City, Tampa, London, Paris, a rest stop on a Highway overpass in Illinois and even Portland. There are exceptions to this rule but they exist only in rare places like North or South Waziristan – which are considered by many to be backward or undeveloped. The constancy extends to the people of the world and what they hold important – family, friends, good food, wine, coffee and conversation. (Portlanders of course consider the Blazers important but the whole world has yet to embrace that truth.)

    The diversity of the people of the world is fascinating and worthy of exploration (hence your travels). In the recent past I have observed the people in the pueblo cultures in New Mexico, southern culture in the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida. It is the differences of these cultures which distinguish them in my memories from the similarities which exist between them and their physical environment. Please keep us apprised of your cultural and sociological observations as you experience the road.

    “A traveler without observation is a bird without wings” Muslih-uddin Sadi

    “What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? — it’s the too-huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-by. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.” – Jack Kerouac, On the Road, Part 2, Ch. 8

    • Well said, my friend.

      Thank you for discussing and enjoying the travel aspect of this blog. I hope everyone can respond to my “reports”, if only to themselves, like this…

      Be well and stay tuned,


      ps- I write this now from a small coffee/wine shop in Marion, Virginia (“Handsome Molly’s”). And yes, this is the only one…

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