I’ve done a lot of driving for two very simple reasons: I hate boats and I hate planes. They both occupy that place in my psyche ruled by fear and fueled by a lack of control. Who really knows what lurks in the deep dark depths and we all know what happens when a flying chunk of metal stops flying! I know the statistics say that it is far safer to fly or take a boat than it is to brave the asphalt and concrete encased in a metal, plastic, and glass bullet…but at least I have some control over this projectile!
Whatever the case, I love to drive. It is not that I like to be in control, I just love to go to and get to places that planes or boats can’t. There is so much to be seen as you drive across the land and, if you have the right vehicle, so many places you can get to. It doesn’t really matter to me whether it is a 10 lane expressway slithering through a city jungle or a single lane two-track through some backwoods holler…both bring their own kind of excitement.
I’ve seen the grandeur in the approach to Mt. Rushmore and felt the mists on my face of Old Faithful in Yellowstone. I remember Meramec Caverns and driving through the Ozarks in southern Missouri into Arkansas where this Michigan boy saw his first armadillo. I remember the Great Smokey Mountains in North Carolina and Tennessee with the mist in the morning gently rising and sinking into the valleys. I remember driving home from The House on the Rock through the middle of Wisconsin and finding a most amazing church called Holy Hill that could be seen for miles – its spire touching the sky and beckoning travelers to stop and stare. We did and were humbled and amazed! I remember the ‘covered drive’ along the spine of Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula opening to a quaint small tourist town called Copper Harbor and then the drive up Brockway Mountain to gaze at a raging Lake Superior. I remember coastal South Carolina with its moss covered live oak and salty air, Oklahoma’s hot, dry, and dusty landscape. I’ve seen storms rolling in the distance across Illinois fields and then crashed into the sheets of rain that no windshield wiper was made for. I cherish holding my wife’s hand as she slept while driving by Paducah Kentucky at one in the morning on our way back to Michigan from Edisto Beach. I’ve seen the clear, wide open view from mountaintops and felt the clingy suffocating chill of a valley floor. I have been there! I was a partaker of the environment and a breather of the air. I touched the soil and felt the rain…I felt life!
You just can’t get that feeling from a boat or plane. You never know what is just around the corner or over the next hill. Any road trip can be an adventure…any journey can be the destination!