North to Alaska

Day 31

 

Someone turned on the air conditioning in Utah and Wyoming today – and I sure am grateful.

 

Traveling was extraordinary in a very ordinary way.  There is nothing extraordinary about 560 miles of interstate highway – there is not a lot of opportunity to stop and smell the roses – no spectacular occurrences that stand out to write about.

 

But, taking the whole day – I am once again overwhelmed by the beauty and diversity of this country.  Park City, UT really doesn’t compare with Laramie, WY – but having the opportunity to spend another day just riding across this great land – is an extraordinary event in and of itself.

 

I think it was 50 years ago next month – August, 1952 – my first road trip – with my parents and brother in a 1949 Chrysler – Somerset, PA to Miami Beach, FL.  It was the time before Holiday Inns – the time before interstate highways – the time before chain restaurants.

 

We stayed in tourist courts or tourist cabins or tourist homes – and we stopped at rest areas – they were called roadside rests in those days – to fix three meals a day.  An ice chest – a beverage jug – and a Coleman stove were packed in the trunk of that old Chrysler – and we stopped three times a day and used them to prepare meals.  I say we – but it really was my mother who didn’t get a vacation – because she still had to prepare three meals a day – even when we were traveling.

 

Baseball gloves and a ball were staples for the boys – it gave us a chance to exercise while meals were being prepared – a game of catch – and some other things brothers are known to engage in after long confinements in the close quarters of a car.

 

Three days out of Somerset, I came down with the Whopping Cough – making our first trip memorable for everyone.

 

I was thinking of those times today – at a rest area on I-80 in Wyoming – I prepared my own lunch – and thought about that trip – and many others – our family took when I was a child.

 

Did this wanderlust begin then – or even before?  I don’t know.  But I do know that I love being on the road.  A car if I have to – a motorcycle if I can – a Valkyrie if I have a choice – but – on the road.

 

And a really good part of being on the road – is making lunch – at a roadside rest.

 

So to you and Iowa Sioux and Ricky, Rat Terrier, Seattle, WA – I say goodnight from Cheyenne, WY.

 

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