What calls us to the road? Is it the going or the coming or just the riding, the movement, the freedom? Is it the fascination with what’s around the bend? If you are called to the road, what does it look like for you? Is it distance or depth ? or both?
My Grandfather, in his last years lived in a small 5th wheel Holiday Rambler trailer behind our house. I spent many a night in that trailer with him. I had dreams of traveling the country in that trailer. My family traveled from one end of the east coast to the other. My Mother is from upstate New York and my Father from Pensacola, where I spent the first 14 years of my life. So our travels were up and down the highways between those areas, as well as many trips to south Florida.
Years later I was privileged enough to go on the road with some friends that are professional musicians. I spent many a night on that 40ft Sliver Eagle bus, rolling through the country, waking up hundreds of miles from the previous night. It’s not a life for everyone, but I sure loved it.
There’s something about realizing how we all live differently yet much the same. I love the back roads, or blue highways as they are called due to the blue lines on the maps representing the secondary roads. If you are not in a hurry, there is so much more to see on those roads. There is life, real America, the ones that don’t make the news or the fashion magazines. But folks living and going through the same things we all do, working, raising children, church, etc.
I hunger for whats around the bend. The unseen. I wonder what is down every lane. I’m drawn to the history and the culture. The traditions and the ways of live that I don’t see everyday.
So do you travel? Bus, car, buggy? Do you crank up your Harley and roll through this land? If so, try those blue roads that work and wind their way through the heartland.
Grab a map and find an interesting name, for a day trip. I promise, you will come away with a refreshed look at America. With names like Burnt Corn, Alabama, Ooltewah, TN, Truth or Consequences, NM, Swan Lake, NY or Broken Bow, Ok, doesn’t it make you just wanna go ?
Some of the best books I’ve read on taking to the road are:
On The Road by Jack Kerouac
Walking The Trail by Jerry Ellis
On The Road by Charles Kerault
Walk Across America by Peter Jenkins
Of course you have to have road tunes. That list could go on just like the road, forever. Here’s a few I like
Running On Empty: Jackson Browne
American Vagabond: William Lee Golden
On The Road Again: Willie Nelson
King Of The Road: Roger Miller
Hotel California: The Eagles
LaGrange: ZZ Top
Into The Great Wide Open: Tom Petty
Going To Montgomery: Davis Raines
Six Days On The Road: Dave Dudley
Red Dirt Road: Brooks and Dunn
Thunder Road: Bruce Springsteen
Car Wheels on A Gravel Road: Lucinda Williams
Start Me Up: Rolling Stones
The Road Goes On Forever: Highwaymen
Ozark Mountain Jubilee: Oak Ridge Boys
So what would what you read and listen to when your on the road? I’d love to hear !
The pictures on this post are from recent wanderings through Kentucky, North and South Carolina, and the North Georgia mountains.