TRAVEL: Travelling Cross-Country (August-September 2000)
It rather surprised me that anyone would wonder WHY I wanted to drive cross-country, but in fact I got the question pretty often. I finally boiled it down to this: "Someday is NOW."
We all have things we'd like to do 'someday' - write a novel, go bungee-jumping, drink all five of the grands crus, etc. Some of my 'somedays' were:
Etc. There were others less compelling or less specific. I wanted to see bayous and levees, mesas and corn fields, red deserts and red clay, the Great Lakes, the Mississippi, the Gulf... So much, when I think of it, that for so long had been only words.
- SOMEDAY I'd like to see Red Cloud, Nebraska (hometown of the writer Willa Cather)
- SOMEDAY I want to see all those obscure towns mentioned in my genealogy
- SOMEDAY I want to go to New Orleans (which all my French friends did a long time ago)
- SOMEDAY I want to drive cross-country
So, now I've done these. And of course discovered a host of others. I realized early in my trip that even a fairly long cross-country trip is like perusing the table of contents of an encyclopedia - you end up with a whole list of things you'd like to go back and see in more detail. But for now I'm still digesting those I've seen. What follows is by way of completing my own processing of all this, and by way of return.
- UTAH AND ARIZONA: writhing rocks and red desert
- RED CLOUD, NEBRASKA - A Willa Cather pilgrimage
- SMALL CITIES: Lincoln, Omaha, Des Moines, Iowa City
- CHICAGO: The Kinship of Big Cities
- JIM'S ROOTS (THE RICHCREEKS): Indiana and Ohio
- HOME UPON A TIME: Pleasant Valley and Poughkeepsie, New York
- JIM'S ROOTS (THE WILHOITES): Culpeper, Madison, Wolftown and Charlottesville, Virginia
- JIM'S ROOTS (THE BRADLEYS): Augusta and Savannah, Georgia
- ALONG THE GULF: Mobile, Biloxi/Gulfport, Nawlins
- TEXAS: Because it's THERE
- WINDING DOWN: New Mexico, Arizona and HOME
- SUMMING UP: Observations and conclusions
LAST UPDATED: March 2003