I was going to take a road trip, instead I had a journey. Actually, taking this “trip “ was what
was important to me. I knew that I would reach my destination. What I didn’t know was how I would feel between the trip and the journey. I did not
have a A Ha moment. I didn’t see flashing lights or have an epiphany . I had reflection. Being alone in a car with my deaf and blind rescue dog gave me 8229 miles of reflection time. . I drove from
a shore to a shore. I sang “God Bless America” and”America the Beautiful” more than once. I cried a little because it was just so beautiful and I appreciated being at that place , at
that moment. This was a trip that “we” wanted to take. “We“ waited too long and it was a trip that an “I” took.
I saw states
that were green and gold, not states that were red or blue. I saw open fields, freshly planted fields of winter wheat, and fields that had just been harvested. I saw
mountains, hills, streams, rivers ,sky , sun, and snow. I watched a sunset over a cleared corn field
in Nebraska that was like a red sphere that could blind me, as it fell beyond that field.
I saw fields that only stopped because a mountain stop them.
I saw rocks that looked like huge pills of sand, like the kind that kids plop out
or their plastic buckets at our beaches.
My special needs dog, Noodle, and I crossed the Continental Divide three times.Once going west and twice going east. There was great
road signage. I misread one that I thought said” chin up” . It really said”chain up”. Another reminded me “you have 7 more miles of this”. There
was “Be aware of glare”. And they were right. At a certain time of day, the sun glare on the hundreds of solar panels are blinding
One sign that I didn’t believe
until I checked with Google reminded me that I was at the half way mark between the Equator and the North Pole. It was correct.
As I drove through
Wyoming, there were miles of train cars, pulled by three engines and pushed by two.In Wyoming, you have to be pulling something behind
your car. It can be a horse trailer, a couple of bikes, or a boat. If you are driving a RV, it has to be pulling a Road Ranger or a Jeep Wrangler.
There were rock formations that made you seriously think
about the big bang theory. Some rocks were over achievers. There were rock formations that stood out because there was nothing
else around them.You just knew that some ocean, a million years ago ran through them and this is what is left for us to speculate on and to use our imagination
about how this did get here.
The beauty of Oregon is awesome. Space every where. When you think of the crowdedness of a Chicago or New York and then see miles of open
space, you are such a small identity. This country is enormous.
Hills out there, don’t roll. They pleat and fold into each other and the
folds make shadows and form crevices for unexpected water falls.
This was my trip.My journey came in Alaska.I flew to Alaska
from Seattle. I stood on a plain in the Denali National Park and studied the highest mountain in North America. Denali. I was moved to write:
Watched from below
Sun and granite collide
purifies your heart. It sends a message to your brain. It clears your vision. Here is where you can reflect on the next years of your life. Here is just raw nature, unspoiled,
mountain peaks, snow fields green pastures, wild animals, sky , no visibleboundaries. Your
eye does not have a place to stop. Humbling, awesome. I paraphrased a Jewish prayer” God was in this place, and I knew it”.
I sat on a porch, in the sun, in August, wearing a
hat, fleece pants, long sleeved shirt, and a jacket. This marked the end of a year of mourning for me. I came away with a feeling of empowerment. I can. What ever I want to do, I can. I
can and I did.
I wanted to drive cross country. I can and I did. Like life, you just have to follow the road signs. If you get lost, make a U turn and go at it again.
At 85, I drove
across America.I can. And I did