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. 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 , sunand 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

Denali sparkles


Clouds blur

Eyes raised

Denali surfaces.


Denali 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

Write a new comment: (Click here)

Characters left: 160
DONE Sending...
See all comments

| Reply

Latest comments

04.07 | 08:10

I read the last page first too. It’s a family curse.

22.05 | 08:38

so glad youre here mom!

29.08 | 13:45

Don't quite know how this got to me but it was on the top line of my computer (not in email) But I really enjoyed it. I truly admire you.

31.07 | 07:02

Leona, do you have a date or a booked flight that you come back ?

You liked this page