After a really crappy 2008 of little traveling and lots of recuperation, I'm finally going to hit the road and head up to the Windy city tomorrow. Partly in payback for messing up our annual wine trip to Paso (because I thought I'd be smack in the middle of the Unity08 Online Convention) and partly because my fav Senior Circuit ball club is the best in the NL and they kick off their post-season tomorrow vs. the Dodgers.
Torre against Pinella. Go Sweet Lou!
I will arrive bearing great gifts: 3 Tobins, 3 Linnes and 1 Wild Coyote... still packed from when I was allowed to stuff a few cases of wine on the private jet from San Diego to DC (that's a story for another day). :) There are also 3 wonderful ports in that box, but I don't think we'll be pounding those back in Chicago.
What I really want to write about this morning is "the road." I love the road. I've never driven the route from KC to Chicago, so I look forward to the experience. Now, I've driven KC to STL a billion times and KC to Des Moines a couple of times, so it's the second leg of whichever direction I choose that will be the new experience. I have this thing with highlighting the roads I have traveled on a map that's been with me since one of the times when I rolled from KC to Cali.
It's a strange concept if you've never done it... striking out on the road on your own. I've struggled through two books recently (Steinbeck: Travels with Charley and Least Heat-Moon: Blue Highways) because they just don't have any continuity. They are about driving around the country, so they read like a series of short stories. I suppose they are examples of how difficult it is to write about being on the road.
The continuity is in the traveler and not the travels. Heat-Moon hits the nail on the head when he says (and I paraphrase here) that "the road forces you to know yourself for there are times when you have been without companionship for so long that you crave a passenger, a pub or a canine."
My trek to Chicago won't be that long, but being back on the road after practically 6 months of being in the same place will be nice. And maybe, just maybe, I'll meander my way back home on the Blue Highways instead of punching the accelerator on the Red Highways.