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Drive west, fly east

08/28/2014
Somewhere on I-90 in eastern Ohio. (Photo by Jennifer Moore)

Somewhere on I-90 in eastern Ohio. (Photo by Jennifer Moore)

I grew up in “middle America” and crisscrossed the country in the back of large family vehicles that had a propensity to breakdown in the middle of nowhere.

As I grew older, the wonderlust instilled by my parents took hold and it became a sort of a Karouacian  hobby.  There have been lots of travel partners, crazy adventures and important life lessons. I also developed a few “rules of the road.”

One of the rules is this: “Drive west, fly east.”

For the last three years, Jen and I have broken that rule every August, spending three-days driving from Minnesota to Maine.

Every year I wish I knew how to fly.

The road west is one of open prairie, endless farm fields, night-time lightning shows and stunning mountain vistas. Views change. Altitudes change. You feel a change in your soul. Sure, Nebraska can get monotonous, but you can always see the horizon and it reads like a John Steinbeck novel with no last page.

The road east is all trucks and trees. Except for Chicago. Chicago is a one-hour long slog of white-knuckle lane changes and bumper-to-bumper 55-mph congestion. Starting just east of Gary, Indiana drivers on I-80/90 enter a tunnel of deciduous trees, toll plazas and concrete bridges. You exit the tunnel 10 hours and 700 miles later in upstate New York, where the Hudson River Valley finally breaks through with a view beyond the billboards.

The tunnel starts again after crossing the Patroon Island Bridge (now under reconstruction) in Albany, New York. The Berkshires are nothing more than green hills, the Boston bypass is trees and crazy drivers and the road north to Bangor is, you guessed it, more trees – but a least some are pine.

Our 26-hour, 1,700 mile drive from Minnesota through Iowa and on to Maine was uneventful.

Which is about the best you can do when you break the rules.

 

 

 

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From → On the road, Travel

One Comment
  1. You make a less-than-desirable drive sound very poetic 🙂

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