4.4 Morning Pages

The morning pages April 14, 2011. Although I’ve only been at this road travel for six months, I am already a godfather.  My friends Bill and Rebecca have purchased a motorhome and put their boat up for sale.  Last night Catherine S. commented she sees a road trip in the near future.  I am sure the idea was in their minds before my words and photos started showing up in their mailbox and messing with their heads.

Many of my friends are accomplished world travelers.  Collectively, I would guess they could rack up a majority of the 193 recognized countries.  I can think of four people who have each visited over 50 countries.  But there is a lot to see in our country and it is so much more accessible.  And you don’t have to learn the currency exchange.  I can almost always understand the local dialect as English.  I can almost always trust the water, the food, and the neighbors. 

Many people are called by one or more themes in their travels.  Juan likes to try local food, Linda notices birds and has spotted 513 of the over 700 species in this country.  You can’t go wrong bagging National Parks and sites maintained by the National Parks Service.  No two lighthouses are the same nor are the great bridges spanning our rivers, bays, and canyons. 

Your experience will change if you travel alone or with a companion, whether you stay in luxury resorts, modest motels, or carry your own house on wheels.  Not one of these choices will make for a better trip, just different.  You will see different views, meet different people, have different perspectives, and have different adventures.  And you will miss only the experience of taking the other road.

Not to put a damper on anyone’s travel plans but fuel prices are something to consider.  We’ve grown up thinking about fuel economy in terms of miles per gallon or gallons per hour.  Since I travel on a careful budget, it occurred to me to think in terms of miles per dollar.   That was a bit of a wake up.  Diesel fuel is $4.00/gal and I get 12 mpg, which is very good for a 28’ rolling house.  You’ve already done the math:  three miles to the dollar. 

I might spend a couple hundred dollars getting to an area.  Once there, I like to stay, look around, see what there is to see, and find a reason to stay on.  Once on the move, I like for reasons to stop.  I am happy to quit for the day only twenty miles up the road. 

I am thinking 800-900 miles a month is about the right pace.

But the best mileage I get are the days I don’t even roll the awning up.

6 Responses to 4.4 Morning Pages

  1. karen wittgraf says:

    So right. To travel is to learn. “I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I DO and I understand.” Tiny details from my limited travels pop into my mind constantly and has made me the person that I am. Thoughts of subways in NYC, “Jimbo” the tattoo guy in Florida, Williamburgh actors, “Victor”, the restaurant owner, in Puerto Villarta, the intense heat of Needles, Ca- from the backseat of my Dad’s 1949 Buick-, the snow falling in October in Breckenridge, CO—the racist peanut farmer selling his nuts at a stand in Macon, GA….all of it..all of it….my life.

  2. Dave L says:

    Best to dig until the vein is exhausted.

  3. Michael Joyce says:

    900 miles a month, now there is road rule to contemplate!

  4. Colleen Rae says:

    Al, you’re my kind of traveler. No big hurry to get anywhere…

  5. patbean says:

    I guess when I resubscribed things worked because I finally got a link to your blog in my e-mail. Glad to see the Jolly Swag. Looks like you have a bit more room than me.
    I’ve got 2,500 miles to make before May 15 once I get Gypsy Lee back, but then I’m sitting for four months.

    We had a big storm here in Dallas and I had to go check on her to make sure she was fine. She Was. I can’t to get her back. Maggie and I are both having withdrawal pains.


  6. Ellen says:

    We made several cross country trips when I was a kid. We’d head out before dawn each morning (much cooler to drive in the early morning on long desert stretches) That was before car seats, so my baby sister had a harness and a “car bed” (a two-legged crib made especially for cars). My mom usually sat in back with her, and my brother and I shared the front passenger seat. He was two years younger and such a pain! Courtesy of the Triple A triptix (?) maps on the dashboard, we always knew where we’d be that evening and how to get there. No unplanned layovers for us! Just a few of the things that stand out: watching for Nickerson Farms restaurants along the road (they had the thickest blueberry pancakes!), visiting people my parents had known in other periods of their lives (their “previous” lives without kids fascinated me), the most amazing Monte Cristo sandwich (my first) in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, hitting my brother on the head with a pot in a Denver hotel room (it was an accident!!), an outdoor church in New Hampshire which became the daydream setting when friends and I started planning our weddings, dislocating my knee in Virginia, Dinty Moore beef stew which we cooked on our Coleman stove when we weren’t visiting friends… The old white rambler made it back east twice, before dying in Salt Lake City on the way back. Had to put the triptix aside and stayed an extra day before driving home in a new (used) car.

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