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« Not Hopperesque | Main | What the well-dressed dreamer of the open road is driving in his dream »


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captain Goto


Just now I happen to be reading Pete Jordan's "Dishwasher".

And, yes, as a guy who harbored a similar Dream, when I was finishing college, the nightly Motel 6 rates do assume a fairly hefty advance on the projected literary masterpiece that is expected to follow.


In my version of the Dream, it was the sensation of being in motion that I craved, of being gone. My exemplar was "Blue Highways".


Hey, if the missus can let you go for a week at a time, do it in short bits - highway it out to where you left off the last time, get off the interstate and loop around a smaller area, say no more than 500 miles wide. That's how I'm seeing the Great Lakes - the first year I circled Lake Michigan, then it was Erie and Ontario, a side trip through the Adirondaks, and this fall - Superior here I come!

Oh, and if you need a rest stop in the Chicago Loop, I've got a guest room. I'm a lurker, not a blogger, but dude, hotels are expensive downtown. :D

Ken Muldrew

"on up to Oregon and Washington and up into Canada, if I'm invited."

Of course you are! Just don't get too much of a tan while you're here or the Minutemen might give you a hard time when you're trying to get back into the States.


No bridge or ferry from the West Coast to here yet, regrettably.


I've been quietly following (and enjoying) your blog for a while now. I've always thought that there are road people and non-road people; people who see the freeway as a way to get somewhere as quickly as possible and others who see it as a connector to a never ending series of possibilities in the form of intriguing exits leading to country roads. As a road person, I can definitely appreciate your dream. There is nothing like a summer day, windows rolled down (or better yet a convertible with the top down) and a little Chris Isaak singing "Gone Ridin'" as your car winds its way through the backroads filled with things you'd never get to see if you just stuck to the freeway.


Martina, personally I'm rather fond of baseball on the car radio, but music is a close second.

Sunny Jim

Hey Lance, you better not wait too long to do that trip - if the price of gas keeps going up, you'll need one of J.K. Rowling's advances to keep filling up that truck. One good thing is that when you turn 50 you can join A.A.R.P. and get their 10% discount card for all Motel 6's. This will help offset the other costs.


Lance is a vampire. He turned 50 looooooong ago. Maybe vampires get a special discount as well.

Exiled in New Jersey

Seven years ago I had the same urge: Ketchikan was my destination.


Just be sure to choose the Motel 6s wisely - they range from wonderful to ones that, honestly, are much worse than sleeping in a camper!


Great post, Lance. Summer always has me itching for road trips, probably because we drove to all holidays as kids.

One summer, my brother and sister and I drove up to Wisconsin from Ohio for a family trip. We took my car at the time, whose a/c wasn't working, so it was a sticky trip, with the windows down and the music turned way up, but it was great.


Thanks for the nod, Lance... even if you are a vampire. That's why you like to travel at night, isn't it? :)


The poem is so much better the way you've couched it, Lance. Your two sentences after the poem itself send it to an even loftier realm. Thanks.

Doug K

my wife and I did this in 1991. We used a brown Ford Econoline cargo van (you can't see America from a Japanese car), drove N. Carolina to New Mexico, then up and around all the west coast and mountain states, through Canada to Alaska, up to the Arctic Circle, then pottered slowly back to Carolina. It cost about $10 000 for the seven months we were on the road, but we camped everywhere and gas was only $1.20 a gallon. Of the three nights we spent under a roof in that time, one was in a Motel 6 to recover from a week of wet muddy windy canoeing. The motel was truly ghastly, I felt like a suspect on the lam.

At Gila Forest in New Mexico, we met a hippie who was bicycling around and writing his journal using a solar-powered laptop. He looked at our old van and brand-new Coleman stove and said 'just starting out, eh ?', then shared his tips for life on the road. I still have the crystal he gave me for luck.

We kept a journal too, but the old-fashioned way, using pointy sticks to make marks on 'paper'. It was a very good year.


You really really ought to read Travels With Macy, an update on Travels with Charley, only with a golden retriever and an RV. Bruce Fogle, a popular vet here, recreates, more or less, Steinbeck's journey, with a side trip to Canada, making astute political commentary all along the way. And feeding his dog doughnuts, which tells you why he's such a popular vet.

I just checked on Amazon, and no one had reviewed it, so I did.


Hey, yes, go. I had a sabbatical whilst working at Apple awhile back, and spent 63 days driving in a big circle around the country. Among other adventures, I met the woman with whom I'm now living in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. (And a far cry from San Jose, California, where I started out.) If you ever get going, do come by. We'll put you up.

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