Friday, December 03, 2004

The endless road

Another scene from another two-lane near my house. As much as I despise what overreliance on roads and cars has done for our modern landscape, another part of me appreciates the ribbons of asphalt that crisscross the countryside because I get to see things - non-urban, genteel, comforting things - that I wouldn't otherwise be able to see.

I love the never-ending story wrapped up on any given stretch of roadway. Everyone connected with it, in whatever capacity, has a story. Whether you're a transient traveller or someone who lives beside it, it will affect you in varying ways, and it does so whether or not you actually take the time to notice it. In that respect, it's much more than hot-rolled asphalt, gravel and paint. It connects us. To each other. To ourselves.

With that in mind, I enjoy stopping along the roads I travel, because it lets me slow down and think about my own journeys - the physical ones through the day-to-day minutae of life, as well as the figurative ones through life in general - and the things I can do to make my travels that much more successful. As I pedal along roads like these, my mind often churns through big-picture thoughts.

The longer I ride, the more things seem to make sense. It's remarkably peaceful, and I miss it during those few months every winter when the snow keeps my bike in the garage and limits me to a much smaller radius of self-powered travel. I know I could always take the car out for a drive, but that simply lacks the spirit of a self-powered journey of discovery.

If you occasionally find yourself on similar journeys, feel free to drop any suggestions for squeezing the most out of them in the Comments link below.


Photominer said...

Hey Carmi, looks like every stretch of road I ever hitch-hiked down. Great pic.

Joan said...

This post and this picture reminds me of a song...

The long and winding road
That leads to your door
Will never disappear
I’ve seen that road before
It always leads me her
Lead me to you door

The wild and windy night
That the rain washed away
Has left a pool of tears
Crying for the day
Why leave me standing here
Let me know the way

Many times I’ve been alone
And many times I’ve cried
Any way you’ll never know
The many ways I’ve tried

But still they lead me back
To the long winding road
You left me standing here
A long long time ago
Don’t leave me waiting here
Lead me to your door

But still they lead me back
To the long winding road
You left me standing here
A long long time ago
Don’t leave me waiting here
Lead me to your door
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Oz said...

Beautifully written post. Very thought provoking. The roads are a web, placed over the earth, that connect on person to another. It's a nice way to think about them, indeed.

Vadergrrrl said...

Hey sweetie,

Great post, what a nice escape... thank you. I needed that.


Chris said...

Dean and I do the same thing (albeit in a less environmentally friendly way) by car. Pack a lunch, pick a direction, and take the road less travelled. We've found some pretty cool stuff along the way - ghost towns, abandoned mines, riverbottom golf courses. Our retirement plan is to buy a little camperized van and hit the road.

Anonymous said...

Veda (":vaza.blogspotcom")
Carmi, this is another great shot! Thanks for sharing.

I tend to be listening to music when I find great places. Therefore I really connect the images to the audio.

On a side and comical note, I'm glad you were able to get the view like that as a *planned* deal! ;)

Janet said...

In high school I wrote a poem using a long road as a metaphor for life, not that I'm the first one to do this. I called it "Trip to Nowhere". Anyway, I should really pull it out and dust it off. I think people like yourself would appreciate it.

carmilevy said...

I'd love to read it. Post away!

Rambling Rene said...

Janet, you must do that, dear. And the title reminds me of the Talking Heads song "Road to Nowhere," one of my all time fave songs.

Carmi, this post only reminds me that I have an interstate move coming up in 2 weeks. South Carolina to Texas. **sigh** I love traveling, but I am SOOOO not looking forward to being stuck in a car with my mother for what will probably be two days. I may have to tranquilize her so she stays quiet.