Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Road Tripping: Celebrating Our Country's Beauty

Every summer I take a semi-cross country driving trip, crossing several state lines to visit my family and my original hometown. [Perhaps a rarity in today's world: to be able return home to the same house that my folks lived in when I was born.] It's like an annual Jack Kerouacian solo trek to the motherland,...though different with two (non-driving) kids in tow. As I get older, the trip does feel longer--did someone put more states in there??  But, luckily, as the kids get older, technology helps take them to their own little backseat nirvana, as I drive the 12-13 hours--all the way as the lone driver.
This year, after 10 days in the heartland, we got back in the car, and turned south. A triangular trip was made. Our destination was Nashville, Tennessee to meet up with Daddio for a family vacation. The Grand Ole Opry, The Nashville Zoo, and the historic sites of Franklin, TN were some of the high points we hit before hitting the road again for home. The long way was well worth it--scenery and memories both combined.

As it always happens, the driving creates a lot of time to think.  It opens up a perspective as you consider the time, captive in car.  During the drive we had silence but we also had random conversations.  We played every car game you know. We also bellowed out show tunes & 80s music and air-guitared to Billy Joel music.

Equally as good, we got to see some of the amazing sights of our country.  You witness the landscape changing along the way:
  • Mountain vistas on the horizon. 
  • Rolling hills that eventually flatten the further west into the Midwest you go, then start rolling again when we head back east.
  • The lucky lushness brought on by a summer of rain (as opposed to the brown drought-stricken news scenes of California).
  • Corn tassels blowing in the wind.
  • City skylines of state capitals like Indianapolis, Columbus, & Nashville.
  • Wind farms that would make Don Quixote proud.
With all those sights, there always comes emotions, memories, & new realizations.

It really reminds you how beautiful this country is...which of course circles us back to music:

There is so much day-to-day that we take for granted. Out of the ordinary experiences like all-day driving trips and videos (like the one above) help build perspective. That realization of how small we truly are on this planet makes it really valuable.

May you take time to open your eyes and really see all that is around you today!

[I've written about my road trip experience & associated landscape awe before.  Click here to see that blast from the past.]

Pictures from my camera in a LiPix Pro app picture collage; Video of "America, The Beautiful,"performed by the US Navy Band & Sea Changers from

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