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An Alaskan road trip…redux

August 22, 2014

P1120021It was late in the day on Friday as I reached out and took the ticket from the tollbooth operator as I entered the Pennsylvania turnpike. I had left Alaska early Sunday morning and now almost 4,800 miles later I was within four hours of reaching my son’s home in Philadelphia. This meant that I had averaged about 870 miles a day since I began the journey. Not too shabby for this 51 year old to travel that many miles without an incident, but now as the destination approached the days of little rest started to weigh on me.

Only twice in the eight round trips, that I made, between Alaska and Pennsylvania did I ever encounter any problems. On that first trip I fell asleep while driving, those last few miles, and woke up just as I was about to drift to my demise under the trailer of a big rig. Then a few years later while driving to exhibit at an outdoor show in Denver I closed my eyes only to wake up driving down the side of an embankment on the interstate. Of course I over-corrected and spun across three lanes of highway only to come to rest when I plowed into a road sign.

That was then this is now and I am planning on a much shorter drive to Talkeetna for a visit with a fellow blogger. However the 18 years that have passed since I made those cross country trips have eroded whatever stamina I once had and now I am faced with the demands of an older more demanding body.

I have often reminisced about those ‘days of old’ when it seemed that life in general was better.

Those ‘days of old’ when it appeared:
that one third of the world’s population did not want to kill us
that our borders were much more secure
that our economy actually had a surplus
that it was a good thing to believe in morality and God
that we were proud to be Americans.

Is it just me or wouldn’t it be wonderful to have these ‘days of old’ once again?

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. August 22, 2014 10:01 pm

    That’s a long road trip! Very cool!

  2. Terry permalink
    August 23, 2014 1:55 am

    Never go backwards. And enjoy your road trip – I’m planning one in the next couple of months – the roads will probably be better than yours but I’m excited :-D

  3. August 23, 2014 4:43 am

    Hey Buddy – Yikes, those must’ve been some kind of wild trips!! I know I was pretty toasty after maybe eleven hours ‘in the saddle’ and maybe 600 miles. But then I had to follow a 26′ U-Haul rental van and on the best days about all we could managed was 70 mph. Like you I’m well past being able to undertake those ‘excesses of youth’ but I’m okay with this concept. I put in my time, mostly played by the rules and now I feel I’ve earned the right to kick back and be reflective and curmudgeonly if I so desire! But I also really don’t yearn for the past; I still feel I have some good times ahead of me. Sure, I’d like things to be less complicated and crazy but when it starts to get too much I can always just hide out in my little piece of Paradise. Have a safe trip down; I’ll forward the latest NWS forecast…

  4. Jon permalink
    August 24, 2014 4:02 pm

    It would truly be wonderful to have those good old days back again. I’ve often said if I won the lottery I’d buy an old car & a established house. I don’t have to have the next new whatever. I’d rather have the next old.

  5. August 28, 2014 1:33 am

    The road, well-travelled or less, has always held intrigue. My daughter muses about the lone sandal abreast the ditch or scuffed to the gravel’s edge and ponders the Big Question: What about the mate? I drive pell-mell, straight ahead, loathe to stop except to roll slowly to a standstill on the broken tarmac of a deserted filling station overgrown with weeds and grasshoppers. Evening is rest to a lullaby of crickets, a time to lay across the seat with one foot out the window and a bottle of warm creme soda fizzing on the floorboards. Dewey sunrise rolls open the road ahead of me and, after a quick walk-around, the adventure resumes, windows down and a diner up ahead. Any of those hiways left, I wonder…

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