Learning To Drive
I’ve been road tripping since I was a toddler (see Combing Through My Memories from April 2013) and before I perfected my craft, I sometimes just checked locations off a list rather than experience them, even briefly. Understand that it is not a measure of time, but a measure of depth. For example, one of my most favorite travel memories happened by accident in the corner of barren Nevada (see The Idiot Tree from December 2011) and I only stayed a few minutes, but the impact remains with me even today. Stopping, snapping a few pictures, then buckling up and continuing on sometimes happens because of time restraints, but the older I get, the more I pay attention to the details. Maybe my blog inspires me to be a better observer.
In the summer of 1992, I christened myself as a Mother Who Travels when I took my son on a road trip from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, through Ontario, and down the coast to Florida (see The Long Road To Florida from October 2022), plus a return trip along a more interior route. Son Number One and I made the journey in a car we purchased only weeks before and even though in hindsight I considered myself a wanderlust novice, I possessed considerably more navigating skills than piloting skills as I never owned a standard transmission until I purchased Epicboy. Nevertheless, as with many of my life experiences (see Breaking In from March 2022), I learned as I traveled along.
Learning To Learn
Between our visit to Newport News and Cape Hatteras (see Ocracoke Nachos from February 2013), we stop at the Wright Brothers National Memorial at Kill Devil Hills. I suppose I already glean enough travel know-how that in the pre-Internet world, I know which route I need to take to explore the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and that I need ferry reservations back to the mainland to continue our excursion southward. We arrive at Kittyhawk in the morning and enjoy the site, even if the outing looks more like a combination of a photo op and a selfie with my son and me (also pre-digital camera and camera phone). We walk outside, we visit the obelisk, and we imagine what the scene must have looked like almost ninety years earlier. Well, I imagine. Son Number One runs around in the sunshine.
In hindsight, this may be one of those sites where I didn’t know enough to make the best use of the location (see Crossing The Battlefield from June 2021). It’s unrealistic, however, to blame my lack of knowledge on the fact that the world has yet to receive its wide web since I know enough to get myself here. Sure, I have been traveling America’s byways for nearly two decades at this point, even if only in the past few years as the mistress of my own destiny. Yet I have thousands of miles charted and criss-crossed from the American southwest to the Atlantic coast. In the two-plus decades since stopping on my way to the ferry, I’ve taken advantage of Mr. and Mr. Wright’s invention, in addition to this and many other vehicles I will own (see Delano from January 2020), and I have learned how to appreciate every stop wherever they take me.