American Travelogue

The 4th of July weekend is winding down, today is Sunday and I hope you all had and are still having a great holiday weekend! Now that I am retired, I find that I love Mondays! Everything is back to normal time, the work world people are snugly ensconced in their cubicles and offices…Weekends are the same as weekdays when you are retired, except that there is way more traffic, more hustle and bustle… In fact, I rarely drive outside the city and county of San Francisco these days unless i am visiting my family over the traditional holidaze……

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I didn’t always used to be this way… I drove a truck for a party rental company for 20 years and have an intimate and particular knowledge of most of Northern California, the scenic beauty and vastly different life styles of the rich and famous..Mr. Robin Leach, eat your heart out!

I have also driven cross country 3 separate times, on my own in my car, and each time I was struck by the immensity, diversity and magnificence of my country, the land I love fiercely, America the beautiful! This country is so vast, maps don’t do it justice, and it literally takes days just to drive across it… To be more precise, I have never left the North American continent, although I have been to Canada twice and Mexico once, the trip to Mexico was a blog in itself!

But the natural wonders, the scenic vistas, the sheer beauty and majesty of America are truly breath taking, and I have always found the people in the states I crossed through to be totally friendly and curious about me, always willing to talk about themselves, and talk to me, a total stranger just passing through….

And just by doing so, touching their lives even in a peripheral way, to be able to exchange ideas, compare viewpoints, ask questions, pass the time of day, just meeting and greeting normal Americans living their lives is a worthwhile experience….

I am talking here about regular Americans…. They may be working in gas stations in Montana or restaurants and truck stops in Wyoming or motels in Colorado; these are the kind of people you meet driving cross country….Maybe they are a little envious of people passing by their homes, shopping in their stores, freely crossing state lines for no particular reason and escaping from the humdrum of their daily lives….

Cathy Layman  |  Times Photo xxxxxxxx: Admiral Gas Station cashier Storm Ainsely makes change for happy customers. Gas prices have been heading down, to the delight of motorists.  Regular gas is $2.01 at the Admiral gas station at 212 S. Euclid Ave. Shot Friday, November 7, 2008

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But I have always been struck at just how friendly, honest and open most Americans are, no matter where they live….We are a proud and diverse country, and travel is and always has been a great education…

I have to be more specific when I say I have driven cross country round trip three times, because I have never actually driven coast to coast…But I have driven from Chicago, Illinois where i was born and raised, to Seattle, Washington and back…

I have frequently visited the neighboring states of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana and Michigan, and I have also personally driven through all the states between Chicago and the West Coast, states like Iowa and Nebraska, all the great Midwestern states where I am from, and proud of it!…I am glad I am a natural born Mid Westerner, the bread basket of our beautiful country!

But I also like the Western states, the vast sprawling states like South Dakota and Montana and Idaho and Wyoming, where the empty plains stretch on and on and the sky presses down on you and you feel like you are in an inverted bowl of blueness whenever you look up….

Or the overwhelmingly, impossibly lush green, rain forests of southern Washington and all of Oregon, and of course I absolutely fell in love with California, so I have basically been in every Midwestern and West Coast state driving west…Coming back, I have also passed through the Great American South West, absolutely flat, linear states like Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Missouri…Wow! All that driving and that is only 20 states!

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I have never been east of Indiana, in fact I never even crossed the Ohio state line, never been to the East Coast or any of the states of the American South either…No particular reason why, and looking back on my travels, I realize that 20 states is less than half of our great country! One thing that strikes you, in fact the overwhelming impression you get when you drive cross country, is just how BIG, how vast and spacious America really is…This is a HUGE country!

I know there is always talk of overpopulation and crowding in the big cities, but you would never know it driving through the states I have been through… I remember driving through the Arizona and New Mexico deserts, rarely ever even seeing another car, in either direction for hours upon hours, driving 100 mph across absolutely flat straight highways, just to get to where you are going …..So when you have to slow down to 65 mph, you feel like you are crawling through a school zone!….It is all relative, I guess…

I remember the amazing sight of the tall corn growing in Iowa, towering over the landscape for miles and the sheer raw beauty of the Rocky Mountains, of driving at night in Wyoming and Montana with absolutely no street lighting of any kind, absolutely pitch black at night…. And even in the daytime, rarely even glimpsing houses, of seeing road signs for small town after small town, the splendid isolation and spaciousness of this country staggers the imagination….The West Coast cities of Seattle and San Francisco and Los Angeles all have their own unique charm and grace, stylish and elegant in their own individual ways, jewels perched on the edge of the western world…

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The huge deserts and sparsely populated states of the South West also have their own rugged attractions as well, and you will never know it or be able to appreciate any of it unless you have seen it with your own eyes, as I have had the good fortune to do….Of course, this was all in my youth, but I sincerely doubt there has been any fundamental changes in the breath taking vistas, the feeling of openness and freedom, the character of the people who live there, the beauty and greatness of this country, our country, America….I love you! Always have, always will!

We are the best country, despite our flaws, in the entire world, and i don’t feel like I have to travel to all these different countries around the world to validate my opinion…I already live HERE!…

4 thoughts on “American Travelogue

    1. Thank you klad-off for your kind comments on American Travelogue…Please DO continue reading,and tell your friends! i try to post a new blog every day….Sincerely, john whye

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  1. wonderful poiunts altogether, you simply received a new reader.
    What could you recommend about your publish that you jjust made a ffew days iin the past?
    Any positive?

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    1. Thank you lettiegiorza for your kind words about “American Travelogue”…I am looking forward to hearing more from you….I am using Word Press, but have received little feedback from them…. So I especially appreciate hearing from new readers like you….Sincerely, john whye

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