164915 [end vehicle mileage]

150366 [beginning vehicle mileage]


14,549 [ total number of miles put on my car this summer (beat that!)]

Elvis Lyrics

My trip home, in reverse

I left my home in Norfolk Virginia
California on my mind
I straddled that Greyhound
And rode on into Raleigh
And on across Caroline

We had motor trouble that turned into a struggle
Halfway across Alabam’
Well that hound broke down and left us all stranded
In downtown Birmingham

Right away I brought me a through train ticket
Ridin’ across Mississippi clean
And I was on that midnight flyer out of Birmingham
Smoking into New Orleans

Somebody help me get out of Louisiana
Just to help me get to Houston Town
There are people there who care a little about me
And they won’t let the poor boy down

Sure as your born they bought me a silk suit
Put luggage in my hand
And I woke up high over Albuquerque
On a jet to the promised land

Working on a T-bone steak a la carte
Flying over to the golden state
Ah when the pilot told us in thirteen minutes
He would set us at the terminal gate

Swing low chariot come down easy
Taxi to the terminal zone

Cut your engines and cool your wings
And let me make it to the telephone

Los Angeles give me Norfolk Virginia
Tidewater four ten o nine
Tell the folks back home this is the promised land calling
And the poor boy is on the line

…and then I drove 20 hours

The drive was broken up by a short nap is Roswell, but really this kind of sucked. Slowly but surely I had been moving west for days, but now it was crunch time and I needed to get moving. As I moved toward areas of greater population, the radio came back into my life to break up the doldrums of the desert landscape. I thought it would be nice to listen to some country music in Texas, and though I hate popular country, maybe more local, classic country would be ok. But alas despite my best efforts to be open minded, I was beginning to fall asleep. Last year comedian/actor/rapper Donald Glover did a show at William and Mary and in part of his routine he recounts attending a Kanye West concert in Texas, in which the majority-white crowd communally shouts the n-word while singing his latest single. So, in true form I listened to My Dark Twisted Fantasy for a very long time.

It’s the journey, not the destination

You see things vacationing on a motorcycle in a way that is completely different from any other. In a car you’re always in a compartment, and because you’re used to it you don’t realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV. You’re a passive observer and it is all moving by you boringly in a frame.

Since reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, I have become acutely aware of just being a passive observer on the road, of simply just getting to the next destination instead of considering the route, the drive, and the journey as part of the adventure. Mostly, this involves rolling down the windows and putting back the sunroof. Sometimes it’s taking the back (though certainly not dirt) roads.