Sunday, February 24, 2013

Poaching Notes From The Road Gurus

February 24, 2013
   Quite cool out today. I've had a fire in my studio stove all day. Snuggled in and went through my clip file for the past year and culled out road notes I want to steal, I mean poach, I mean BE INSPIRED by:

"My family took trips for two reasons only: to attend Sanctified Brethren Bible conferences for several days of preaching and Bible study or to visit relatives who we actually liked, so my memories of travel are tied up with the Book of Deuteronomy and the imminence of the second coming, or feeding Aunt Bessie's chickens."
—Garrison Keillor

Quotes from New York Times road feature, "Drive, They Said"

"In the best rock songs, which are also by no coincidence the best driving songs, there's a moment when all the gears come into play—a pause just before the chorus when everything in the universe seems, for the briefest of moments, to expand and your scalp tingles and lifts a millimeter toward infinity."
—Kirk Johnson

 "itchin' for a run-in, head out on the highway. . ."

"This stretch of road, barren and pure, reminds us always: This is why we drive."
—Sam Sifton

"A desert landscape is defined as much by absence as anything."
—A.G. Sulzberger

When Your Guru Calls Shotgun
By Noa Jones

The author drives a guru she calls Rinpoche (RIM-po-shay which means rabbi or reverend) from Seattle to New York City. They drive through Washington state, then Idaho towards her hometown of Boulder, Colorado. As they drive through Idaho he says, "America has nothing to worry about. So much natural beauty." She stops in Orofino because she thinks he would enjoy the Nez Perce Indian Reservation but she can't find any members of the tribe. They move on, going through Yellowstone Park. "It's like Tibet," he says calmly. Their next stop is Thermopolis, Wyoming which is a disappointment. They check into a hotel "seeped in stinky sulfuric fumes, right down to the sheets." They go down to the pool and as they sit in their bathing suits they hear guests in the pool, talking politics—red state, blue state stuff. She is slightly embarrassed at their red neck ways because she wants to impress her guru and they are so provincial. They go on to Boulder where it gets better for her. They attend an art opening in Denver. Then on to Chicago. She says, "The calm that settled over us deepened." and "All trips have a low point, and I believe ours took place trying to escape Toledo, Ohio." Their GPS system led them to an inner city cafe that was closed, it started to rain very hard and they ended up having mediocre Chinese food on plastic plates. Much later, when she successfully drops him off in New York, she is relieved. Then this:

"Later, when I asked Rinpoche what the highlight of the trip was, he said, "Listening to those people talk in the pool."

Ah, Grasshopper, there is road wisdom in this story, no?

"The West was a mythical land to an American boy back then, and as you rode through Montana, you could visualize Roy and Gene and John Wayne galloping along in defense of women and children and civilization."
—Garrison Keillor