Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Seeking Out Those Blue Highways

March 19, 2019
   For everything you gain, you will lose something. And for every thing you lose, you will gain something.

   That's it. That's all you need to know. Doesn't get much more concise than that.

   Speaking of which, we're approaching road trip season and I have a few destinations in mind this summer, including Seattle, Pasadena, Deadwood and Seligman, Arizona, where I'll be the Grand Marshall of the annual Route 66 Fun Run.

   In the loss column—things we've lost with all the innovations—is the wonderful world of detours and car trouble. Many, if not most, of the great memories of road trips are from those unplanned stops. Certainly, the best stories involve one, or both.

   Today, the cars are more sound and more comfortable and the freeways are faster and more efficient in terms of getting from place to place, but it sure is boring.

   Besides, I still enjoy being on backroads and discovering those little, out of the way places, on what used to be called Blue Highways. You know, on the old fold-out maps, the lines that weren't major thoroughfares were colored blue.

Road Trip Kids

   Those little tykes grew up to appreciate blue highways as much as their old man.

Bells Still Seeking The Big Bull 

   Even a road trip down to the Old Pueblo has its charms.

"I miss the old road trip and the way it could make you feel lost between here and the rest of your life. With a map you believed the world was large and the car was small and every possibility was open. With GPS you know when you will leave and when you will arrive and what will happen along the way. Or you believe you do, which is even worse."
—Rich Cohen, riffing on the 1982 classic book "Blue Highways"

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