Sunday, December 18, 2011
Into the Arms of America
"I was surprised, as always, by how easy the act of leaving was and how good it felt. The world was suddenly rich with possibility."
―- Jack Kerouac
"There's therapy in movement -- serenity in freefalling headlong into the unknown, particularly when what's known isn't so great. This is why, for a lot of people, the road is an anodyne. There's something indescribable about setting out with no particular destination in mind -- or with an eventual destination but no clear plan for how to get there -- and simply traveling. Going literally where the road takes you."
As pretentious as it seems to quote myself, I'm not sure I can come up with anything more profound than what I did the last time I made the decision to fling myself out into the heart of the country and eventually to its ragged edges. That's why I posted that second quote above: It was how I began my official announcement two years ago that let everyone know I was hitting the road for a while. While the last time around I had a goal but no real plan for getting there, this road trip will be slightly more disciplined; I know where I have to end up, when I have to be there and the basic paths I have to take to reach my destination. I'm going to Los Angeles. I need to be there by the middle of the holiday week between Christmas and New Year's at the latest. I'll be heading up through Georgia, across the 40 through Tennessee and Arkansas, and eventually along the Mother Road, Route 66, through Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, with a detour to the Grand Canyon and Vegas for Christmas Eve.
Unlike the last time I set out across the land, I'm not necessarily trying to find myself, heal any wounds or wander in search of, well, something. Something better. I'm simply traveling on my own -- something that nourishes my soul like little else.
So for the next week-and-a-half or so, DXM will be a bit of a road blog. I'm bringing my laptop and mobile broadband hookup, as well as my Galaxy Tab and Droid, so you can expect regular updates and pictures here, on Twitter and at Facebook as I move through the country; I'll be chronicling what I'm seeing, who I'm meeting, how many miles I'm clocking and, of course, what I'm listening to. The last time I did something like this, my ride was a roomy and comfortable Dodge 1500 pick-up; it served me well on the road. This time, things are a little different. I feel like I've found my footing recently: My mood's a little more sanguine and I've got a bit of fire back in my belly, in spite of the sadness I feel over not being with my daughter for Christmas for the first time in her young life, hence I'm unleashing my inner Kowalski. No, I unfortunately don't have access to a white '71 Challenger, but a modified 2010 Mini Cooper S will do just fine. It's lightning fast (thanks, Shark Injector), tight against the road, and it's an all-around blast to drive.
And beginning tomorrow morning, that's what I'm gonna do -- drive the hell out of it.
It's time to go.
Hope you all enjoy the ride.