DRIVE-ABOUT to the LEFT COAST

Time To Move On:

It’s time to move on…Time to get going

What lies ahead I have no way of knowing

But under my feet, the grass is growing

Yes, it’s time to move on…Time to get going

Tom Petty (RIP)

 

Flash back to 1971, I had graduated from my New Hampshire school and ventured into playing professional football. When a knee injury ended this life direction. I collected my earnings and turned my car back to California. I moved very slowly…I had no vision for the future, and, despite being tired of my east coast existence, I was leaving almost everything (and everyone) I loved behind. I spent the next two months progressing slowly toward the Pacific Ocean. If I found something I liked, I lingered… Ten days each in Glacier National Park and Banff. I met people, and saw a few friends…But mostly, I preferred a solitary journey. Looking back, I realize that depression was my true travelling companion…Love lost and the end of school and athletics as I had known them.

And yet, it was one of the best times of my life…I never felt alone…How would that have been possible when the map takes you to the Canadian Rockies, the endless prairie and lakes of the Canadian heartland, the continental divide, the Fraser Canyon, and the craggy Pacific Ocean coastline ??? I began to think that if I could feel one with nature, I could feel one with myself. All these years later, I still like this philosophy.

I finally made it home when my money ran out…I think I had less than ten dollars in my pocket crossing the Marin County line.  My father had given me a gas credit card which I used liberally. After returning home, he told me of his fantasies of being on the road. He was stirred by gas receipts from Medicine Hat, Alberta, and Prince Rupert, B.C. He yearned to be free to wander, but had become tied down by business and family responsibilities. It was a side of my father he had never shared, and a glimpse I never forgot.

So I too was blessed with family, kids, and career…None of which I have ever felt sorry to have experienced. But somehow I knew that, come kid launchings and retirement, I would turn my car west once again and set out on another “drive-about.” I’m not stupid…I have a nicer car, a lot more money and resources, and an AAA emergency card in my wallet !!! Im going to stay in hotels rather than hostels. But most importantly, although I have never said it in quite this way, I have a wife who knows and accepts me, and has always given me the freedom to be ME. I also am not going into this drive totally alone…I have family to pick up in Denver and California, and friends to visit on the way.

I  leave tomorrow…and will be posting anything that seems interesting along the way. I feel young again…A young man’s recollections with an older man’s resources…The best of both worlds.

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