Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Two weeks ago, Rob and I left for what we thought was a trip to the Grand Canyon. It has now morphed into a National Parks Tour of the West. We not only visited the famous wonder of America, but we've also trekked through Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, and Arches National Park. Aside from fabulous views at all five of these parks, we've collected memories that I know will last a lifetime.
Perhaps one of the more interesting features of an All American Road Trip is the spontaneity that accompanies it. Do what you want when you want, don't worry about the time, and take back roads you otherwise would have ignored. We've been fortunate to drive through some of the best American Scenic Bypasses, and I've seen more of the country in the past two weeks than my whole life.
I've found a love for America cultivating inside me. Before this trip, I would eagerly hop on a plane (providing I had the money) and travel all over the world, preferably Europe. And while I still desire to see these places, I've discovered how much of my homeland I have yet to explore. I've been enlightened to the travel possibilities that lay within this wonderful continent and country.
Growing up in the East/Midwest, I am used to seeing towns along every stretch of the highway. Discovering that the whole country is not like this is rather exciting. Driving through places like Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, Nevada and Utah show me that much of America is still wide open country. Tiny towns nestled in between huge stretches of freeway are a wonder that continues to boogle my mind.
I feel stories pouring out of every person and city we pass. Stories that are just waiting silently to be written and retold. This trip has gained me an invaluable perspective as a writer that will forever shape the way I approach writing. I've met characters of all walks of life in each place we come to, and although they may forget our short encounter, their presence will not be forgotten by me.