Reflections & Other Things

Goodnight

The man most associated with Palo Duro canyon, Charles Goodnight, is a legendary figure in the Texas panhandle. Born in 1836, in Macoupin County, Illinois, Goodnight moved to Texas with his mother and stepfather when he was only ten years old. By age 20 he was working as a cowboy on the northwest Texas frontier, [...]


Texas, an Unlikely Surprise…

Texas, an Unlikely Surprise…

We knew Texas was different when we drove across the border. We couldn’t exactly say why, or even what was different. But something definitely was.
It’s true that we had now crossed the conceptual line from “midwest” to “west,” which was evident by the changing landscape. But what we felt was something else. It was something [...]


Texas Cowboys and Cattle Drives

Texas Cowboys and Cattle Drives

When the civil war ended, the price of beef was so low that it wasn’t worth the cost of getting cattle to market in the east. Even just rounding up the cattle for branding was expensive, so livestock was left to roam freely and herds multiplied, with growing numbers of unbranded animals known as “mavericks.”
Once [...]


The Outlaw as American Folk Hero

The Outlaw as American Folk Hero

Driving along Route 66 we often seem to come upon places that boast of association with one or another infamous American outlaw. Stories about Jesse James or Bonnie and Clyde get told and re-told, and it makes one wonder why so many of the folk heroes out here were outlaws.
Americans love the “ordinary guy” who [...]


Kansas Cow Towns

Kansas Cow Towns

Random gunfire, loud saloons and the notoriety of being the “wildest” town in the West once characterized a series of Kansas “cow towns” including Baxter Springs on Route 66. These cow towns were at the northern end of trails that cowboys used to drive herds of Texas longhorn cattle to the railroad depots for shipment [...]


A “Grapes of Wrath” Moment…

A "Grapes of Wrath" Moment...

For some bizarre reason, camping at Bennett Spring State Park in Missouri reminded me of something from “Grapes of Wrath.” There isn’t really any logical connection. Bennett Spring is a nice modern comfortable state park, with camping, fishing, and lots of conveniences, certainly nothing like what dustbowl migrants experienced, even with the greatest stretch of [...]


Freedom’s Road

Freedom's Road

Route 66 is freedom’s road. And we are truly free out here, cruising down America’s highway through a country as vast as infinity. We are unplugged and untracked and unlocated. No one can “follow us” as we stopped “updating” when we left Chicago. The only tweets now are coming from the song-birds.
For six weeks [...]


Fragments from the Road to Chicago

Fragments from the Road to Chicago

Two days on the road so far, and we’ve already crossed several states — from NY to Chicago. Pennsylvania seemed endless yesterday. Luckily we were well rewarded in the evening. Our campsite was very beautiful, on the banks of the Cuyahoga River, not far from a cascading waterfall. Freshly cut, like a crop circle, [...]


Art on wheels for a road trip…

Art on wheels for a road trip...

There are a number of iconic American vehicles often associated with the “road trip” in the popular mind. Modern aerodynamically-influenced art on wheels, these “classics” were an expression of the optimism that characterized the 20th century American spirit. The freedom of the road. The freedom to become whatever you want to be. The American Dream. [...]


A White Bread Town

A White Bread Town

When we got to the Cuyahoga Valley we realized we had no bread. Not a big deal, right? We could just pick some up at a store before we got to the park. Who knew we were embarking on a quest for the impossible!
Driving to the center of the town, we passed a few lone [...]


Ready, Set, Go!

Ready, Set, Go!

A few days before departure I finally started to get a bit “excited” about the trip. I know that sounds strange, as we had been planning for months! But maybe because we HAD been planning for months, “working on the trip plans” became almost “routine,” and I didn’t allow myself the luxury of getting really [...]


Under the Hood

Under the Hood

With freedom comes responsibility… And I have the great responsibility of getting us all there and back again safely. Which is exactly what brought me to the Jeep dealership the other day.
We need to make sure our vehicle can withstand the grueling workout it is going to get. Our greatest concern is the extreme conditions [...]


Hitting the road July 9th…

Hitting the road July 9th...

Rediscovering America (and so much more)… Six weeks. One Jeep. And three ordinary people—on the lookout for extraordinary adventure. From coast-to-coast across the whole big country. Route 66. The heartland. America the beautiful and all that. Seeing the land with new eyes. Hearing the stories first-hand. Finding the true meaning of the word Freedom. Discovering an idea. Modern nomads exploring the American Dream.


Some friends, a Jeep, and a dream…

Some friends, a Jeep, and a dream...

It started out simple enough — the old “wouldn’t it be fun to…” kind of  idle chat between two friends on a lazy summer afternoon.
“Wouldn’t it be fun to take the Jeep and drive Route 66 to California…”
Between us, Niki and I had done an awful lot of traveling over the years. And even after [...]


The challenge of organization…

So the trip is about 9 months off. Why are we starting to plan now?
Well, actually, the challenge is going to be how to balance proper planning with such a long long wait before departure.
Of course, there are those people who would just take the keys and get in the jeep and drive… But they [...]


… doucement doucement

Quel trio! Silly Squirrel, Blue Coyote et moi, Cactus Killer!
Heureusement qu’il y a le Coyote Bleu qui sait s’organiser. Silly Squirrel et moi on a encore des progres a faire. Mais le Coyote Bleu est patient et toujours d’acoord pour nous montrer le droit chemin!
Alors quand on partira sur la Grande Route il faudra qu’on [...]


Comment attendre ?

Depuis le temps que je rêve de ce voyage ? VOYAGE …
Mais maintenant il est déjà un peu là, en tant que projet bien sûr, mais le rêve se réalise déjà un peu. Prendre la route, c’est se retrouver Voyeur, Voyageur… C’est si bon.
On va regarder autour de soi, on va sentir autour de soi [...]