The Road Scholar – Day 12

Posted: 12 January 2011 in Travel
Tags: ,

So there’s this guy… ok, perhaps not. But this day was about as interesting as live senate discussions on MSNBC (well, maybe not THAT boring). Two good things that did come out of today were A) I was able to watch a little snow (not as much, nor as heavy, as I would have liked), and, B) which is actually the most important… I GOT STARBUCKS!!

In the years I’ve been driving, I have acquired 3 essential things that assist in the passing of time (and miles) on the road. Neither of which would be a c.b. radio as they tend to add to the already onerous monotony. Though at times they can be useful, but not enough to validate the need to have one. To offer more detail, I submit this: should I be interested in the sharing of hunting/fishing stories, bad experiences at a shipper or receiver, tall tales of “super trucker” adventures, or the bemoaning of one’s “ole lady,” then I will (though I have absolutely NO INTEREST in said narratives) sit in just about any truck stop across the country, rather than listen to such discourse on a c.b. But I digress… Those essential items I mentioned are (and in no specific order) – a satellite radio, an iPod, and an iPhone… each having their own specific purpose, and neither repetitive of another. And believe me – they come in handy and used with frequency. Today’s travels were no exception.

Starting from Robards, KY at 0830, my day is done here in Lowell, AR, to which I arrived at 1915: a total of 531 miles, though I could have made better time had 140 of those miles been on interstate instead of state or U.S. highways – but I’m sure such mundane matters are of little interest to you, my dear readers. Here in Lowell, the temperature is 13°, and with the wind, it “feels like” 3° (according to The Weather Channel app). This is the weather with which I enjoy the most, though my wonderful wife of 18 years (and how she puts up with me STILL remains one of life’s greatest mysteries) would adamantly disagree, as she prefers the climates more befitting a Komodo Dragon. Though she will agree that this is perfect weather when I’m home, since it gives us ample “cuddle time.”

This is a night that would be best enjoyed if I were in Arizona, New Mexico, or in the Mojave region in southern California. By that, I simply mean in those areas there would be plenty of places to park in isolation – away from the traffic and cacophony of the cities. Places where you can actually see the stars in the sky, and enjoy a darkened expanse, both above and around you. Places where, if I turn the truck off, I can actually hear a gentle wind singing, through the desert brush, its song of freedom and tranquility. A song that the desert wildlife will join in with their own chorus of a language heard, and understood, by all within range. The mystical verse of field mice, the gentle harmony offered by hawks, even the echoing refrain being offered in the sweet timbre of the coyotes. Occasionally a subtle percussion is brought in by the tumbleweed.

These are the things I’ve learned to listen for, things that The Lord, my G-d has taught me. But the trick is… you can’t just HEAR it, you have to LISTEN to it. They are out there.

In the distance, as I close my eyes, I can hear the coyotes repeating their parts…

… can YOU hear it?

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