I took the 6,000 mile road trip (actually, more than 6600 miles in all). First time in decades I’ve driven from coast to coast. I made a few observations along the way.
1. This is a big country.
2. This is a windy country.
3. This country has lots of apparently empty space. Lots.
4. Although united under one flag, there appear to be two separate countries on either side of the Mississippi River.
5. Although this is a big country, it is entirely possible to traverse the continent without ever losing sight of another vehicle. That disturbs me.
6. The country is sadly homogenized, at least along the Interstate corridors. We are a nation of chains—chain restaurants, chain motels, chain stores and businesses. Mom and pop are franchisees.
7. Even so, it’s still possible to find gems among the tailings. You just have to work harder than you used to. (Thank you, Lonely Planet. )
8. Despite having a GPS device, and GPS capability on both smart phone and iPad, there’s nothing quite as useful as the venerable Rand McNally Road Atlas.
And a note in passing… I was looking at the map as we passed through Arkansas, and saw a town called Arkadelphia. Now Texarkana I could understand, being a city near the conjunction of Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana. But Arkadelphia? Then it hit me.
If Philadelphia is the City of Brotherly Love, then Arkadelphia must be the City of Cousinly Love.