ROAD TRIP

usa

It's a hundred and six miles to Chicago, we've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses. Elwood Blues

A friend recently posted a meme about meeting a Face Book friend in person, it reminded me of a fantasy I have had for about a year- a Face Book Road Trip. Now that I am retired I have been working on my Empty Nest List of things to do. I enjoy social media despite some of the annoying features, like trolls, and work to ‘friend’ people that are interesting and share many of my interests and values. My partner and I have been drawing up plans, buying maps, and figuring out the amazing GPS feature in our new vehicle to travel both this vast country but also other countries in the world. Modern technology will enable us to maintain contact and share our adventures with our family friends as we trek the world. Because of social media I now know of people from every continent, many of them are doing some pretty interesting stuff! Imagine if we could meet in person.

When I envision touring new places I do not think of being on a tour bus with a strictly adhered to itinerary, an hour at this cathedral, two hours at this museum and everybody back on the bus by 5. No. I want to check out the less visited spots, the places the locals go, where do the citizens of that city go for lunch, when they go for a hike- where do they go? That’s how I like to travel. I also like to be impetuous, like the time I was driving through Arizona and saw this billboard for the Biosphere. It was not on our list of things to do in Arizona but we detoured and were rewarded with a delightful and enriching journey off the beaten track. If you ever see this billboard- pull off and go visit this place. Amazing!

biosphere

My goal in leaving my own safe, sanctuary is to experience something that I cannot encounter at home. I want to eat what the natives eat and see what the locals see. This is where my desire to travel and my curiosity about the many people I have ‘met’ in social media would merge. So many possibilities of places to stop and people to connect with, here are just a few.

My North American journey would begin in a Northerly direction, heading to Alaska, in the summer of course. I would love to watch the whales, view the panoramic mountains and stand in the middle of the wild, wonderful wilderness of the untamed places of our Northern state. The experience would be enhanced by having my native Alaskan friend, Carol, who lives there to point out interesting sites and anecdotes. We have never met in real life but she seems like an interesting person and I hope we can have lunch one day- at her favorite restaurant, of course. Would it involve eating salmon? I hope so.

alaska

Before meeting Carol in Alaska I would travel through Washington and hopefully be able to meet up with the very busy activist, Jonathan, one of the few people I know who has proudly been arrested in the name of democracy. I would sit and listen to his adventure in DC during the recent Democracy Spring. After bidding him adieu head towards Sarah's place, the real life Wendy to her very own band of Lost Boys. She could probably use a break and a nice meal out. How funny to hear of their escapades from her in her own voice and be able to laugh and share the antics with her in person. I would buy her a big piece of chocolate cake as an award for ‘Mom of the Year’.

Next, I would head for Montana and ranch of Mark and Gayle, hopefully they would let me ride their horses and I could see for myself the scenery that they call a back yard, say ‘hi’ to their cows and convince them to go spend a day fishing with us. Fresh fish cooking on an open fire while conversing with new friends- delightful. As we say good bye we would set the GPS for Wisconsin, the home of fellow IFZ contributor Robert. I want to see that barn with the rusty ring, those skeletons in the car and that old building with the broken windows that he captured in his photograph. We could bring a bag of sandwiches and follow him as he scouts new sites. We promise to stay out of the way and be quiet.

thistle

Ohio would have to be one of our stops, after all that sitting and driving in a car we would need a little exercise; or how about some Salsa Dancing with another IFZ contributor, Michal? That would be fun. We will definitely take a video to show the folks back home.

Traveling and seeing places is more fun if you can live like a native. A trip across the US can’t be done without a stop in the nation’s capital DC. If we time it right we could be there in time for another activist friend, Jacqueline and her husband’s radio show and perhaps see them live. We will bring coffee and cookies! Popping in and out of states, messaging friends to meet with as we head down to Florida and the dynamic Sherri, passionate woman of science and especially science for woman, hopefully her lovely daughters would be there and we could discuss their latest discoveries. 

As much as we may not want to we would have to travel to through the south to Texas (just kidding, some of my best friends live in the south, I will just be sure to use the right bathroom and bring my birth certificate) for one of my long time ‘friends I’ve never seen’, Pam. We have so many shared sites in common, book club site, Alzheimer’s site, Face Book site, Good Reads site- we may have to spend more than one day with her! Ending our zig-zag circle trip around the country we would end our trip with a visit to my IFZ accomplice, Jose, hoping Curtis could join us so that I could shake the hand of these two remarkable men. The possibilities of places to meet in San Diego would be varied- I will leave it to Jose and Curtis to choose.

That would bring us back to home, our little cabin in the woods with memories, pictures and stories to write about for future articles.

cabin

(Certainly there is a risk of meeting strangers and we will endeavor to make sure our voyage is safe.)

Deborah Baron

Deborah Baron

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