The by-ways, highways, routes, lanes, and country roads of America reflect a regions culture;  offer up stories to the traveler that can not be found on the interstates. Sure if you need to zoom along from point A to point B, jump on the slab. You will notice that in America, we share an overarching culture, consumerism. If you want guarantees, take the Interstate.

Familiarity is guaranteed. Off the Interstate’s spine clings all the big box stores, fast food joints and commercial hotels where Pakistani clerks name Joey hand you registration cards. Sometimes these consumerist landmarks are a blessing, when all you want is what you already know;  especially after a 400, 11 hour, scooter ride. On the other roads, people will wave to you from their front porch.

Today, tucked away in my road journal I found this (unused??) sheet of directions. I cringed. Note how I highlighted every other line, to make visibility easier. My poor Richards version of a GPS, secured by a donated map clip. Needless to say, I had a lot of patience with this system. Then Chad gave me his GPS in Seattle, but with only 3,000 miles of the trip left, out of 22,000.

However, in retrospect, the perpetual excitement to discover our country, with it’s many geographical and cultural surprises, far outweighed the irritation of always scribbling (or printing) 34+ lines of directions–just to complete a 150 mile drive.

directions