"Washington is not a place to live in. The rents are high, the food is bad, the dust is disgusting, and the morals are deplorable. Go West, young man, go West and grow up with the country."
First, I don't live in Washington. Second, I’m not a young man. Third, I wasn’t around a century and a half ago when Mr. Greeley offered this advice to able-bodied men, which, by the way, is another thing I'm not.
However, even after all this time, one thing Greeley said about Washington still rings true: the morals are deplorable. And the rents are probably still high, as well.
But I digress. In just a few days, my wife, our dog, and I are, indeed, heeding Mr. Greeley’s suggestion and are heading west. We sold our home in Worcester, MA, where we’ve lived for the past decade and a half, and are in the final throes of packing, boxing, shipping, storing, giving away and/or selling just about everything we own east of San Francisco.
We are in the home stretch as we prepare to embark upon our cross-country drive to San Francisco to the condo we bought three years ago. And yet, as I look around our Worcester home, the work yet remaining before we leave on our journey seems almost overwhelming.
Once we hit the road, though, we will be taking our time, anticipating a two-week journey across America with stops along the way to experience all that this country has to offer. This will include visits to national and state parks, as well as any dog parks we can find on the highways and byways.
This two-week journey with my wife and dog isn't my first such adventure. The three of us went on a similar road trip just last September. We followed a route that took us through New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon before we finally arrived in the Golden State.
And just this past spring, my wife took the eastbound drive from San Francisco to Worcester with Shadow. Since I had flown to Worcester a month earlier, their cross-country trip was with just the two of them. They took the mid-country route through Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, and the exciting and scenic states of Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut.
They were surprised by a blizzard that literally shut down the interstate highway through large sections of southeast Wyoming and had to make some last-minute route adjustments. Seriously, whodda thought there would be a friggin' blizzard along their route in the middle of April?
But this trip will be with the three of us and this time we are taking a more southerly route through Virginia into North Carolina, Tennessee, Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, Utah, and Nevada before alighting in California. Different sites; different sights.
I did learn a couple of important lessons during our last two-week road trip. First, missing out on my daily doses of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report caused me to lose serious touch with what was going on in the world. Thus, the topics for my blog posts were pretty much narrowed down to (1) what part of the country we were passing through or (2) the “exciting” activities that the three of us were experiencing.
Second, it's not always feasible to post while on a road trip like this. So even if something interesting or humorous or otherwise "blogworthy" does occur, I may not be able to write about it until we're back in San Francisco.
And so, my friends, until my wife, our dog, and I arrive safe and secure in San Francisco around three weeks from now, I'm afraid you may just have to seek your wit, wisdom, and other nonsense elsewhere. But never fear. When it comes to this blog, as Arnold has recited on many occasions...