Thursday, February 25, 2010

Zen and the Art of Road Trips

On the Road, Again

"Plans are deliberately indefinite, more to travel than to arrive anywhere. We are just vacationing. Secondary roads are preferred. Paved county roads are the best, state highways are next. Freeways are the worst. We want to make good time, but for us now this is measured with emphasis on "good" rather than "time" and when you make that shift in emphasis the whole approach changes. Twisting hilly roads are long in terms of seconds but are much more enjoyable on a cycle where you bank into turns and don't get swung from side to side in any compartment. Roads with little traffic are more enjoyable, as well as safer. Roads free of drive-ins and billboards are better, roads where groves and meadows and orchards and lawns come almost to the shoulder, where kids wave to you when you ride by, where people look from their porches to see who it is, where when you stop to ask directions or information the answer tends to be longer than you want rather than short, where people ask where you're from and how long you've been riding.It was some years ago that my wife and I and our friends first began to catch on to these roads. We took them once in a while for variety or for a shortcut to another main highway, and each time the scenery was grand and we left the road with a feeling of relaxation and enjoyment. We did this time after time before realizing what should have been obvious: these roads are truly different from the main ones.

-- RP

(borrowed from Robert M. Pirsig's great big book)


If you've read the book, you'll know it's a complicated beast, to say the least.

The photo posted above is of Mr. Pirsig and his son, early on in their trip. (Which they took way back in 1968...)

I just felt like setting out these introductory words to celebrate the coming of Spring and the beginning of Road Trip season -- more on all that, and lots more travel advice and discussion, in soon-to-come posts!

Happy Trails,




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