Drive

I am a nomad by my very nature.

I hear the call of the open road; feel it in my bones. Traveling is like breathing to me, second nature. Sometimes I sit behind my desk at work and the walls begin to close in on me. It isn’t a bad job; in fact, it’s far too easy if you ask me. Yet, it gets to be too much, most days. It feels like I can’t breathe.

Men like me weren’t meant to be put in a cage. We long to be free.

We need to explore. To see what needs seeing. Do what needs doing. That’s all I’ve ever really wanted, to see the world. I guess it’s just the cowboy in me.

So on the weekends, I try to remind myself to drive.

There’s a lot out there. All around you. Things you pass every day, yet in your rush to and fro, your eyes wander by without a glance. Every day there is rose to which you know no scent. These things are out there, to find them, you need only drive.

Times like these, I miss Arizona.

I hated living there. The people simply did not agree with me. But the place.

Oh the place… there is a grandness and depth of beauty which is nearly unmatched among out borders. So much to explore. So much to do. Arizona is a paradise for nomads like me.

At least, when we’re on the road. I truly hated living there. But my travels made up for it.

On the weekends, I set off to explore.

Natural wonders.

History.

And just the road in general.

I would just get in my van and drive, getting to know Arizona in that intimate way that only gasoline, dirty roads and greasy fast food can teach you. I saw some of their national parks, the Grand Canyon, the Hoover Dam

I think mostly what I found was beauty.

But my goal was to find all that was secret and special about this place. I drove to every small town I could find. Winslow, Williams, Sedona

During this time, I had a friend.

Being a fellow outsider, Kristin occasionally came with me to explore this new world. It was on one such time that we set out to find Prescott, Arizona. (Pronounced press-cut by the locals.) The map seemed simple enough, so we took the scenic route through Sedona.

Sedona is this amazing little town that is in the heart of red rock country, and is dedicated to it’s Western roots. We pushed on further through town than we had previously gone, down desert roads and into the thick of the mountains. As we approached the entrance to the mountain passage, we found a little town named Jericho built into the first mountain. The entire town existed along the road on a 60 degree angle. As we began our ascent, my engine made sputtering sounds, unused to the altitude and angle. My van had never been pushed so far before. We barely made it to the top of the path. Jericho ended as the path renewed. The true entrance to out mountains pass sat between twin mountains, each with a letter marked in stones to label it. The letters were J and C. It did not help our morale to see that we were driving down a road marked be the initials of Jesus Christ.  Our trek took us down winding roads, up and down, left and right, back and forth.   Passing scenery so beautiful it defies description.  But after an hour and a half, we began to fear that we would never get off of the mountain.   It was another full hour before the path cleared and the range ended.   Like some bizarre Twilight Zone episode, at the base of the mountain we found a county fair.     We drove on, passing through Prescott Valley.

Later down the road, we finally arrived at our destination.    Prescott was a quaint little town in the middle of nowhere.  The kind of place where you get lost only to find yourself.     It had modern amenities.   Malls, video poker, Burger King.  But it retained it’s small town feel.   We found one of their historical landmarks and stopped to appreciate it’s history.

That’s the great thing about the road.  There’s so much to find and learn.   Every town has a secret history; crevices where they hide that which makes them special.   You need only drive to explore them.  Even in your own community.

I miss that.   If I had a million dollars, I would just drive and explore the world.

I want to be a nomad again.

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6 responses to this post.

  1. Wow. With all the beauty you discovered, I can’t say I’m surprised you miss it. Those pictures are amazing. -I hope you get your road back:)

    Reply

  2. Posted by geist0 on February 18, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    Yeah, there’s a lot more pictures, but I couldn’t include them all.

    I only wish I could afford to live like Kerouac. How did they do it back then?

    Reply

  3. Posted by Loree on February 18, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    Well, now you’ve got my roadtrip bone firing. I spent only a few days in Arizona and most of it was taken up with a conference (AND, it was July and bloody hot. Hey, we’re having a conference in July… where should we go? How about PHOENIX??). Did get one day to drive and got to Sedona and a bit beyond. It’s so different from Oregon, it completely enthralled me. Thanks for the reminder, Adam.

    Reply

  4. Posted by geist0 on February 18, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    Hot??? You call that hot? When you walk outside and your sunglasses develop condensation, that’s hot. When the fucking gnats and mosquitos outnumber the rain drops splattered against your windshield, that’s hot! When you’re walking around in March and your balls (or whatever) are sticking to your leg and your underwear is just a hot moist thong shoved up your ass, THAT’S HOT!

    Arizona is not hot. It’s paradise compared to here. And actually Northern Arizona is a completely different climate than Southern. It’s night and day.

    You’re welcome.

    I have a road bone too. It would like to come over and say hello.

    Reply

  5. Was it Jericho or Jerome? In any event, look at it this way — you really don’t have to live in the great Valley of Death down in the desert. You take a cut in salary to live in the Other Arizona, but lots of people find it worth it!

    Reply

  6. Posted by geist0 on February 19, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    It may have been Jerome. It was four years ago.

    Reply

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