I have driven so many miles and on more roads in the lower forty-eight states in my fifty- five years entertaining, I have enjoyed seeing the sights in this country, the United States of America, which I am so proud of. I have stayed in; hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, YMCA’s, people’s homes, and in my van, I have met so many wonderful people along the way. I have eaten quite well in; diners, restaurants, at banquets, road side stands, turnpike all night standards, Bar B Q’s, picnics, occasionally room service, and alongside the road. I have tried local favorites and “the best home cookin’ in town.”
Often I traveled with others that I was working with and made some lifelong friendships, more often I have traveled alone singing to the radio or the pre recorded music player in the vehicle (this went from 8-tracks, cassettes, CD’s, and on a few occasions a transistor radio until I could replace a broken antennae) and there was always the handy CB radio, “Breaker – breaker 19.” I have been stuck in traffic jams for long periods of time and often, when traveling late at night, I have been alone on some very long lonesome roads. I found so often that the old adage “the shortest distance between two points is always under construction” is very true. I have driven in every kind of weather, beautiful, hot sunny days (in the beginning of my travels my cars had no air conditioning, only windows and the life saving vent windows), rain light drizzle to heavy downpours that forced drivers off the road, fog that often had the same affect, snow and ice, how did we describe hail before the game of golf? Yes I have traveled extensively and I regret not a minute or mile of it.
Today’s trips are no longer long drives, but I still enjoy stopping to eat in new places, seeing the beauty of this country from behind the wheel and on occasion pulling off the road to get a better view (I even have a camera with me now) but I must admit that there is one aspect of driving that I have never enjoyed, litter! I am so saddened by the man made garbage thrown at our roadsides, from Styrofoam cups to furniture. Have you enjoyed the miles and miles of flowers the government plants alongside our roadways, how about the birds that fly from bush to bush singing their songs, the deer that silently enjoy the grasses, and the smaller critters, groundhogs, rabbits, raccoons, possum, occasionally skunks or foxes. What a shame these precious views of beauty are trashed, litter (ally) by those who have no respect. What can we do? No, in many states we are not able to put incarcerated, non violent offenders to work cleaning the roadsides that would embarrass and degrade them. So instead civic minded citizens adopt a section or road and collect the debris, donning orange vests, armed with rakes, brooms, shovels, grabbers, and bags they remove it and pile it up for special trucks to pick it up and haul it to our already overcrowded landfills. I seriously doubt that any of this gets recycled.
Oh but we will continue to talk about going green, air, water, and soil pollution, and of course global warming, what about local destruction of this land that I love, that our wildlife calls home. Shut down the pipelines, stop drilling, go electric, solar, windmills, nuclear power. Maybe in another hundred years we will make a real difference for the better. What a shame we make so much to do about these controversial efforts when one great step would be so easy and cost us nothing. STOP THROWING YOUR GARBAGE OUT ON OUR ROADWAYS!
My wife and I are taking our first vacation since the pandemic, I will have the car washed, I will pack the car, Ginny will map out our route and itinerary, our favorite CD’s will be in the glove box, travel snacks will be packed, and our litter bag will be used.