“When this body fails me, spread my ashes across the interstates of America. That’s the only place I’ve ever felt at home.”
Photo: James Dean
Over the last few years I’ve spent countless hours traveling around the midwest. I am blessed to be able to do what I do for a living. Hours under the Nebraska night sky and days along the Mississippi River keep teaching me one thing: I’m small. I love feeling insignificant. It’s seems easier to drink in surroundings when you barely feel like you exist.
Growing up, my dad was a school teacher. Summertime generally meant a lot of farm work. Fence building, plowing the garden, rounding up cattle, repairing out buildings, and bailing hay. Throughout the school year, dad took on extra responsibilities at school so that we could take a family vacation. He stayed late and went in early ten months of the year so we could travel for one week. I’m forever grateful for his sacrifices to enable my early adventures around the United States. At age five I saw the Black Hills for the first time. Then we took a trip to Kentucky. I stood on the sacred ground at Gettysburg before I was in high school and at ten I stood inside a Redwood tree. The events and locations we visited were so big in my mind. So important. Incredibly breathe taking. That hasn’t ever gone away. Hell, I’m still fascinated with rest areas on the interstate, each one their own little oasis with a unique personality.
I don’t see my career path changing anytime soon. I plan to keep driving and feeling as small as possible.