Essay: A Road Well Taken

Jul 25, 2017

Lake Effect essayist Mark Siegrist is thinking about the ideal summer road trip. In fact, it's one he just took.

Sometimes hitting the open road is just good for the soul.

That might sound rather strange from a guy who hates driving in the city.

All that weaving, and speeding, and tailgating just wears me down.

But the open road is different.

Drivers seem less uptight.

More willing to give a little.

Except for the guy who cut me off at the Illinois tollbooth.

With a family reunion fast approaching it was time for a decision.

Destination, Clearwater Florida.

Should we travel by air, or take to the highway?

“How far is it again?”

I asked my wife, Liddie.

“13-hundred miles,” she replied with a AAA TripTik in hand.

She always does her research.

“We can drive that,” I replied with slight hesitation.

What’s the worst that can happen?

So with our bags all packed and food in the cooler, we started heading south.

A road well taken.

The kind of perspective you don’t get from a plane.

Through the Indiana wind farms, Kentucky bluegrass, Tennessee hills, and Georgia trees.

Finally, Clearwater Beach, and the glorious Gulf of Mexico.

We savored every second of the experience.

The natural beauty, and human connection with family, friends, and people in passing.

Fellow travelers have an interesting way of briefly connecting at gas pumps, rest-stops, and fast food oases.

If only neighbors could do more of the same.

As a baby boomer I think Dinah Shore must have understood all of that.

You remember the commercial lyrics.

See the USA in your Chevrolet.

Actually in my case, a Honda Civic.

The journey often is greater than the destination.

Lake Effect essayist Mark Siegrist is a freelance television producer in Milwaukee.