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July 29, 2013

I’ve traversed this insignificant speck in the universe we know as the United States of America multiple times.  Everything from a three-hour jaunt to Seattle from Portland to a solo 22 hours straight from Minnesota to Idaho to a three-week circumnavigation of the country with my little brother.  I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that I wouldn’t be the person I am today without these roadtrips.  Without the  freedom. Without the moments of loneliness and despair. Without the peace of a freeway in the middle of the night. Without coming across a glowing baseball stadium lighting up the sky.  Without the ghosting hallucinations floating by after too many hours on the asphalt. Without pulling over on the side of a Nevada backroad to experience the desolation and darkness and being too afraid to get out of the car once I turned the headlights off.  WIthout the glowing eyes of a male bison appearing disembodied down the road and the steam billowing from his nose when he fully materialized.  Without coming around a curve to see the Grand Tetons for the first time.  Without the droning sound of tires.  Without getting lost in northern Idaho and driving over a mountain only to end up at a dead end of snow and wetlands of runoff blocking my way.  Without almost running out of gas at 3 am a hundred miles from nowhere.  Without getting caught in a blizzard in May.  Without the meditation that only long, straight stretches of highway can provide.  Without a thunderstorm racing alongside me while I remain dry as a bone.  Without the music.  Without the sun shining in my eyes. Sometimes I think I’ve only ever been my real self when there are miles behind me and miles left to go.

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