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Bursts of Color - America the Beautiful

I'm wrapping up a cross-country road trip this week, driving with my son from the Bay Area to his fir
Bursts of Color - America the Beautiful
By Geoff Donaker • Issue #24 • View online
I’m wrapping up a cross-country road trip this week, driving with my son from the Bay Area to his first year of college in New York. It’s been an amazing adventure, with the full range of emotions you would imagine. There has also been lots of car time to think and observe the country beyond my usual bubble. 

Beautiful, Spacious Skies (Utah)
Beautiful, Spacious Skies (Utah)
Here are a few things about America that were reinforced for me mile after mile – obvious as they may all be:

  1. This country is big and mostly empty. We often drove hundreds of miles without passing more than a small town. Is urban flight going to be real and lasting? Don’t know, but there’s certainly plenty of space for it.
  2. America really is beautiful. I sometimes get snobby about California geography, but was reminded that there are breathtaking forests, deserts, mountains and lakes all across the country.
  3. People are basically good. We met friendly Americans at every stop from a wide range of places and political stripes. Refreshing reminder in a time of “us versus them” bombardment.
  4. The interstate highway system works quite well. It was also built in the 1950s. Hopefully we can master the political will to upgrade it someday.
  5. Trucks are a big deal. Wow there are a lot of truckers on the highways. Someday will our food and goods travel via self-driving trucks, drones or vacuum tube? I don’t know, but for the foreseeable future we’re very reliant on truckers.
  6. 2020 is a good time for a road trip. Crowds, traffic and prices are all much lighter than normal. And we found it pretty easy to keep social distance (see point #1).
Amber Waves of Grain (Iowa)
Amber Waves of Grain (Iowa)
Purple Mountain's Majesty (Colorado)
Purple Mountain's Majesty (Colorado)
Fruited Plain (Nebraska)
Fruited Plain (Nebraska)
From Sea to Shining Sea (well, actually Lake Michigan...)
From Sea to Shining Sea (well, actually Lake Michigan...)
Did you enjoy this issue?
Geoff Donaker

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