Across a Country

Across a Country

In 2008, I drove my 1995 BMW station wagon, packed with all my belongings, from San Diego to Boston.

What I didn’t discover until I reached Las Vegas, was that my ATM card had been left in a machine in California. I rushed to the closest branch and withdrew as much money as I could for the trip. I found Las Vegas to be stressful so I beat it out of there and headed into the desert. I was determined to be adventurous, so when I saw a sign for Red Rock Canyon, I quickly took a right onto the dirt road, dust billowing up behind me.  As the sun was setting, the rock in front of me glowed red from the sun.  I intended to camp there but the campground was deserted, except for a man in a suit and cowboy boots leaning against a limo smoking a cigar, so I thought better of it and left.

In the following days, driving through Nevada, I came to fully appreciate the beauty of the desert.  The openness, the coloration of the hill striations, the heat shimmering on the highway, the silence…  {watch: a little panoramic video}





Colorado was spectacular. Suddenly the desert gave way to mountains, evergreens and shining lakes. I had always felt I needed to be near a large body of water (the ocean or a Great Lake) but I found myself thinking “I could live here.” It felt like an oasis in the middle of a continent.

Somewhere in Kansas, my the radiator blew and a kind mechanic MacGyvered a hose connection to allow me to be on my way. He also graciously accepted half of the payment in check form, even though it was against policy. While I waited for the repair, I wandered along railroad tracks and around grain elevators.




Because I was broke, I slept that night restlessly in my car in a the parking lot of a rest stop, my little car lined up with semi trucks.  It was hot and heat lighting flashed around us.

On to Michigan where I stayed with my family and picked up my replacement ATM card.  Then through New York, the longest drive ever.  When I hit the Mass Pike tolls, I was home, and I listened to Mass Pike by the Get Up Kids in celebration.


December 30, 2013 2:06 pm

What an adventure! I love that second picture especially. I also loved Colorado when I rode through there… really amazing state.

December 30, 2013 2:12 pm

the second is my favorite too! it’s so grand. :)

Leave a Reply