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On May 26, 2007, I'm going to begin a drive around the United States. I'm starting from New York City, where I live, and plan to take a northern route going west, and a southern route coming back east.
This trip is one I've wanted to take since I read William Least-Heat Moon's incredible book, "BLUE HIGHWAYS" in 1983. He defined 'blue highways' as those on the typical US road maps in 1983 that were colored blue. In other words, no superhighways, no expressways, no tollways. Just the state and county roads that go from one small town to another. He had thousands of happy accidents and adventures during his odyssey.
I was inspired by and plan to follow his example. I want to see America on the ground, talk to as many people as I can in small and large places across the U.S. Many will have interesting stories to tell; some won't. But there's a fabric in America that's woven by the lives and experiences and circumstances of people living here. That's the fabric that I want to see and feel.
My route will take me from the Big Apple through western New York State, the northwest corner of Pennsylvania, into Ohio, Indiana and up into Michigan. I'll cross from the Upper Peninsula of Michagan (Soo St. Marie) into Wisconsin, then across Minnesota and South Dakota and up into North Dakota. From North Dakota, I will drive to Red Lodge, Montana, where my boarding school roommate will celebrate his fiftieth wedding anniversary with his devoted wife. After two and a half days of doing whatever one does in Montana, I'll drive into Idaho, Washington (from whence the Associate Pastor of my Presbyterian church comes, and she has recommended many not-to-be-missed places).
I'll hang a left outside Seattle and head south into Oregon, then California. Taking the fabulous coast road from San Francisco, I'll go east near Santa Barbara, CA, and head down to Arizona, across into New Mexico, throughthroughthrough Texas, up into Arkansas, across the Mississippi into Tennessee, up to Kentucky (where I was raised), across to Virginia, up to Pennsylvania, crossing into New Jersey and then home to New York City.
I plan to spend two and a half months on this trip-of-a-lifetime. I will visit many, many friends in various states and towns as I tootle along. Some night, I'll sleep in my vehicle. Other nights, I'll probably treat myself to a motel or guest house.
I'll be joined by friends for various segments of the trip, but mostly I'll be alone. My beautiful wife elects not to go, since automobile trips of more than three hours are torturous for her.
I will take two cameras, a videocamera and a laptop computer with me. I hope to upload my daily adventures to this blog, along with photographs and videos, if I can figure out how to do it.
What about me? And why this trip at this time?
I'm 71. My health, strength and energy are good. I hope they will continue to be so, but you never know. So I'm taking this drive now -- while I can, while my enthusiasm is high, and while this country is experiencing a period unlike any its history.


Reading almost everything, writing short fiction, movie dramas, musical & dramatic plays, vocal & instrumental jazz, swing and the American Songbook, hiking, skiing, golf with tolerant friends, watching baseball, church activities, teaching, and interviewing.