End of Road trip (part 3)
“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls. “
I ended the last part of this tale by leaving Seligman, part 3 will be a backward version of the front two parts. Think of it as a formal, structured telling, like some villanelle with funky tercets that are placed out of context and instead in time, or a Looney Toon projected on a womb.
It was still early afternoon when I left Seligman, and I thought again about ending this story where it seemed to end, but here we are.
Instead of heading back to Kingman the way I came -- on the cop infested 2-lane road that has become the dead dream shopping cart of the old route 66, I jumped onto Interstate 40 – one of the very last sections of the interstate system to be completed, excepting Hawaii. I think it took so long because it was so hard to do, and the fact that it’s in the middle of Arizona, a place where it’s easy not to care, and what does the Hawaii interstate connect to?
I first drove this section with my dad in the long ago – it was late night and we listened to the royal wedding (Charles and Diana) live on the radio as we drove. The road itself is pretty straightforward, with the occasional jaw dropping bit that tick and tock inside your head-- that hard-shell reminder bell that's deep inside of you -- and a loud shout out to the industrial might of group action by large men trying to make a buck off the government teat in the hot ass middle of nowhere-- The stuff and drive that can start a world war or build a dam-- all one hourly bucket at a time, both in the coming and the going, (but the going doesn’t include money to clean up when the party ends and the piles need re-piling.)
I made it to Kingman, got off at the first exit and looked for a motel for the night. After a bit, I got back on the road and headed down the road to Needles. In Needles, I got off the road and looked for a motel for the night. After a bit, I got back on the road and headed for Barstow. It was dark now, when I called Mary, I told her I didn’t know how to stop anymore and that I might show up at the house at 4 AM, and that I might bumble around when I got there so not to worry. She seemed not concerned, not even the one little bit -- she’s been desensitized to my both my charms and babble.
In Barstow, I found a motel next to a fast food place and stopped for the night. I walked over to the next-door Carl’s Jr. and then walked backed to the room and ate some stuff. I was asleep an hour later. I didn’t see much of the Barstow night life, but I did sleep well. That may be connected.
I got up early and found a Starbucks next door to the Carl’s Jr., and then found the road out of town. Barstow used to be a whole town that took real time to weave through – lots of post WW 2 buildings and motels of different colors but only one style. Now Barstow was a stop – three buildings and an on ramp. I miss the stop lights in the blackness and quiet, just as I miss the epic floods that shaped the weirdly bulky bridges over dirt that seemed to jut out from every twist and turn on the back way out of town.
Last time I was here I tried to take the back way and found it just ended fairly abruptly with little warning. So, on-off, that’s life, who’s to say if it’s a cautionary tale or an abbreviated gas station road map.
I drove and drove, until I ended up where I started, Harris Ranch. I stopped and had breakfast, the same thing I had eaten the day before, and got gas. Two hours later, I was home in my sweat pants watching repeat TV shows mindlessly.
My trip consisted of 1600 miles, 3 meals, some snacks, and more alone time than I, or any human, really needs. I didn’t find what I think I had lost, or even identify what it was. I didn’t uncover any mystery that seems to be solvable by the scientific method. The only thing I proved is that I can drive for two days without being hospitalized. Don’t think I won’t bring this up at the DMV next week.