You might be wondering, did I miss Part I and II? No, I am starting at the end and working my way back in my three part series of my first solo 24oo mile road trip, ever.
I just got back this afternoon after leaving on this journey 8 days ago. The mission: get to Charlottesville, Virginia and grade exams for a week. I was really looking forward to this trip for several reasons. One of them is simply, I cannot remember the last time I could just throw some clothes in the car and take off on a long trip. On airplane trips, you have to find the right size bag and then somehow get all the clothes you will need into the bag, essentially trash compacting it in. I actually packed three bags of clothes for this trip, take that Delta!
When planning this road trip, I mapped out the longest of the suggested options and took that one. I called it “the road slowly traveled” as I did about half the outbound trip on highways and county roads rather than the interstates. This allowed me to drive through many small towns in Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia and Virginia. I saw the largest frying pan in Iowa and real throwback mountain men in West Virginia, the later I will write about in Part I. On the way back, I took the “road usually traveled”, but tacked on about 20 extra miles to stay overnight at Purdue where I attended to receive my masters degree 34 years ago.
The picture above is the “grad student dorm” I lived in during my time at Purdue. I spent about 1.5 hours walking around campus and found it to be a highly reflective time. Since I just retired 6 months ago, I thought about what I was thinking when I was at Purdue 34 years ago. I realized that I had no idea what I would do, where I would live, who I would marry, what my kids would be like, and what would happen in the life that followed and it was kind of a weird feeling, I walked around campus in a daze trying to connect the present with my thoughts of over three decades ago as a I retraced some steps from that time.
I had no earth shattering revelations from my walkabout, but I did have a good feeling about my time here and the steps that led to where I am at today. And those thoughts survived the 550 miles from Purdue to Roseville, of which at least 400 miles was under road construction. Who says America is not rebuilding infrastructure!
A Reflective Boomer In Transition