Wednesday, March 19, 2014

What I think about when I'm on the road

About an hour and a half ago, my son and I arrived back at home after going on a college visit trip. It was a two hour drive from here to one of the state universities of the great state of North Carolina. I love to travel - whether it is to Spain, New York, Italy, or a mid-sized city here in my home state.

As we made our way home, my mind pondered dozens of questions.

* Who was the person who came up with the idea of highways?
* How many millions of trees had to be cut down in order to make highways?
* How many houses had to be demolished?
* How many farms were dismantled so that we could have roads to drive on?
* Who decided where the roads would be?
* How the heck do they build exit ramps and those amazingly tall and strong pilings that hold up the roadways?
* What is it like to be a construction worker with cars flying past you at excessive speeds all day?
* Who decided to plant wildflower seeds along the highway?
* Why do people throw garbage out of their cars and trucks onto the highway?
* Why do smokers think that it's okay to throw their lit cigarette butts out onto the highway?
* Who thought it was a good idea to put fake branches on cell phone towers?
* Am I the only one who thinks that cruise control was one of the best inventions in automobiles in many years?
* How much fun must it be to lay down the lane markings and those little reflector thingies on the road? To sit on the back of the truck and guide that paint gun thing?
* What does it feel like to be involved in the production of a street, a road, a highway, and know that countless cars will make their way to countless destinations because of your hard work?
* Who came up with the idea of making runaway truck ramps? And after a truck uses one, how does it get out of that deep sand?
* What happened to bring speed limits into being?
* How fast would people drive if there weren't any posted limits?
* When the speed limit is 70 mph, why do people feel the need to drive faster than that?
* How many people drove off of roads and hills before somebody invented and installed guard rails?
* When I see skid marks go from one lane off onto the shoulder, I wonder: What happened? Was there an accident? Is that person okay?
* Twelve days ago, when Kristiana and I were on the road, we saw two four-car accidents within half a mile from each other. I definitely wondered and still wonder: how the heck did that happen, two such serious accidents so close to one another?
* When did my son grow old enough to be looking at colleges?
* How is it possible that I was a freshman in college 30 years ago right now?
* How many more road trips will I get to take in my life?
* How many more wonder-filled places will I get to explore?
* Will I continue to appreciate and be grateful for the wonder of travel and of road trips?

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