Friday, June 17, 2011

heading east out of the rim

I remember reading an article in a late 80s issue of outside magazine about the joys of roadtripping, and the idea that has stuck with me all these years is the concept of "go fast, come home slow." I have never been one to do that. the speed with which I drove out last june because of my mother's death is an anomoly, as is the slowness with which I returned home. I wonder if the practice comes from the experiences of people unhappy with where they are, zipping to somewhere away from home and then dragging themselves back because they have to. for me it is quite the opposite: not that I am necessarily enamored of where I'm coming from at any oen time but it strikes me that what I like is the slow deliberate drive to whereever I'm heading, and then the quick-like-a-bunniness of coming back from there.

all of which is to say that I'm on my way out of the rim and heading to the thick for about a month. although I left later than I'd intended to--I'd originally meant to leave at 8 this morning, then changed it to 10, then noon, and finally turned the car on at 3--I've left myself plenty of time for arriving in austin, pa, by father's day. as a result, I've been driving off the interstate so to see what I see.

and what I have seen has been interesting. I drove on us 12 for much of the way until outside black river falls when it detoured onto I-94 and I figured since it was early evening I'd just stay on the interstate. but the drive was fascinating. living on the rim I have been lulled into a false sense of liberal complacency that my neighbors have an interest in other people's lives. but I have never seen so many houses for sale, abandoned houses (and some that might as well have been abandoned), "scott walker is my governor" signs, artificial niggers, and proudly flapping confederate flags in all my time here in the midnorth (admittedly no 2 of them in the same place). now, I admit I may be wrong and these people are very interested in other people's lives, but I suspect it is more an interest in what others should not be allowed to do than an interest in their welfare.

but it hasn't been all unpleasant. aside from the requisite deer I've had a young female moose trot swiftly across the road and seen foxes in the fields and eagles cresting lake surfaces. at the moment I am in a culver's restaurant just to the west of madison where in moments I will enjoy an ice cream concoction I haven't decided on yet. then I will return to the car and drive until I have had enough, turn off at some rest stop, put up my feet and put down my head and sleep the sleep of the just plain tired.

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