Presently on a cross country trip in my 1970 Airstream.
Left Florida on 1 June with intention to return by 7 August. Stopped in Buchanan, TN for a while. Crossed MO and NE staying at farms, wineries and such. Spent a good time at the international rally in Rock Springs, WY and experienced the high desert. Did business in many a small town from hardware, to oil change to groceries etc. I like to converse.
From there we headed to Yosemite and luckily stayed in Wanona with a niece. Different perspective being serenaded by the hotel bar pianist. Learned about all the support needed to run the park and what motivated the workers to choose that experience.
Rode down the mountains to wine country and experienced why Morro Bay was a choice escape from the heat. Many Arizonans there.
Our destination was Carlsbad for grandchildren. Rich enclave is Carlsbad.
We are on the return trip and decided to head north rather than Phoenix. Still, had to pass through Mojave Preserve to get to Kingman. Back in smaller town world. Relatively cool. We made it to Gallup where I now post. No AC needed last night.
My wife's family moved from Chicago, in the 50's to opportunity in Southern CA. My father in law was offered an opportunity in ALBQ, but was shifted to Gallup. There was an uranium boom there.
My wife's mother, after the visit, declined. My wife declared yesterday to her deceased mother, that she came back to see how it had changed.
The eastern part of I 40 in AZ is dotted with Native tourist chatchkies. We didn't stop as we have touristed out. There were few if any cars in the lots. The Natives were not leaving, regardless. It made me think about their plight.
Sitting here in Gallup, it occured to me that the locals weren't leaving either until all was lost. They will just make the best of the situation circling the wagons.
Coastal elites, of which I am one, are not moving to Gallup or Ft. Stockton or some small Rock Springs.
The people in these towns took pride in servicing my needs and have, frankly, lives filled with all the emotions. But, they sense, they are forgotten.
The flow of money bypasses them and they need an outlet for their frustrations.
They are as stubborn as we all our, in our way. But they know everyone in town and have to contend with how their society is managed. Democracies allow for voices to be heard, but speaking out of line gets ostracization. That is what makes small towns shrink. Free thinkers move to places where free thinking is allowed. What remains is a redundancy that is hard to budge.
Met a fellow in the grocery in Rock Springs with a holstered 45 on his hip. I stared, perhaps a bit too long, and he responded that I shouldn't worry, he didn't plan to use it. It made me wonder why, then, he needed to carry.
I don't know how the divide that has evolved in the US will shrink. But in spite of the Buck Fiden stickers, he is on track to share the nation's wealth. As we drove into NM, a sign declaring that the infrastructure monies were flowing to the roads. There were billboards in AZ letting women know that the health services they needed were available in NM.
People will have to read the signs, we have to make sure they see them.
If they tell you they don't plan on using it, they're probably telling the truth. But they're also admitting that they're assholes who enjoy intimidating people.
Because, for lack of a better way of putting it, it makes his dick hard.
He likes the idea that it pisses off the libtards too. Thats a bonus for him.
He might not plan to use it, but deep down he sure as hell hopes he gets the chance to.
My brother is in the 2nd half of such a long journey. They made it all the way to Coldfoot, Alaska from west central Florida.
The plight of the American small town is somewhat tragic but not unexpected.
I had to look to see what the international rally in Rock Springs, WY might be.
Airstream International Rally 2023 Rock Springs Wyoming drone flyover LARGEST RALLY since the 1970's
It is what spawned the cache. My wife ran the Art show to raise money for the United Way for Southwestern Wyoming. Contributors submitted 5x5 paintings and three dimensional for $20 apiece and there was a silent auction for other donations. First time this was pulled off for nearly $3,000.00.
Top notch quilts were displayed for a large quilting community.
The silver city is a throwback to the caravans of the silk road in it's own way.
With no bs intended, to me it reads a bit like Wallace Stegner and with more chapters, you could turn it into a book.
very well done sir.
We've taken several extended RV trips and like to get off the main roads. I wish I could write like you.
Safe travels.. stay in tune with the weather.
Oh, the state is bristling with guns, this is wild country, but the culture is different. Guns aren't a fashion accessory here. Plus, the state deleted all the vestigial antiabortion laws in 2021.
I'm no elite, but you can't get more coastal than a city like Boston. The high desert has been a good fit for me.
Have been inspired by the commentary.
Crossed a lava field west of ALBQ. Wished I could have sat there and contemplated. Last erupted 3500 years ago and 5000 years ago. Was at Paricutin in 1978. Erupted in last 100 years. Juxtaposing human eruptions.
Want to say a lot with few words. Never gave answers to my students or my kids.
My wife's family left Chicago in 1954 or 55. They did the whole of Route 66. Not many can tell that story.
She doesn't remember much about the landscape, but she does remember her brother sitting in the front seat of the Ford Wagon between her parents while she sat next to a pile of belongings with the dog on her lap. The windows were draped with wet towels until they decided to only drive at night.
We have driven on the track she must have travelled. We take note of what must have been the heyday but fallen into disrepair. The Burma Shave signs are gone but the beckoning to stop remains.
Wild, wonderful western expanses, somewhat tamed by ambition, have supported philosophical approaches that run into complications when they meet the world attempting to get beyond the, "there will always be needy," mentality.
I'm getting off topic. Some of us work to see the world. Some are happy with their lot.