Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Even as my upcoming trip to visit Joe draws nearer, I find myself craving new travels. I desperately miss my Great American West, the Southwest specifically; the idea of taking a cross-continent road trip through the states (Badlands, buttes, gulches, canyons, desert, mountains, petrified forests, sage) and up towards Alaska is my primary motivation in my half-hearted pursuit of a driver's license.

I remember driving along a cliff in the middle of the night, perilously close to the edge and with the moon providing the only light along the narrow road through Wyoming. My dad was behind the wheel, my mom and my little brother were sleeping, contorted, in their seats, and I was wide awake, my nose pressed up against the cool glass as I watched the world move underneath me. That same night we drove past as Ten Sleep, WY--population 211. The population signs killed me when I was 11 and they still kill me now, probably for the same reasons (though I'm still not entirely sure what those reasons are).

I almost cry every time I think of Utah now. I feel panicked, like if I don't leave right this moment with a tent strapped to my back that I'll never make it out there again. My last trip was...when? The summer before six grade? The summer after? I have so many sharp, sensual memories from that trip that they make me ache to recall them--I can't seem to decide if I would rather reminisce about it every day until I return or if I should just forget about it altogether so it doesn't feel so terrible to be here, 4 feet deep in snow even on a 40 degree day, surrounded by the same flat landscape and broad, ugly Midwestern city streets.

And yet my next adventure is taking me in the absolute opposite direction. In exactly four weeks I will be navigating slender, meandering streets through Oxford, London and Paris, and they'll be beautiful, but for tonight I feel like I don't want streets at all.

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