Thank You for Memorable Road Trips


I am about to embark on a road trip with my pal, Karma.

The destination is for a very sad occasion but the road trip from Bellingham, Washington to Ashland, Oregon should be interesting because Karma and I know when to talk, when to be quiet, and when to laugh so hard we have to pull over.

With the present petroleum situation, road trips are generally a thing of the past.

I have had many amazing and memorable road trips in my past. 

Some of them took a day, some a couple weeks, and some a down right adventure of meandering without a time limit.

Just a few of my most memorable road trips…

In a Ford Pinto from Chicago to Los Angeles where a transvestite stole my shoes (with Paul)

In a Dodge Dart from Michigan to Oregon and almost back to Michigan until the drive shaft fell out in Tuscaloosa, Alabama (with Stephan)

In a ‘68 Metro Step Van decorated like a hippy gypsy wagon, and then a tiny pick up truck with a leaky camper shell, following The Grateful Dead to Boreal Ridge to watch the moon pop up over the mountains behind the band while the crowd grooved on the Nature (with Brett) 

Cruising in a shiny red convertible Le Baron onto an Indian Reservation to get my Grandfather’s papers and find my roots after checking out every possible beautiful spot this side of the Mississippi (with Beverly)

In a Volvo Sedan from Pasadena to Oregon where I threw a fit and flung an Ice cream cone out the window going over the Grapevine, for which I am still ashamed (with Karma)

In a Volvo Station wagon loaded with everything I own and someone else’s rocking chair from Sacramento to Baltimore to discover I can work pretty darn hard at making a happy home before I figure out that fairy tales don’t come true (this scenario is repeated a couple times but the names change to protect the ignorant) 

In a speed demon Mazda from Petaluma to Malibu to pick up my paintings at an art gallery and be back by midnight (with Linda driving the whole way on seven cups of coffee)

In a UHaul truck from every point South and North and East and West moving Me, Linda, Karma, and various kitty cats to new homes while stressed out, sick with the flu, or excited about a new life and chain smoking cigarettes, singing silly songs, whining about having to pee, eating junk food, and bribing coffee baristas to give us coffee after closing time 

And many solo adventures in road tripping that have taken me all over this country and allowed me to explore the beauty, the quietude, the people, and my own reflections on life while driving through rain storms, desert sunsets, crazy mountain ranges, endless corn fields, winding roads that end in a herd of sheep, chaotic one way streets in Urbanity, and miles of pavement that connects it all together. 










~ by leakelley on April 28, 2008.

2 Responses to “Thank You for Memorable Road Trips”

  1. Another memorable road trip for the two of us: You picked me up in Novato after I tore out part of my knee during my company’s Christmas party. Your car was packed to the ceiling for another move, and you and the guy from the front desk at the hotel where I was staying, rearranged, so as to fit me and my torn leg (surrounded by “borrowed” hotel pillows for support) into the front passenger seat, with room to keep my leg extended. I knew the Vicodin from the emergency room visit would not last the entire trip to San Diego, where I was living, and you agreed to carry me home.

    I remember stopping for food at a gas station (food is a questionable word for what we were eating on that trip). You got out of the car, in a hurry to feed us, disappeared into the gas station foodmart, and returned to the car with our snacks. You tossed the barely identifiable items onto my lap, much as one would a coffee table if it were close at hand. A coffee table was not close at hand, but my lap served the same purpose. I couldn’t move, in too much pain to even think about getting out of the car to use the facilities. (The crutches had been packed so neatly into the car, that we wondered how to remove them, for a possible walk to the restroom – so we didn’t bother. Thank you, prescripton drugs.) We laughed so hard at what onlookers might think of this Three-Stooges-scene (Two Stooges?), that I had to take another Vicodin, just to get comfortable enough to eat a Moon Pie. Or was it one of those horrid, festering hot dogs kept too long on a steam table set to bacteria-creating temperatures?

    10 hours we drove like this.

    Thank you for making me laugh through the physical pain. Thank you for staying with us for weeks afterwards, while Dave and I both had knee surgeries. Damn we know how to have a good time.

  2. That red convertible parked in “Priest’s Parking” somewhere is the southwest, where it was DAMN HOT is still one of my favorite photographs.

    One more incredible road trip to add to the list is…Big Sur, with the foot long flower blooming over the fire pit outside the cabin window, beyond that? Three or four thousand miles of the Pacific Ocean.

    The poem you wrote for me is still framed and on my wall.

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