A Life on the Road

We’re wrapping up a two-week, 5,000-mile RV road trip. It’s been great, but we head back home today. I’m lying in bed, reading, watching the sun come up over the northern Nevada mountains and listening to one of the great sounds – a train whistle. I’m also listening to the gentle snoring of my wife (I repeat, for the sake of my marriage, gentle!) and reminding myself for the umpteenth time that what I hear when she says “Let’s get an early start” is far different than what she means. So, I read.

The book I’m reading now is A Life on the Road by Charles Kuralt. It’s a good read anytime, but even more so when traveling. The real significance, at least for this morning, is Chapter 19, Aluminum Tubes with Wings, Page 185. Kuralt is lamenting the change in the airline industry as it goes from regulated (which he much prefers) to unregulated, which has taken the romance out of air travel. The example he uses is that “Today, you can’t go from Denver to Elko.” Elko is a small town in north central Nevada and, as is said about many places: “If it’s not the middle of nowhere, you can see it from here.”

Elko, Nevada also happens to be the tiny little town I’m in. I don’t know why I find it so exciting that the tiny little town I’m waking up in is the one Kuralt uses as an example of not being able to fly directly to out of the way places. Maybe it’s a shared sense of brotherhood with a world renowned traveler. Maybe it’s validation that we really do pick places that most people choose to never visit (a loss, I absolutely believe), or maybe it’s just the same as seeing your face-in-the-crowd on the Dodger scoreboard – no one really cares, but somehow it’s fun.

Anyway, we’re leaving in a few minutes (or a couple of hours) heading west toward Winnemucca, hoping to see something, experience something or create something that we haven’t done before. And when I stop for lunch, I’ll raise my glass in a silent toast to Charles Kuralt and all the Charles Kuralts and Elko Nevada and all the Elko Nevadas.