Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Project 365 - Day 200

Hazy summer evening

The Profound Lesson of Reception

There are fantastic excerpts from the book I'm reading - one of which struck clear and true for me today:

"Sitting full in the moment, I practiced on the god-awful difficulty of just paying attention.  It's a contention of Heat Moon's - believing as he does any traveler who misses the journey misses about all he's going to get - that a man becomes his attentions.  His observations and curiosity, they make and remake him

Etymology:  'curious', related to cure, once meant "carefully observant." Maybe a tonic of curiosity would counter my numbing sense that life inevitably creeps toward the absurd.  'Absurd,' by the way, derives from a Latin word meaning "deaf, dulled."  Maybe the road could provide a therapy through observation of the ordinary and obvious, a means whereby the outer eye opens an inner one.  STOP, LOOK, LISTEN, the old railroad crossing signs warned.  Whitman calls it "the profound lesson of reception."

New ways of seeing can disclose new things:  the radio telescope revealed quasars and pulsars, and the scanning electron microscope showed the whiskers of the dust mite.  But turn the question around:  Do new things make for new ways of seeing?"

I greatly welcome and anticipate my own 'Blue Highway' experience next year... and hope to discover as much (if not more) about myself, life, and the open road.

More passages coming, I'm certain of it.

Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon:

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Project 365 - Day 190


*caught this out on my front porch - in reality, the spider is about 1/2-1/3 the size of my pinky fingernail*

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Project 365 - Day 188

Half moon
Mean People Suck!

 Less and less tolerant for the things people do... especially as time goes on. The things from the last few days (that I can even remember, because there has been SO much)...

- those who deflect responsibility on to others instead of sucking it up and doing their own work
- constant, never-ending business of calling attention to oneself
- general disregard for anyone/anything but themselves
- overreacting about things that have little-to-no bearing on their own life
- adults who literally whine on a constant basis
- lack of common courtesy

I've come to the realization that I'm going to be one helluva crabby old lady.

Friends:  you've been warned.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Project 365 - Day 186


Project 365 - Day 185

Yesterday's photo:

Happy birthday, America!


In our downtime/drivetime travel to Utah last month, the Boy and I had a conversation about various U.S. Highways that we knew of – specifically the ones that travel near where we live in NE Illinois - and whether or not we knew where these highways originated and terminated.  So I dug up the handy Google Map application on my phone and investigated some of these roads in question. 

The one that sparked the most interest is US. 20.  This highway passes within a few miles of our house, and other than using this road as a route to and from work on occasion and the intermittent drive out to the west 40-50 miles, I’d never given it any significant consideration.  I learned that it begins in Boston to the east, and ends in Newport, Oregon to the west. 

How cool, I thought, would it be to drive the expanse of that highway… or least even drive it from here around home (near Chicago) all the way out west to the coast?  That thought led to the idea of driving out to the west coast and back using only U.S. Highways and lesser roads – little to no interstate usage if at all possible. 

All of these thoughts and daydreams… and now I’m planning this trip. 

I've dubbed the trip the 'North American Loop Tour.' The goal is to go late summer/early fall of next year – a two-week solo trip.  I have a preliminary route… although it will likely go under constant revision based on points of interests, construction issues, etc.  The plan, thus far, is this:
  • US 20 west from home to Newport, Oregon
  • US 101 north to the Seattle area (still working on the specific logistics as the 101 doesn’t physically end IN Seattle)
  • US 2 from Everett, Washington back east to US 51 near Hurley, Wisconsin
  • US 51 South to Rockford, IL… and then back east to home on US 20
I’m already investigating alternate routes to take me out through northern Nevada and California.  However, there isn’t a very good east-west route that I've found that travels through Nevada other than the interstate… so I may scrap that idea. 

So, other than routing, I’m researching points of interest and things worth checking out on my route – please feel free to throw some ideas my way if you have them.  Nothing is off the table at this stage of the game.