Oct 15, 2007

Merlin's Road Trip Begins

Merlin's Road Trip Begins
Merlin’s Road Trip is an On The Road journal of travel musings. Our first journey is a mid-October 2007 drive from our home in Marin Country, California to Michigan, and back. The impetus for this expedition was an innocent note in July from one of our best friends from undergraduate Kalamazoo College announcing her daughter’s Saturday-before-Halloween wedding. Since air travel isn’t the joyous party it used to be, I thought: Road Trip! The idea flash took on a life of its own, spawning enthusiasm and triggering sparks in all directions. This blog will muse and weave bite-size bits as we traverse the miles.

Merlin’s Road Trip may meander, but like any pilgrimage, it will be purposeful travel. Driving across America will immerse us in the physical environment of a national landscape. Traveling from the creative freedom of California through the wild west to the industrial midwest will challenge us to retain our inner bearings. Traveling as a pilgrim orients us to seek the essence and interconnectedness of all life and strengthens our sense of greater purpose and global community. Travel literally expands our horizons, and being away helps us appreciate the return home. The traveler weaves together what she knows and what she discovers into a richer dialogue.

I moved out to Livermore, California in 1979 from Kalamazoo, Michigan, in a red Mazda hatchback with an open U-Haul trailer containing everything I owned. I knew it was a one way trip, like the wagon train pioneers. I’ve never driven back; never even considered driving back for fun. I do adore a good road trip and have been all over England and France in various borrowed and rented cars. Merlin’s mobile dog house has popped up around northern California and as far as the Grand Canyon. It’s probably on my list to drive across the continent some time, but the perfect two months free have yet to align. Since it's my 50th year and I’m getting a bit anxious about getting to everything on my list, it seems an appropriate time to create a personal pilgrimage of reclamation, remembering, renewal, and return to origin (born: Pontiac, Michigan). With dog Merlin, we'll have a lovely non-verbal drive where I can reflect, stop for photos and sniffing whenever we like, and sing along with the iTunes radio at the top of our lungs.

We’re planning to take I-80 east and I-70 west, with spontaneous side trip meandering. Let us know if there’s something we must see. Wave if we ramble through your town. We’ll be back for Fall Open Studios, Nov 10-11, weather, Indian petroglyphs, photo opportunities, and labyrinth stops permitting. Welcome to our Road Trip blog. Later!