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Some thoughts on the Road

“So in America when the sun goes down and I sit on the old broken-down river pier watching the long, long skies over New Jersey and sense all that raw land that rolls in one unbelievable huge bulge over to the West Coast, and all that road going, and all the people dreaming in the immensity of it, and in Iowa I know by now the children must be crying in the land where they let the children cry, and tonight the stars’ll be out, and don’t you know that God is Pooh Bear? the evening star must be drooping and shedding her sparkler dims on the prairie, which is just before the coming of complete night that blesses the earth, darkens all the rivers, cups the peaks and folds the final shore in, and nobody, nobody knows what’s going to happen to anybody besides the forlorn rags of growing old, I think of Dean Moriarty, I even think of Old Dean Moriarty the father we never found, I think of Dean Moriarty.”- Kerouac

The light has come dancing through the tree outside to playfully awake me in the common room of Catawba Hall. Only two of us remain but last night one returned and we were joined by a guest to have dinner, and wine, by candle light. It’s times like this I feel profoundly lucky in life, even if our dinner is somewhat melancholy in the nostalgic remembrance of the people who no longer scuttle past or fill our colourful halls with screams of laughter. This is the fleeting transient life we lead as students, floating in brief bubbles of time, snatching moments of happiness wherever we can, and we should remind ourselves how fortunate we are to be able to steal those moments at all not dwell that they have burst or that we did not inhabit every single one. Anyway, a little incoherent this morning but lets segway to my roadtrip since the road does indeed always head West. In nine days I will commence on my said roadtrip. The itinerary goes as follows: DC, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Monument Rocks, Denver, Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Mesa, Bryce National Park, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, San Francisco, Redwood National Park, Portland and finally Seattle.

That’s 99 hours of driving over a three week period. The more astute of you will notice I go from Roanoke to New York. That’s because I have to pick up my AWESOME campervan and while Im at it, have some quality time with my lovely mum. I’m terrifically excited and keep diving into Kerouac to maintain this buzz but I’m also terrified. Why did no one warn me that I’m probably not capable of doing this? I can barely go to the shop without a new drama unfolding and everyone is trusting me to drive across a country as big as this? Not only does this prove my insanity, but it proves I surround myself with people equally as insane. Good thing I have one of my best friends with me to keep us alive. Saying that we’re also probably going to kill each other. Still, I remind myself how lucky I am to be here. How fortunate I am to go on this once in a lifetime trip. How grateful I am for the people in my life who have made this dream happen. My parents, my grandparents, my siblings and my friends, all have played a part in this opportunity and so I intend to not let them down and will endeavor to thoroughly enjoy my crazy self as I am unleashed onto 16 enormous states and all their vast possibility. For now, I’m off to perfect road trip playlists, buy audio books, stock up the kindle and thoroughly freak out.

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