Thursday, November 24, 2011

Day 22 of the Indie Travel Project - Transit

He measured the distance in miles and then converted them to kilometres for me. I imagine that if I asked him today, he would know those numbers, even though it has been well over 2 years since he traveled the road.

The 8-year relationship was always long distance, a good deal of that decision influenced by me.  I couldn’t imagine it differently.

Twice a month, one of us waited for the other on Friday night.  I left after work as people were organizing their dinners.  The roads were quiet.  Just how I liked them. 

By the time I got to the turnoff road to the border, there was no one else on the road except deer, moose or elk.  As I slowed down for the tight corners around the rock bluffs, I looked to my left for the small gravel road that hugged the side of the mountain and disappeared around the trees.  The road always caught my attention, like a what’s-wrong-with-this picture where our eyes are riveted to the odd article sitting in a cloud. 

A few minutes later I slowed for customs.  I turned off the music and put on my regular glasses.  Border guards don’t like shades.

“What is the purpose of your trip?” 

“I am visiting a friend.”  I knew that my friend answered it differently. 

As I passed through the border, I settled into my seat and turned up the music.  I chose the CDs for the journey, lively rock music full of energy. The trees hugged the road closer on this side of the border.   

Even in the height of summer when tourists retreated to these northern lakes, the roads begged for action.  Except for a few small towns, only cottages dotted the sides of the road.  No cell service here.  Once when I drove in the dark of winter, I was surprised to see so many lights pouring out of windows on the sides of the hills.  Not everything is as it appears.

As I edged the winding river, forests on my right, I watched the mountains lowering in the sky ahead of me and towering in the rear view mirror.  The final bend in the road and the sky opened in front of me.  My eyes peeled upwards at all that vastness.  A straight stretch with fields of grass on both sides.  This was my favourite part of the road.  My prairie roots. 

The road winded its way back into lakes and trees.  Watching for deer, this was wildlife country. 

When I merged onto the two-lane highway, city anticipation bolted through me.  New ideas of places to check out on the weekend popped into my head.  I tuned the radio to pre-programmed stations. I flicked buttons, the novelty of so many choices. 

At the outskirts of the city, I turned left down a back road that detoured the busy main street.  Several kilometres down the road, I turned right.  I was on a rise and ahead were farmer’s fields.

I was almost there.  I knew that the road would take me up over a hill and back into the city.  I knew I would be just as delighted to see him as he was to see me. 

But for now, I was immersed in sky, land, and trees. 

Day 22 of BootsnAll's Indie Travel Project was prompted by this:
The word travel comes from a French word meaning “work” and sometimes, getting there is work. Between crowded buses, long airline delays, overnight trains and crazy rickshaw rides, transportation can be stressful, but it can also be a rewarding part of the tip. Tell us about a time when the journey became more important than the destination. 

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