“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, Wow! What a ride!” ~ Hunter S. Thompson
Tuesday, after starting my day in Monterey and traveling many a mile through Big Sur and much of the southern coast of California, I was finally on the last lap, the home stretch, the end of the tunnel, the conclusion of a once-in-a-lifetime epic journey. San Diego was only a few hours away!
I drove through the night, through Santa Barbara, Ventura, Oxnard, Malibu and Pacific Palisades. Through Los Angeles and past the Santa Monica Pier where historic Route 66 reaches its western terminus. Through Long Beach where the Queen Mary is docked and now a floating hotel. I drove past Venice Beach, Huntington Beach and Newport Beach. I stormed through Camp Pendleton Marine Base, sliding down into Oceanside, Carlsbad, Del Mar, La Jolla and through many other Southern California towns and cities I had previously visited. I drove through the exhaustion of driving, of living on the road for fifty days. I drove to complete this ten thousand mile cross-country odyssey, now possessed by the need to be done. It was a long, arduous journey that was completely worth doing, but I was “thoroughly used up, totally worn out” and simply done.
And then, over the hill, like a beacon in the night, the lights of San Diego called out, beckoning me homeward. I arrived before midnight on the fiftieth day of the Great American Road Trip. Ten thousand miles and fifty days since leaving Rhode Island! It seemed to me like a major accomplishment, a milestone and in some ways I suppose it was, but I didn’t “skid in broadside, in a cloud of smoke”, there was no fanfare, no fireworks, no ticker tape parade, no heroes welcome, no reporters from the evening news waiting to ask how I survived. No, I simply went home, to my new home and crawled into bed to sleep the sleep of a thousand sleeps.
Wow! What a ride!
I hope you vicariously enjoyed this Great American Road Trip as much as I did. I hope it inspired you to venture forth to see all of the grandeur of America. I hope you will follow along in the continuing adventures of this American Gam as I explore southwestern America. I already have blogs planned for San Diego, Vegas, Utah’s National Parks, the Grand Canyon, San Fran, LA, Hollywood, Santa Monica Pier, Mesa Verde, Yosemite, Death Valley, Texas, the Albuquerque Balloon Festival, the USS Midway, the U.S./Mexico border, paragliding, the art of Falconry and many more. Thank you for joining me on this grand adventure, for all your comments and words of encouragement. I thoroughly enjoined sharing the Great American Road Trip with you.
The gam continues…