Another Day, Another Blog

May 11, 2007

Road trips

Filed under: bright ideas, elsewhere, the joy of life — iamza @ 7:00 am

At some point, probably in the not too distant future, I am going to have to buy a GPS thingy for my car. It is impossible to read a map-book whilst driving, and the idea of pulling off onto a sidestreet is unappealing. Not least because there are no straight roads in Britain, and diversions that look like they should be fairly straightforward invariably involve the sort of complex geometry that I’m sure snooker players can perform while standing on their heads on the edge of a snooker table, but for which I require paper, protractors, and one of those multi-angled rulers.

Besides, I kind of like the idea of being given directions by an inanimate object which talks like Frank Sinatra, or Spock from Star Trek. It takes the edge off those long lonely cross-country car journeys by giving one something else at which to swear.

I wish sometimes that I had the time and money to be able to do a cross-country road-trip across North America. Ideally, I’d get to see all the US states on the way out — except Hawaii, of course, unless I could get my hands on James Bond’s submarine car (with its see-through glass canopy for that all-round submersible spy-tracking capability) — and come back via the Canadian provinces. Just think of it: driving until you get bored, then looking for a small rural town in which to crash. If you’re lucky, the townspeople are kind and sweet, and don’t try to feed you to ancient Norse God-infested apple trees, or hit you about the head with freaky green meteorite rocks that turn you into a monster, or send you travelling to distant galaxies in ships part-crewed by naked grey aliens with attitude issues, or, you know, otherwise try to steal your car, money and/or life. :-)

I’d love to drive along the rocky cliffs on the coast of California, preferably in a convertible with a working retractable roof — but only if there are no birds about. Guano up close I do not need to see, thanks very much.

I’d love to go back to Quebec, preferably accompanied by someone fluent in french this time, and go canoeing on Lake Manicouagan. Better yet, I’d opt for a luxury yacht, and just sail round and round in circles for a few hundred years. Or, at least, until the RCMP stopped by to tell me I was no longer welcome because the bears were complaining about the noise…

I’d love to stop over in small towns, places where no tourist tries to go by design. Imagine travelling for weeks on end, deciding at whimsy, or by the flip of a coin, whether to turn left or right at the junction, or just keep on going straight. No deadlines, no timetables, no reservations to make and keep. Just a wide open road, and the horizon.

And a GPS that sounds like Spock.


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