Gilroy California is not too far from where I live. It is in Gilroy that Highway 25 begins. This is one of several shorter highways that exist within a short drive of my home. It will probably be my first highway adventure.
I have traveled many highways in my life. Both actual highways and metaphoric highways. In the case of actual highways, I have usually traveled them because they were the way to get someplace. Only recently have I begun to view highways as adventures in their own right.
Roads have a fascination for many of us. In The Lord of the Rings Tolkien refers to the fascinating nature of roads. Jack Kerouac wrote On the Road, a novel that was highly influential on an American generation. Divine Right's Trip is a road trip on several levels, and captures something of the essence of an era influenced by Kerouac. The movie Vacation is a classic road trip film, one I can watch again and again.
The highway can be a metaphor of the journey of life. As such, the journey itself is important, not just the destination.
Are these things important in relationship to my desire to explore Highway 25 in California? I don't really know. I do know I am drawn to this highway because it is small. I can do it in a long, slow day. I can stop often to absorb it, contemplate it in part and in the whole. I can photograph quite a bit of this highway, and I hope to do so. I can see if it inspires a poem or a tale.
I can simply enjoy the way the highway moves through the land it occupies. I can enjoy the movement of my vehicle over the highway across that land. I can experience the changes of the land from one end of the highway to the other. I can see how the land shapes the highway and the highway defines the land. All in a long, slow day.
Highway 25 might just prove to be the first pearl on a string of highways that I will collect. A snack-size highway that will serve as antipasto to the feast of highways to come.
I am not ambitious enough to aspire to collect all of the highways in California. I will begin small. However, if Highway 25 proves to be an asphalt poem, a macadam concerto, I may well be hooked. Vague dreams will become plans, and one by one I will string highways onto my necklace of road trip memories.
Somehow, I think I will end up sharing them here.
1 day ago