Summertime in the northern hemisphere is long-awaited and short-lived. It’s time to take in every possible ray of sunshine, early rises and late-to-beds, for the sun has also come to play, what most of us have dreamed of as we trudged through snow and ice.
Sorry, anyone south of the state of Georgia, you miss all that fun, but most of the country trembles for around 6 months a year, waiting for weather conducive to human survival, and all of the waiting, shivering, shaking, swearing, slipping, and falling leads us to one of America’s great past times: VACATION!
Here's where I have some issues with vacation travel, but first I will admit that as a very young person, I was lucky, though that fact did not occur to me until many years later. You see, my dad was with the government, and it seemed that we were never in one place for more than a couple of years and then on to some other place. For a child, that was a problem, not a gift. You go through the trauma of being the new kid in town, finally make new friends, and then off you go again. Any government or military brat will, of “curse,” know exactly what I mean.
We did some traveling overseas, but most of our trips were in this great country of ours. I saw a lot of America, and as I grew older I began to appreciate the beauty. I also caught wanderlust and for many years traveled many a lonesome mile on many a lonely highway. I often hitchhiked, for back in my early days, the world was a different place, and hitchhiking, especially in the 1960's, was not uncommon and a lot safer than it is today. Discounting sleeping by the side of the road or under a bridge somewhere, it was reasonably safe and comfortable.
I know people who have seen the Eiffel Tower but never the New Mexico desert. They may have seen the Alps but never the Smokey Mountains, compared in beauty to the Alps. Many people have never walked the shores of Oregon or New England, some of the world’s most beautiful coastlines.
I hear people say they want to dash off to England or France, Ireland or Italy, beautiful places to be sure. But I believe we should see America first! Why not spend our dollars on our land, the back roads of Appalachia to Big Sur, the coastlines that surround us, the desert that is more beautiful than you will ever know until you see it. Spend your money here and get to know America.
In some ways our country is still wild, and you can still find those wild places. Travel America, my friends, get to know your neighbors. Wherever you are, we are all one. Our country is magnificent, and so are we.
There’s more on the shores of Rambling Harbor. Pull up a driftwood log and give a listen.