Its all about the miles, no…it is not (Post #291) 5/20/2011

When you have deer running in front of the truck you’ve probably left what most people call “a road”. I’ve been thinking and planning some upgrades for the Range Rover. Springs and shocks are among the things I’ve been putting on a list. But, I was reading a blog post on The Last Great Road Trip. I got me thinking that perhaps one of these needs to be some cameras. 

I’ve seen so many things I wished I had taken a picture of. The deer galloping up the trail when Jack and I were on our so called “adventure“. The antelope on the side of I-40 on our trip through New Mexico. A random cat perched on a fence post. Lots of different wild life, perhaps too many examples to mention. I need a camera that is ready in an instant. 

I think I’d like a GoPro camera, or something similar. You know the ones for extreme action! I’m pretty boring but if it took good pics and could capture my adventures why not? I imagine a camera that was running all the time, sorta like a dash cam in a police car. If I wanted to save the last few minutes I could hit a button and store the video. So the next time a moose crosses the road in front of me, I’ll have a digital short to share with you. This is going to take some investigation.

I need to slow down on my trips as well. The trip is more than the destination. The trip is the adventure getting there. It has always been so. I need to plan less time driving and more time for stops to see stuff. The  overwhelming desire to get where I’m going has to take a back seat to the drive. (see what I did there? back seat…we are driving…yeah I know, why don’t I have a Pulitzer already?)

We are going on a road trip this summer for our vacation. It is mostly about the destinations and not the trip. The destinations are epic so the trip will be full of stuff to see. We are traveling with another family so the convoy rules will apply.

I’ve got to think about the math of the drive more. Take this in. If you are traveling at 60mph you are traveling one mile a minute. Historically that is an impressive distance and rate. Have you ever thought about why towns in the central plains are all generally about 15 to 20 miles apart? Imagine trying to travel from one to the next with a wagon or horse. With a decent road you are talking about an entire day to go from Purcell to Norman Oklahoma. You stay the night and go home the next day. We do a very similar thing today except we cover hundreds of miles. It is a highly debatable theory that the automobile has done more to destroy towns than an interstate highway system.

Now consider if I see a historical marker on the side of the road, like this one captured by Oklahoman Joy Franklin….

when I pull over and read it, it might take me three to five minutes. If I take a picture, first compared to Joy’s it will look like I gave the camera to a over active twelve year old, secondly I will easily add a few more minutes to the stop. So if it is five minutes…I’ve decided to take five miles (minimum) off my distance for the day. Add up three or four stops and you’ve seriously adjusted your arrival time or distance covered for the day.

I’m a history NERD (and proud) so you can imagine every time I see [insert historical figure’s name] stopped here for a tinkle and a piece of hard tack on [insert date and time] during the [insert historical event or period] and five of their family members perished. Dammit! I’ve got to have a picture.

Joy’s pictures are a lot more than just the place. Her pictures talk to you. She has a great eye and captures America’s road side beautifully. My pictures are just fun for me. My kids couldn’t care less about them and some day they will get to delete them off a hard drive like I’ve had to toss a hundred items my parents collected that meant a lot at the time that today are not valuable to anyone.

Driving less, seeing more. Yes, I think that will be my new motto for Mrs. OkieRover and I’s road trips. All I need now is a camera that doesn’t shut down and takes pretty good pictures. Should I take a class…probably. No, I meant a class on photography…I KNOW how to drive. Don’t say you didn’t think it!

Browse ExpeditionOklahoma’s website to see what pictures are supposed to look like when you are photographically documenting your trips. Thanks too Joy for letting me use the Carrie Nation pic. 
I think I’ll go get a beer now…on SUNDAY….yeah, that’s how I roll…
That’s a joke only if you know who Carrie Nation was, here I’ll make it easy for you.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.