1 Apr 2011
“Kathy,” I said as we boarded a Greyhound in Pittsburgh
“Michigan seems like a dream to me now
It took me four days to hitchhike from Saginaw
I’ve gone to look for America.”*
There can be a lot of dreaming in travel. In this case, I built the trip around attending the 2011 BookCrossing.com convention in Washington DC in mid-April. I wanted to drive the whole length of Route 66, and given the savage cost of one-way car hires in America, driving both ways became a reasonable option. Sharing the driving and the expenses made things easier.
That was the reality, and then day-dreaming took over. Goodness, there’s so much of America to go looking for!
We all had our dreams and desires, and we settled on a reasonable compromise plan, with a fair bit of freedom along the way.
I’d like to say that dreaming gave way to planning, and once I’d booked the flights and the car and a few critical places to stay, the reality of everyday life took over until it was time to go.
But no. The dreaming kept going, and I’d find myself at the airport perimeter watching the planes departing, my thoughts going with them.
Dreams come true
Then one day – April Fool’s Day, as it happened – we four Australians caught the plane to Sydney, took the transfer bus to the international side, passing under a lot of aircraft bums, and boarded a Qantas to San Fran.
We would meet the fifth member of our party there. She was flying in from Christchurch, which was still rattling with aftershocks from the big earthquake which had reduced much of that beautiful city to rubble.
One quirk of my then premium status with Qantas was that I booked Economy tickets, but we were given Premium Economy seats on the Boeing 744. That made for a comfortable ride over. A dream start to a dream roadtrip.
* Lyrics from “America”, by Simon and Garfunkel, video of same.