Travel Log 1

The passing scenery outside my window preserves the illusion of freedom, even though I am a prisoner in this cell on wheels… prisoner to my commitment to be 400 miles away by sundown.

I loosen my grip on the wheel, fighting off catatonia. The tires, alternately singing in their dull monotone or growling in short guttural bursts, issue warnings.

My purpose is to deliver a filmed program to an audience. But sometimes the primary objective seems to be to move your body from A to B… then to C and D… in a crazy zigzag pattern. The presentation of moving images to an audience, almost seems to become incidental.

The mind plays strange tricks in this state approaching catatonia. Stimulated by the play of light on a plowed field, the temperature, or the barometric pressure, the mind runs through the stacks of my memory… tripping over odd little bits sticking out here and there. What’s odd is how insignificant these memories are… not the major events you’d think would stick out.

I fall into imaginary conversations. scintillating conversations! My repartee is brilliant and devastating. My arguments are unassailable. I counter all opposing thoughts with overwhelming logic. Six cups of coffee prolong this exchange through the morning.

Coffee. It’s used to wash down donuts and get that sweet taste out of your mouth. It has influenced me to visit every rest stop on every Interstate in America… almost. I may guest them all before I quit. I wonder. Is this a worthy goal in life? Something I share with truck drivers… getting to know America in a superficial way?

With all my travels to other places on the globe, I keep returning to this land I love. It really is a privilege to be skimming over the surface of the land like this… seeing so much of it. Sometimes the sheer beauty, variety and immensity of these landscapes bring tears to my eyes, and I have a powerful, compelling sense that the Earth really is my Mother. I’ll be returning, ultimately, to it.

I’ll probably die trying to make a left turn while shifting down to second gear and wiping up the gloop that spilled from my Big Mac at the same time. And where the hell is my map?  I forgot where I’m going.  Have a nice trip.

Trying to stay on the trail and out of the woods,

Dale Johnson

Trailwood Films