Two Lane Gems, Vol. 1: Chapter 43 – The Journey Begins

Author Theresa L. Goodrich presents Two Lane Gems, Vol. 1: Turkeys are Jerks and Other Observations from an American Road Trip in serial form. Enjoy!

Parking Mae for the final time was …. hard. We checked the mailbox, happy that it was empty even though we knew there would be piles of inanity once we got inside. We opened the door and the cat yowled. She does that.

I’m not sure what we were supposed to feel.

I’m not sure what we felt.

We had traveled for 31 days. Had driven 6,479.5 miles. Spent 144 hours and thirty-one minutes in the car. We had seen sublime beauty in many splendored palettes. We had laughed and cried, seen the finest of humanity, and its worst, we’d experienced exhaustion more extreme than we’d known possible.

It had been the best 31 days of our lives.

Every day was something different, and each new experience opened our eyes to yet another complexity of this land. We were shut off from the constant noise of social media and the news, and while there was supposedly a lot of hatred and anger in this country, in our United States of America, we hadn’t found it.

We could naively think that maybe it didn’t exist, but I think the reality was that there’s a lot more harmony than discord. Love, hate, pride, shame… It’s a mixed bag. What we’d found was a diverse tapestry of love, and hope, and understanding. We’d found a country that had made some egregious errors and said “yeah, no, that’s not happening again.” We found people that said Hello. Welcome.

This was the America that I believed in, that I called home. People asked us after we got back what our overall sense of the country was. We’d only visited thirteen states, but our feeling was one of optimism.

This journey and this story began as a love letter to America, and it ends the same. In our random hopscotch, we covered thirteen states in thirty-one days, but the real journey begins now.

Thank you for reading Two Lane Gems, Vol. 1: Turkeys are Jerks and Other Observations from an American Road Trip.

I hope you’ve enjoyed following this journey! If so, would you consider buying me a coffee?

If you’d like an autographed copy, you can purchase one below!