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!
There once was a little girl, who had a little curl…
That girl was me, and for as long as I can remember, I had a dream that I would travel the country and tell its stories. The dream began before the internet existed, so I took notes with my pen and paper and recorded what was happening on 35mm film. In my dream.
In the early 2000s I earned a degree in journalism and became a self-publisher on the internet, but the dream remained. I wanted to explore the hidden places and the treasured beauties and share it all.
In February and March of 2017, my husband, Jim, and I made that young girl’s dream a reality. We drove from our Chicago suburb to the Pacific Ocean and back, taking pretty much the most round-about route you can imagine. When it came to travel, I’d met my match. Someone who says “well, we’ve come this far….” is worth their weight in historical markers.
This story is about our 31-day exploration of a small part of America. We explored thirteen states in a series of seemingly random hops. Our criteria specified places that had historical significance, were flat-out geographically freakish, had some sort of artistry, or just sounded cool.
It was a random hopscotch across the southwest, and it was the best experience of our lives. (So far…)