Back in Albuquerque two months, the travel itch started at my right big toe and is working its way up to my right kneecap.
Life since Matzatlan has meandered and it isn’t until a brother’s invitation is offered that I have a chance to scratch my latest travel itch.
On the road at four in the morning, I can’t yet make out shapes of road cuts as I weave my way along the freeway between them. There are road signs waving at me to slow down and I see hints of sunlight struggling to break through the darkness that envelopes me. The instrument panel on my little chariot reminds me it is time to stop for gas and food.
Just outside of Tucumcari, New Mexico, following the old Route 66,I know there are several truck stops waiting for me to pull in..
They both offer travelers gas, a restaurant, a place to stock up on snacks..Though they cater to truckers, their doors are open to everyone, and, in a pinch, a tired traveler can catch a nap in the parking lot with a coat thrown over his head to hide light from huge signs that advertise to those whizzing by, going both directions across our country.
There is no reason to stick around Tucumcari when Albuquerque or Amarillo is only a short hop, skip, and jump away. You don’t need to drive through a whole town when all you need is a piece of it for a bite to eat, a bathroom break or a place to walk your poodle. Freeways created drive by towns and moved us into a different sense of time and space where the country is something to be traversed as quickly as possible, not something to be relished like a sweet piece of hard candy.
After several months home in Albuquerque, my brother’s invitation to visit comes as a welcome relief.
I never want moss growing between my toes.