Why We Went

We'd always wanted to.

Fifty years ago, when we were high school students (several states apart and quite unknown to each other), we were frequently exhorted by Dinah Shore, through the tinny speaker of the family TV, to “See the USA in your Chevrolet.” In 1957 Dorothea actually did see some of it as a passenger in her family's Oldsmobile, but that was a three-week trip and left a good deal unseen. A few years later, as parents of two young boys, we often found ourselves wishing that we could take them on the classic American cross-country trip, but the time, the money, or both always seemed to be lacking.

Retirement finally made it possible for Dorothea and me to take the trip we'd always wanted to take, although Chris and Niall, long since busy with their own lives, were not with us. Our 2003 Subaru station wagon was only a year old and had few miles on it. The bank statement said there was enough money for a trip if we avoided meals and accommodations de grande luxe. (Of course, we could have traveled still more economically, and therefore been able to do it sooner, by camping, but, alas, we are among the unfortunate ranks of the camping-impaired. That approach was never in the running.)