Born to Be Wild

Get your motor runnin'

Head out on the highway

Lookin' for adventure

And whatever comes our way

Yeah Darlin' go make it happen

Take the world in a love embrace

Fire all of your guns at once,

And Explode into Space!

What do you think of when you think of a cross country road trip? Mountains, valleys, long stretches of featureless highways? 

Truck Stop outside of Illinois

It’s been quite the journey, but here I am in San Francisco. The 2,903-mile journey from New Jersey was fun with Dan Scharch as my co pilot; lots of food, endless scenery, and companionship made an otherwise lonesome and introspective journey an enjoyable one. The journey took us from Cleveland, OH to Chicago, IL, to Omaha, NE, on to Boulder, CO and Salt Lake City, UT and finally Reno, NV before making a pit stop at Tahoe on our way to San Francisco, CA. Many photos and videos were taken and I can’t help but wonder how much more rich the trip would have been if I had a few more days than the 6 we spent.


In short summation, Ohio was quite boring, and Chicago was uneventful. Omaha on the other hand was very authentic. We arrived late and caught a bar/restaurant called the Hog Stop just after the rest of the city shut down. The portions and sincerity of the staff was undeniable and inevitably led to a fastidious indulgence beyond what I was accustomed to. Next was Colorado, which equivalently garnered as much anticipation as it did spectacle after a long, flat journey through the heartland of the United States. The mountains were stunning, the air was crisp, but the sights were lacking. Again, this is why I’m forced to wonder what the trip could have been if we had spent an extra few days exploring these undeniable treasures of America. Alas, we trekked on in ordinary fashion with little time to sight see into Utah.


Beautiful Utah! 

It’s important to note that I thought the true splendor of the United States would be found in the urban arena of Chicago, or the picturesque brilliance of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. Yet, Utah demanded reverence at it’s beauty from even the most modest of interstates. It was an incredible surprise that my favorite sigh would be the valley in Salt Lake City. I have to say, it was gorgeous, and if I had a choice to explore just one of the destinations across our voyage, Salt Lake City would have been the one that I would dare to spend additional time. The mountains are spectacular with their snow topped peaks and kind people. It was like Denver, or Boulder Colorado but bereft of the tourist veneer. It had all of the honesty, and none of the perceptible pageantry.


Bug removal was a bi-daily affair... I don't think I'll ever get all of the bugs out of my grill. 

Less than 48 hours later we were on the border of California and Nevada, after taking a short detour to lake Tahoe. Lake Tahoe was always on my radar, but well beyond my grasp as a New Jersey constituent. So, after seeing signs beyond the agricultural checkpoint I drove my cruise controlled pick up truck into the Tahoe Valley. After arriving past what had become familiar cliffs, valleys, highway, and vertices Dan and I came up on the glacial basin of Lake Tahoe. The sight was one that only the pons in full saturation could muster. The water was chilling in stark juxtaposition to the warm breeze and luxurious sand left by the most recent ice age. Who would have thought that a mile of unlivable and traversable ice could have left such splendor, conveniently situated between two of the largest and most incredible states in the union.

 

Dan and I spent the afternoon building small stone pillars and walking beyond the shore. We discussed love, and life, what we wanted for ourselves, as well as our plans on arriving there. There was a deep parallel between our long journey and how we arrived at this coincidence. Dan told me that he admired what I was doing, and I took his word for it; being that I was acting merely from objective and less by impulse. I’ve never been impulsive in life, which compensates for my overzealousness of passion.

Intermission*

I like smoke and lightning

Heavy metal thunder

Racin' with the wind

And the feelin' that I'm under

Yeah Darlin' go make it happen

Take the world in a love embrace

Fire all of your guns at once

And explode into space

Desolate Salt Flats outside of Salt Lake City, Utah

Allow me to regress; the cause of my excursion wasn’t adventure, well not exactly. I am adventurous, but my displacement was inspired genesis of my recent employment. I’ve been teaching in the New Jersey public school district for the last three years. This was preceded by my immersion in manufacturing and academic science and exodus into education. However, I had grown tired of both the beaurocracy and the flaccid impact I was having in both of those disciplines so I decided to attack the root of the problem from a policy angle. I’ve since started working for a congressionally authorized non-profit which borders on the realms of research, education, and programming. Leaving out the details of my employment, I can assure that I am making greater strides to changing how American school children are educated, and by whom.


Gorgeous Lake Tahoe, on the California Side

This brings me to the current state of affairs. I am presently writing this article atop a hill in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. I am attending a food, music, and “ideas” festival conceived and implanted by the Chipotle Corporation. I haven’t seen the word “corporation” printed out on any of the marketing materials, due to it’s connotation, but that is what it is. There are free bands all day, inexpensive beer, and exhibits that polarizingly paint biotechnology in a negative light. I can’t fault the company for propaganda though, since the 1950’s it’s been the main vehicle for organizations to push their ideology. It’s not a matter of method, rather whether you agree with the end result. The ends justify the means type of situation.

 

Open Bon Fire on Ocean Beach, San Francisco, CA

My job is going well, I’ve maintained contact with most of my friends and my mother has adopted multiple means of communication in lieu of accepting sparse correspondence. So that’s good.  Although I’ve yet to call my grandfather with hurts my character, but my indifference calls into question my loyalty. I don’t omit action for no reason. This is becoming a long narrative so I’ll leave it here. I’m sure that I’ll have more to include later in the month (June) but for now I’m going to let this be a summation of my journey across the country, and my current state of mind.

 

Until another time,

Like a true nature's child

We were born, born to be wild

We can climb so high

I never wanna die

 

Born to be wild

Born to be wild

-Steppenwolf (Born to Be Wild)

The occasional "Sinclair" was all that stood along long stretches of otherwise featureless heartland Route. 80