Thursday, May 29, 2008

Manifest Destiny

What happens when you wander in to the local AAA office and say "I'm doing a trip to Chicago, Rapid City, Yellowstone, and San Francisco, got anything to help me out?" Answer- you leave with a bagful of this stuff. I like the one on the top the best: it's a little booklet detailing every single direction we need to take, complete with individual maps and information about which stretches are most scenic.

I'm totally excited about starting tomorrow and should probably work on packing, but have one final thought I'd like to share. Last night, while reading through a few old favorite books from when I was a kid, I realized when they didn't involve tesseracts or Tripods or they were inevitably historical fiction. (You know those American Girl dolls? I had one, but freely admit I chose the one I did because I wanted the books, to the great consternation of my sister who accused me of "abandoning" the doll.) And in all those books people are inevitably homesteading or braving the Oregon Trail or having run-ins with the local Indian tribe- also known as things much more exciting than my childhood in suburban Pittsburgh- and if Little House on the Prairie taught me anything it's that going West is one of those things all Americans should do at some point. And while I might be over a century late, the sentiment is still there.

Call my feelings a sense of adventure combined with a grandly misplaced case of Manifest Destiny. This is gonna be great.


Linda said...

If Little House on the Prairie has taught me anything, it's how to build houses out of anything-- logs, sod, lumber, straw. In excruciating detail ;)