||August 7, 2010
A lighthearted look at a road trip across the United States by two senior citizens. Sickness and pain just happened to come along for the ride.
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Can two cranky seniors, who don't travel well together, contend with an overload of togetherness in a small car for six long weeks? It would take a miracle. Thankfully, God is still in the miracle business.
Travel with them into the beautiful national parks and the crowded cities. Through rain and snow, mountains and deserts. See the country afresh through their eyes as they stand in awe of God's handiwork. Be on the lookout for an unexpected nugget here and there that wasn't part of the itinerary.
Following a light breakfast the next morning, we headed north to Williams, Arizona where we drove around for a little sightseeing. We came across pretty Cataract Lake, surrounded by pine trees. I just had to take a picture, the first of 1400 I would end up taking. We came fully prepared--two digital cameras, a phone camera and the video cam.
We walked through the woods and spent a few minutes just enjoying the view of the lake and the smell of the pine needles. This lake was the first water we had seen in Arizona. We thought we might want to relocate to Arizona some day in the future, but not if it was going to be all sand and cactus. I need to know there’s water around somewhere, preferably where I can see it from the front porch.
As we strolled back to the car, Fred went on ahead and I followed behind. The area was covered with rocks and Fred, ever vigilant, called over his shoulder, “Watch your step and follow me, I don’t want you falling.”
I said, “How on earth am I supposed to keep my eyes on you and, at the same time, look down and watch my step? Can’t be done.”
Next thing I knew, I tripped over a rock and was free falling toward the ground. There was nothing to hold on to to stop myself so I ended up face down in the dirt, rocks, and pine needles. Fred, not hearing footsteps behind him, finally stopped, turned around, and saw me lying on the ground. He walked back, helped me up, and as I brushed myself off and studied my scraped and bleeding arm, hands, and leg, I laughed and said, “This gives a whole new meaning to the words Cross Country Trip!”
Maybe this is why seniors should take nice safe cruises rather than dangerous hikes in the woods.
Book Review by Dennis Moore
Linda Loegel, a San Diego East County resident, and President of the Alpine Writer's Guild, has written a charming book about two senior citizens driving together across the country, "Bumps Along The Way." This husband and wife team would gain a greater understanding and appreciation of each other, and this vast and beautiful country that we live in, as a result of their trek.
In their travel across the country, and the way the author describes such places as Jackson, Wyoming; "gateway to Grand Teton Park and Yellowstone National Park," she could very well serve as a travel guide or be a columnist for Road Atlas.
She states in her book: "After an indulgent breakfast of a chocolate croissant, eggs and hash browns, we continued through snow and rain to the Grand Tetons. Entering Grand Teton Park, a wild grizzly bear ambled across the road right in front of us. It was awesome! Then, looking to our left, we saw the beautiful, majestic, snow-covered Grand Tetons."
Loegel uses such picturesque language to describe places along the way, such as for Tombstone, Arizona, Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas, and Fort Ticonderoga in New York. She makes you feel as if you are right there with her, or wish you were. The numerous pictures taken along their way, only adds to the feel.
I actually envy the author for what she and her husband managed to do, leisurely travel across this beautiful country of ours, as I have long wanted to do. Sure, I have taken in some of the same sights, such as Niagara Falls and the largest Cross in the western hemisphere, in Groom, Texas, but not in the leisurely way that Loegel describes it in her book. Her book, "Bumps Along The Way," is written in a way that vicariously carries the reader along. The book is written like a travel guide, but with such a warm and earthy human appeal. Sometimes in a self-deprecating way, the author points out and embraces her and her husband's human frailties, that we all have in our advancing years, along their journey across this country.
There are many poetic images and passages throughout "Bumps Along The Way," although probably not intended. That is the beauty of Loegel's writing, telling a story that comes out as a masterpiece!
Her book can be summed up in one passage, in describing Bryce National Park: "Bryce was one huge, red, magic garden." She further stated: "We saw more beauty in God's handiwork in just a few days than we had ever seen in our lives. It was as if He had tipped His heavenly paint palette and just let the colors run wild all over the area, then left it there for us to see."
The picture of the author and her husband behind the cutouts of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, are precious!
This book is for people who like to travel, who are old enough to remember back when, and for people who believe that God watches out for us no matter what dumb thing we humans may do, as stated by the author. "Bumps Along The Way" is a book that I highly recommend.
Dennis Moore is the book review editor for SDWriteway, and a member of the San Diego Writers/Editors Guild. He has written for LifeAfter50 Magazine in Pasadena, California, and the Baja Times Newspaper in Rosarito Beach, Mexico. Mr. Moore can be contacted at email@example.com.
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