I have loved to drive ever since I got my learners permit. When I am traveling by myself these days, I will buckle in, get a soda, and turn on the radio - usually to talk radio of some sort. I do like to listen to NPR and will listen to "All Things Considered" or if it is late enough in the day, the classical music programs come on.
I had not had an opportunity in ages to be traveling in the latter part of a late afternoon. I used to do that all the time with a former job. But last week, I found myself making a trip to K-town. I loaded my suitcase and away I went after work. I didn't have to worry about city traffic as I wasn't going traversing through until well after the afternoon rush hour was over. The weather was perfect. Not too warm or cold and no pesky precipitation to muddy up the trip.
Traffic wasn't too bad and I only had about an hour of two lane until I was able to graduate to four lane.
Got past the capital city and headed west on I-80. Traffic is usually heavy to York and thins out the further west you go but will pick up if you head toward Colorado.
That evening wasn't any different. Traveling along those straight stretches of interstate, I could look in the rear view mirror and see a long line of headlights following me. Ahead there was a string of red tail lights leading the way. Those lights were beckoning me to continue along on the I-80 parade.
Since I was traveling solo, I found myself wondering where everyone was going. Why were they going? How was it they were on the Interstate that evening when I was? I knew the truckers were working, I wondered if they were enjoying the twilight and early evening and what delivery deadlines they had. There was a Penske moving truck with bikes strapped on the back and a mini-van packed to the gills following behind. I wondered where that young family was going. I wondered if they were moving because they wanted to or they were moving because they had no other choice.
I kept driving and I kept wondering. There were a couple of vehicles at various points that most likely were driving too fast and were pulled over by law enforcement. There were two ambulances lights going heading east towards Lincoln or even Omaha. I wondered about the folks on board and what life changing event had them being transported via ambulance. I said a quick prayer for them and for their loved ones who were probably traveling somewhere behind them.
As I pulled off on the exit for my destination, I wondered about those folks still out of the road. Where were they going and how much further were they going tonight? Where they going to drive all night? Had they stopped for supper? Was their family wondering where they were or if they were okay?
I had to be satisfied I would never have the answers to any of my questions that night. Perhaps the fun of my solo travels is the wondering while wandering.