Where Am I Going? by Esther Nelson

My sense of direction is, at best, poor.  In spite of that, I love a road trip.  With the advent of affordable GPS (Global Positioning System) devices, driving long distances has become easier.  Unfortunately, that tool (GPS) is not always reliable.  Sometimes I get lost.  I have a hard time figuring out how to get back on track.  Like Blanche DuBois in “A Streetcar Named Desire,” I’m forced at times to depend on the “kindness of strangers.”  Getting lost, though, becomes part of my road trip adventure.

I recently drove (for the third time) from Richmond, Virginia, to Las Cruces, New Mexico.  I’ve chosen a different route each time.  On this trip, I kept the mileage under 400 miles/day.  That gave me time to look around the places I stopped for the night.  This trip wasn’t nearly as taxing as those where I pushed to cover as much ground as possible in a day.  I also made it a point to stay out of Texas due to the state’s high COVID-19 numbers and that added a couple of hundred miles to the drive. Continue reading “Where Am I Going? by Esther Nelson”

Musings On My Recent Road Trip by Esther Nelson

I love a road trip.  It’s exciting to get behind the wheel of a car, get out on the highway (or bi-way), and just go.  The road seems to stretch out forever in front of me, full of possibilities, adventure, and fun.  Again, this summer I drove two thirds of the way across the United States from Virginia to New Mexico and back again.  I varied my route because why not?  The country is vast and diverse.  I want to see as much of it as I can.  The broad, open, colorful skies of Texas and New Mexico.  The wheat fields in Kansas.  The green, rolling hills of Kentucky and Tennessee.  On this particular trip back to Virginia, though, one of the sights disturbed me deeply.

The second day of my journey eastward, I drove from Amarillo, Texas, to Springfield, Missouri.  All along the panhandle of Texas and into Oklahoma, I encountered feedlots.  These are places where cattle live for several months in order to fatten up before slaughter.  The animals are fed grain (mainly corn), growth hormones, and antibiotics.  They live in crowded spaces and in the feedlots I saw, the cattle had difficulty walking due to the layers of muck, mire, and manure all over the ground.  I could smell a feedlot long before I saw one.  The stench nauseated me.

Continue reading “Musings On My Recent Road Trip by Esther Nelson”

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