Tag Archives: road trip

Song of the Open Road

Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.

Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune,
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms,
Strong and content I travel the open road.

(Toyahvale, Texas)

The earth, that is sufficient,
I do not want the constellations any nearer,
I know they are very well where they are,
I know they suffice for those who belong to them.

(Abiquiu, New Mexico)

(Still here I carry my old delicious burdens,
I carry them, men and women, I carry them with me wherever I go,
I swear it is impossible for me to get rid of them,
I am fill’d with them, and I will fill them in return.)

(Orla, Texas)

. . . The earth expanding right hand and left hand,
The picture alive, every part in its best light,
The music falling in where it is wanted, and stopping where it is not wanted,
The cheerful voice of the public road, the gay fresh sentiment of the road.

(Abiquiu, New Mexico)

. . .  O highway I travel, do you say to me Do not leave me?
Do you say Venture not — if you leave me you are lost?
Do you say I am already prepared, I am well-beaten and undenied, adhere to me?

O public road, I say back I am not afraid to leave you, yet I love you,
You express me better than I can express myself,
You shall be more to me than my poem.

(?, New Mexico)

. . . I think heroic deeds were all conceiv’d in the open air, and all free poems also,
I think I could stop here myself and do miracles,
I think whatever I shall meet on the road I shall like, and whoever beholds me shall like me,
I think whoever I see must be happy.

(Roswell, New Mexico)

. . . From this hour I ordain myself loos’d of limits and imaginary lines,
Going where I list, my own master total and absolute,
Listening to others, considering well what they say,
Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating,

Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me.
I inhale great draughts of space,
The east and the west are mine, and the north and the south are mine.

(Toyahvale, Texas)

. . . Now if a thousand perfect men were to appear it would not amaze me,
Now if a thousand beautiful forms of women appear’d it would not astonish me.
Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons,
It is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.

(Morris Miniature Circus)

. . . Allons! we must not stop here,
However sweet these laid-up stores, however convenient this dwelling we cannot remain here,
However shelter’d this port and however calm these waters we must not anchor here,
However welcome the hospitality that surrounds us we are permitted to receive it but a little while.

(Tucumari, New Mexico)

. . . Allons! the inducements shall be greater,
We will sail pathless and wild seas,
We will go where winds blow, waves dash, and the Yankee clipper speeds by under full sail.

(Santa Fe National Forest, New Mexico)

. . . Allons! the road is before us!
It is safe — I have tried it — my own feet have tried it well — be not detain’d!
Let the paper remain on the desk unwritten, and the book on the shelf unopen’d!
Let the tools remain in the workshop! let the money remain unearn’d!
Let the school stand! mind not the cry of the teacher!
Let the preacher preach in his pulpit! let the lawyer plead in the court, and the judge expound the law.

(Toyahvale, Texas)

. . . Camerado, I give you my hand!
I give you my love more precious than money,
I give you myself before preaching or law;
Will you give me yourself? will you come travel with me?
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?

– Walt Whitman

(Santa Fe National Forest, New Mexico)

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Four months of Texas

Travels around Texas so far in 2013 . . .


Henry Moore, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas


Luminarium by Architects of the Air, Austin


Baker Hotel, Mineral Wells


Mineral Wells






Fort Worth Modern Art Museum


A triumphant re-taking of the title to the world’s largest pecan


World’s largest cedar rocking chair, Lipan

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Road to Nowhere (Marfa-Presidio-Terlingua-Alpine)

Self with Mexico:

I stopped at the Terlingua Trading Company, where I was surprised to see Clay Henry.  The Clay Henries are a famous line of beer-drinking goats.   They lived in the neighboring town of Lajitas, at what used to be the town’s only store.  They liked beer.  Especially Lone Star.  One of the first Clay Henries was elected mayor of the town.  A subsequent Clay Henry was castrated by someone who was jealous that the goat could drink beer on Sunday morning, and he could not.  I was looking forward to visiting Clay Henry on my first trip out there, but that day he was at the dentist.

Here he is now:

Indigenous roadkill spotted: Badger, skunk, coyote.

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Also spotted – a thousand billion stars, satellites, the Milky Way.  The Milky Way!  Something I rarely see.  Cue music.

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Fort Davis, Texas







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Balmorhea, Texas

It’s been crazy windy out here in West Texas these past two days.  Tumbleweeds have been spotted.  One attacked my car.  My car won.


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Death Valley days








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