It’s the Journey

As a child I learned the value of “going for a ride”. I’m sure you are all familiar with the term “Sunday Driver”, you know the sort. After church and Sunday dinner the folks would load up whatever kids were around and go for a ride. We were in that category except for the church part, Gale and I would go to church with Grandma when we were little but no one else attended. We just wanted to get out of the house really.

There was usually not a destination spoken, but with dad at the wheel we’d head out to the Black Canyon Dam and play at the Dam Park. Or he would turn toward the lambing pens early in the spring time so we could see the baby lambs. Sometimes we would stop at someones house and we kids would wait in the car until the all clear was sounded. Our family was polite enough to not drag a bunch of kids up the front door. I do remember waiting in the car alot, whether parked in the front of a Casino on the way to California or waiting for dad’s longer-than-life-itself appointments at the VA hospital in Boise. Those were marathon days, and could we get out and play on the grass…nooooooo! I don’t think they trusted us enough to stay at home by ourselves since that little “fire” incident. Consequently we were dragged along.

Although I have 6 siblings I don’t recall a “ride” with all of us in tow. I think the older ones were pushing each other out of the way to see who could get out first and be on their own. Cripes my mom probably would have stayed in the empty house trying frantically to change the locks to keep us all out. Ah, sweet relief. I’m sure we were the average energetic children, playing loudly and knocking crap over, so we were directed to play outside, unless it was the VA hospital.

These little adventures were always fun for me and often even after a long day at work in the car, I still like to “go for rides”. That surely befuddles my sweet husband, but Iyam what Iyam, to quote Popeye!

While we were in Hawaii we went on several rides. One day we chose to take the road to Hana, which is 50 miles of winding hill hugging road through the most amazing tropical forest. I recall looking up thinking I’d never seen a forest like this and wondered what sort of tree I was looking at. What I saw was soft and bushy and so dense you couldn’t tell where one tree started and the other ended. As we got closer I realized it wasn’t a tree at all but acres and acres of bamboo. I was awe struck. The flora that I’ve never seen before, flowers with large drooping leaves that spilled gorgeous petals we drove over as they littered the road. Now thats a litter I can live with.

We saw a sweet little village shown in the picture above is Haiku. This tiny place had been wiped out sometime in the 1940’s by a tidal wave. The survivors moved a little upland and rebuilt. Nice results.

Many people take the road to Hana, drive around the tiny village head back and wonder what all the fuss was about. It was the getting there, the sighting of things never seen before and breathtaking views of the ocean. We weren’t even close to being in Kansas anymore Toto! We are in paradise. Before this trip I always thought Hawaii was pedestrian, I didn’t really care if I had gone there or not, it was something everyone else did. But when queried with the idea I shrugged and said why not. What I’ve discovered is I don’t do all the things other people do anyway. So why should I treat this trip any different. So we took a different journey and saw things that changed us and made us think. Over 1000 cars a day take this long 50 mile 3 hour drive 2 lane road and we all see something different. What I saw was peaceful, beautiful and eye popping, and literally life changing.

On a drive home the other night, after an all day meeting, my drive took me an hour and a half to get home. My thoughts were that I could have been half way to Hana by now. I invite you to have a great journey today, whatever your destination.

6 thoughts on “It’s the Journey

  1. “Halfway to Hana…” makes a great book title.

    Re childhood “rides” yep we went on plenty of them and the boring part to me was the parental arguments of where so and so lived and when they died, etc. Also I believe we were never let out at the VA because we might have been tempted to abuse the squirrels. I have also sat in the car in the woods waiting for Dad to come back from panning gold or back from fishing, didn’t matter, We DID NOT LEAVE THE CAR!!

  2. I remember riding the ditches, but for some reason I do not remember ever getting out to the car at any destination, and never at McDonald’s playground. And sorry about the fire thing….

  3. It’s already hard enough that I can’t go back for a visit this xmas, but this certainly had me thinking back on some very fond memories.

    Whenever we’re moving at a snail’s pace in traffic or confined to an endless autostrada, I’m always visualizing palm trees, blue skies and the like. I call it tropical vision. 😉

  4. Gas was cheap back in those days, and it wasn’t like we went anywhere. As far as the county line, maybe New Plymouth, never any place new. I never once got to hear Dad complete a whole song without mother turning on the radio, which usually signaled the end of the ride and things were quiet all the way home, if we were lucky.

  5. “…It ain’t so sin to take off your skin and dance around in your bones…”


    “I love you, a bushel and a peck, a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck..”

    And we sometimes provided our own sing a long; “This Old Man” and even “99 Bottles of Beer on The Wall” as well as “The Ants Go Marching On”. No shutting THAT radio off.

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