Friday, June 7, 2013

I want to go back

You know, I've been blessed to have been able to travel to a variety of places. I've walked the streets of the Old City in Jerusalem and stood in the Garden of Gethsemane on a Saturday night, staring across the valley at the lit up Temple Mount.

I've visited Hiroshima and stood near the spot where the bomb detonated. I've walked past a place where Mozart lived and a place where Gregor Mendel did some of his experiments in genetics.

A cab driver in Amman, Jordan, took me down to the Dead Sea and introduced me to a camel herder. I've driven the Pacific Coast highway from San Francisco to LA.

I want to go back to the Pacific Coast highway, but this time I would drive it north from Santa Barbara to Seattle. That's just a fantasy, though. I have neither the money nor the time for that. Just as I'll never drive the road -- I think it's U.S. 2 -- from the Pacific coast through Montana and North Dakota.

I want to go back to the lower part of the Ohio River someday, preferably on a warm, dry week in summer. I want to spend a week in Paducah alone, and another few days exploring the area from Evansville to Cairo. I want to chat with the locals, see the old wicket dams, cross the bridges and count the boats.

There are plenty of towns with histories most of us never think about. There are contrasts within a few miles that I want to examine. What, I really want to know, is the difference between Cairo, Illinois, and Wycliffe, Kentucky? On a July evening, would I still find a couple of boys fishing at Lock and Dam 53? Are some of the old buildings that I saw on a quick visit to Golconda in1986 still there?

And where is the best place to photograph the lower river?

Maybe I will get down there someday. Adam wants to go with me. You can have Myrtle Beach and Las Vegas and Disney World. I just want to see America -- including the town of that name in Illinois.