Tonawanda News


January 14, 2013

HAYNES: Becoming a road warrior

I put a lot of miles on my odometer in December 2012.

Those of you who regularly follow my column know that in the span of 36 hours I drove more than 400 miles early in the month to visit my grandmother’s birthplace in Pennsylvania.

Little did I know it was just a practice run for a 1,400-mile whopper of a trip I’d end up making by myself just before the new year.

I spent a couple weeks with my family in Texas for the Christ-mas holiday, and just before I was set to head back to snowy Buffalo, I was given the opportunity to buy my parents’ car. Sure, it’s five years old, but it’s a definite upgrade from my poor old beater, and a big weight off my shoulders ... I never knew when the old green machine would give out.

But it also meant about 20 hours on the road. By myself. Oh yeah, and since I didn’t know I’d be making the trip, I had no CDs or my iPod on hand to keep me entertained.

Guess I’ll be doing some contemplating of life, soul-searching if you will, on this sure-to-be boring trip, I thought. It will surely make for some good column fodder, I thought.

Not so much.

It was perhaps the most uneventful, easy road trip I think a person could have on their own. I largely just listened to books on tape, so my mind was pretty occupied. No need to contemplate the meaning of my life. No grand, ah-ha! moments worthy of a Tolstoy novel. Nothing to inspire me to go on a two-week bender writing the next “On the Road” or “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.”

I think any writer — journalist or novelist — envisions being the next great Kerouac or Hunter Thompson.

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