Friday, September 9, 2005

Part I: A Journey of Remembrance


About 200 years ago began the celebrated Journey of Discovery, as Lewis & Clark set forth from St. Louis, to explore the upper reaches of the Mighty Missouri River, and seek the mythical Northwest Passage to the Pacific Ocean.

They could have waited a few generations and flown it in a fraction of the time, but that's non sequitur and I digress.

Roughly 200 years later, I began my own journey. Not of discovery in the sense of Lewis & Clark; for my journey was taking me back to a place I had already been, years ago. But discovery still awaited me there. Discovery of what remained of the past that I'd grown up with and around.

It began at 11am on Tuesday, September 6, 2005. It ended at 4pm, Friday, September 9, 2005. It covered 1717 driving miles: light of day, dark of night, city, highway, rest stops, rural country roads, parking lots, even a cemetery. It 'took me home' on country roads of asphalt and gravel; it saw miles of hot, muggy sun, and periods of torrential, driving rain. It saw magnificent sun rises, placid sun sets, early morning mists, pre-dawn fog, and a dark of the moon as black as I remember. It took me across rivers with an ease that Lewis & Clark could but have only envied; and it took me across one of the rivers they explored (the Missouri), and across others they never knew of (the Platte, the Nishnabotna, the Racoon, The Skunk, the Iowa and the Cedar).

With one exception, I sought no specimens on my journey; and those my windshield collected, well, they would have been unrecognizable after impact, anyway, even by Lewis & Clark standards.

At all times, it was September, 2005; yet, for brief moments, I stood in a place, little changed from that as I knew it, as much as 41 years before. It was me, revisiting places and memories of my childhood. And it was definitely done in the style that's been me through much of my life, as various upcoming episodes will reveal, confirming that a part of my childhood lives on herein ;-)

The klutz part.

The trek began from the Green Mountain portion of Lakewood, CO, where I reside; destination, Waterloo, Iowa: home from 1964-1971. My planned itinerary included, but was not limited to:

- visiting the homes, farms, schools, church and other landmarks that were a part of my life back then

- visiting friends whom I hadn't seen in 15 and more years

- getting photos of that/whom I could (a few of which will make it hereon)

- looking up others who I remembered, or was asked to locate by other family members

- paying respects to a few who were since departed

- acquiring an ear of field corn as a souven'ear' and companion for my pet rock, Seymour

As you can see, it was an important trip. Well, okay, it was at least to me. And originally planned to be fit into a five-day itinerary.

Subject, of course, to change at a whim. Mine.

Upcoming episodes to include:

Part II: Nebraska Explained (aka, A Key Dilemma)
Part III: Coming 'Home'
Part IV: The Land That Time Forgot...And Not
Part VI: A Criminal Of The Corn
Part VII: Remembrance
Part VIII: Parting And The Hazardous Road

Journey along, as I stumble and bumble my way to the past, with some current-day visitations of stuff that's...weirdly me.

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14 October, 2005 03:14  

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