Willie Nelson wrote and sang his famous “on the road” song about music tours. I have heard it played many times as I, too, was on the road.
I love driving on the open road, particularly on backroads and the older two-lane state roads. So I shun air flights as much as possible when traveling in the United States to visit my scattered relatives. Interstate highways don’t stimulate my Milepost Muse like the state and county roads do.
On the “I-number” highways, the scenery always appears the same for long stretches. Mile after mile of mostly distant scenery interspersed with repetitive franchise signs at exits. The muse tends to sleep and I fight the same temptation. I use the interstate roads only to make up time after dalliances on slower, more stimulating cut-across routes.
As you can imagine, I take a bit longer to reach my destination than most of my fellow automobile travelers. Still, my Muse gets revved up; stimulated by weirdly painted houses or barns, collections of rusted old cars, out of the way museums and local lore, small town cafes called Mom’s or Jerry’s Place, horses and cows with their necks strung through fencing, where I suppose they believe the grass truly is greener. Locales for stories, names for characters, scenes for a poem, history for an article, passing by in a continuous stimulation stream.
Almost no lengthy trip fails to generate a few ideas for articles, a poem, a short story, or even one of my crude attempts at watercolor painting. So, like Willie Nelson, I love being on the road again.
And so does the Milepost Muse who always takes home some new writing content.