I had to do a lot of driving this week. One of the beautiful things about being behind the wheel so much is that it gives me time to do other things, like finish my taxes, practice the French horn and catch up on my reading. It also gives me a chance to think of column ideas.
There’s an old saying, “write what you know.” With this adage in mind, initially I thought this week I might pen a column about driving. And then it occurred to me I could write an essay on puns related to Vermont-made products. I can hear some of you groaning right now at the mention of more puns. People seem to think I have some Magic Hat I pull my ideas from. Not even close. It’s Darn Tough coming up with column subjects. The Vermont-made concept turned out to be so difficult I decided to Switchback to plan “A” and discuss my love of traveling in the automobile.
As a Prelude, let me state that I have a Supra, Maxima love of driving. It is my favorite way to Traverse. Whether I am tooling around Fifth Avenue like a New Yorker, or on a Ridgeline Sierra in Montana, touring in my Crosstrek on a new Venture is good for my Soul.
Many people enjoy hitting the Lynx to Golf. I’d rather go on an Excursion in my Renegade vehicle. I don’t need a Navigator or a Passport. I don’t need an Entourage, a Caravan or an Escort. Just buckle me into my Stealth Trailblazer and I’m ready for any trip.
Not to sound too Cavalier, but when I’m driving in unfamiliar Town and Country, I have no need for a Compass. I’m an Explorer out on an Expedition. Whether I’m a Mountaineer or on a Grand Safari, I am a Freestyle Rambler. Sometimes when I’m driving I fantasize about making an Escape; just filling up the gas tank and going for a Journey out West. Maybe I’ll go as far as Colorado. Or Phoenix. Or even Lake Tahoe. Heck, I could just as easily travel to Tuscon, Sante Fe or the Grand Canyon. Possibly visit Aspen.
I want to see the Skyline. While I may not get a view of the Aurora from the desert, I could witness a Mirage. Or catch sight of Lightning on the Horizon.
If I ever do get on the open road, I’ll don a pair of cool shades and pretend I’m at LeMans or Daytona. I’ll let the wild horses under my hood loose. Broncos, Mustangs, Mavericks and Colts will unleash their Fury, and I’ll become a four-wheeled Cyclone, tearing up the tarmac like a Laser. While in this new Terrain there may be instances where I temper my enthusiasm. I don’t want to get a Citation during my western Cruze. There will, however, be times that I Ram the gas pedal to the floor, and like a super Nova explode down the highway, careful not to trigger an Avalanche. And when I do hit overdrive, Pumas, Cougars, Vipers and Cobras will part ways for this Roadrunner. Falcons and Eagles soaring above will look down on me and admire my Valiant Quest to become airborne.
Invariably, during my daydream a Rogue driver will Dart in front of me and bring me back into the present moment.
Despite my fantasies of blazing down the highway like a Comet, when I’m in town, I have a different Vibe. I don’t Sprint through Suburban areas like Cruella DeVille on a Rampage. I’m Xterra careful in these settings. Even if there is no cop Insight, I slow my Tempo down, and Focus on the posted speed. I feel it’s my Civic duty, as a Villager, to set an example and be a moderate mph Pacer.
Occasionally, I will be waiting for the traffic light to change and a Challenger will pull up beside me and want to race. Some people would get on Edge and be out of their Element in this situation. Not me. I know I’m in the Fairlane to drive slowly. I also realize I could zip ahead and Duster, but I will be a Diplomat with this Hot Rod Mama and let her pass.
At the end of the day when I’m finally done my driving, I wash the car. In the winter this task can be a Royal pain in the butt. I have to Saab when I see an innocent Beetle, Spider or Monarch stuck in my grill. But I Flex my scrubbing muscles and Endeavor to clean every Contour and Mini imperfection on the car’s body. When I am done Yukon see your reflection in the paint; and my all-wheel drive baby is ready for my next Odyssey. Or my next column idea …
Mark S. Albury lives in Northfield Falls.