“How do you prefer to travel?”
The answer to this question is by car or RV.
I enjoy being behind the steering wheel as the miles disappear behind me.
My love of driving began with my first car. I wrote about using it to transit between my jobs in Skokie and Waukegan, Illinois, and home in 1965-66. It was before I joined the Navy. I didn’t count the times I left work and drove the 180 plus miles to visit my mother and siblings, staying a few hours and driving back to my apartment to get ready to go to work. I know I logged several thousand miles between June 1965 and November 1966.
My driving days went limited to a short leave period in February 1967. Though I used my mother’s car while on leave, I recorded only a couple hundred miles visiting old school chums and dating old girlfriends. Then, back to school in California absent a car.
I completed the training in California in November and received orders for more schooling in Pensacola, Florida. I took leave and enjoyed a few hundred miles behind the wheel again. Once more, a plane ride took me away.
My Second Car
Finally, in March 1968 I received my first assignment that was not a school. So I went home in transit and bought a car. It was a 1960 Chevrolet Impala. I was in Washington and needed to get to Chesapeake, Virginia. The trip was enjoyable only in the length of time behind the wheel. It was the first of five journeys between the base and home over the next twenty-two months. Each trip was almost two thousand miles round trip.
Now that I was a road warrior, I took every opportunity to get behind the wheel and log hours behind the wheel. When I was stationed again in Pensacola, we would drive to Illinois to visit my family or Corpus Christi, Texas, to visit my wife’s family.
Until we lost our parents and several siblings, my wife and I made regular trips to visit family. Since, we have made several road trips to visit cousins, nephews, and nieces.
Miles on the road
I won’t argue that my wife has shared many of the hours behind the wheel while I played passenger. Between us, we put over a hundred thousand miles on each, a Volkwagen Beetle, a Ford station wagon, a 1984 Jeep Cherokee, a 1987 Jeep Cherokee, a 1970 Ford F-150, a 2013 GMC Acadia. In addition, we put over three hundred twenty thousand miles on a 1989 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Those are the vehicles my wife and I owned. Before we married, I put thousands of miles on my original Ford Fairlane and more on my Mom’s Buick while stationed in Corpus Christi. There were more on a 1970 Ford Galaxie, a 1970 Ford Torino, a 1969 Mustang, and multiple rentals for job-related travel. Not as much as a long-distance driver, but clearly over a million road miles.
The Next Million
Though I am retired and passed my seventieth birthday, I still love to spend time behind the wheel on local trips and the annual pilgrimage to Texas in our RV. Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten my wife’s concurrence. Still, I hope to log another million miles before my driving days are over.