Literature: Song of the Open Road

Greetings from The Road. I’m on a two-week ski trip, sputtering along in my 1970 VW van from Vail, Colorado to Tahoe to Salt Lake and back. It’s all dusty, dry air and blue skies here this morning, mid-Utah, and I’m just setting off to see how far I can make it through Nevada at 55 mph before it gets dark. Taking off on a big fat road trip is exhilarating, especially when it involves new terrain. I’ve never traversed Nevada, never been to Reno, Truckee, or South Lake Tahoe, so I’m all open-eyed about it. And in this moment, perhaps Walt Whitman–in the first lines of his “Song of the Open Road”–expresses the excitement I’m feeling (from a vehicle and not on foot…):

Afoot and light-hearted, I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me, leading wherever I choose.

Henceforth I ask not good-fortune—I myself am good fortune;
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Strong and content, I travel the open road…

That’s just the start of a very long, beautiful poem. To read more of Walt Whitman’s “Song of the Open Road” on, click here.

Whitman, Walt. Leaves of Grass. Philadelphia: David McKay, [c1900];, 1999. [March 17, 2010].


4 responses to “Literature: Song of the Open Road

  1. Travel safe, I am so jealous!

  2. Enjoy SLC! After skiing a long day at Alta, make sure to grab a beer at Goldminer’s and then a burrito at Lone Star taqueria. Safe travels.

  3. Hope your enjoying Truckee and the high sierra ! I’ve got lots of must see (do) ideas if your list is not already a long one. Be safe, have fun .

  4. Thanks for all of your road-trippin’ encouragements. I’ve been in Truckee for two days and am now heading down to South Lake Tahoe. Highlight so far: Donner Ski Ranch. Whoo hoo!! -t

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