Josna Rege

232. Before Interstates, Before Automobiles

In Stories on November 14, 2021 at 4:04 pm

From a New England November of yesteryear. . .

Tell Me Another

The Oxbow—Connecticut River Near Northampton by Cole Thomas (Wikimedia Commons) The Oxbow—Connecticut River Near Northampton by Thomas Cole, 1836 (Wikimedia Commons)

I’ll never forget the time Andrew and I drove cross-country with our world-traveled friend Peta, on her first trip to the United States in the nineteen seventies. Anticipating a rugged ride into the Wild West, she was singularly unimpressed with the reality of American highway travel. “Everything looks the same,” she complained, citing the HoJo’s restaurants and motor lodges with their ubiquitous orange roofs all along the Eastern highways and the Stuckey’s chain with their corn-syrup-filled pecan pies and log rolls regularly clogging the arteries through the South, Midwest, and Southwest. What blots on the magnificent landscape! Even as we argued with Peta, insisting that she would see wild aplenty as soon as we got off the Interstate, we couldn’t help agreeing with her.

The U.S Interstate Highway System has blasted through rugged rock and ridge, cutting out the sinuous…

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