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Thursday, February 19, 2009

2008 Journey: North Carolina to Alberta

Day 1: 14 June: Chillicothe, OH
I sit on the edge of this hotel bed unthinking, staring...
Some topless young men are drinking and smoking
at the parking of the next building.

Despite the whirring air conditioning,
I can still feel the sinking sun on my skin,
painful proof that I'm still living.
Earlier I thought I was a wandering spirit
trying to get away from this summer heat,
away from the sight of dead deer
numerous on the Interstate System.

I had a couple of close calls today:
nearly spun and ended in a ditch in North Carolina,
nearly crashed during a thunderstorm in West Virginia.
But marvelled at the grandeur of the Appalachians.

Day 2: 15 June: Menomonie, WI
Checking the weather forecast is what I need
in this hotel tonight. There's flooding in the mid-west
so to the northwest I must head.

Driving with two feet alternating
on the gas pedal did the trick.
1200 miles I've covered without complaining.
However my stomach is churning
with my daily dose of cookies, crackers,
chewing gums, potato chips, chocolates...

Not much action on the roads of Indiana and Illinois.
Just the usual race of cars and cargo trucks heading west.
No picture taking while driving at 95 mph either,
not wanting to be a passenger of EMS.

Day 3: 16 June: Dickinson, ND
Getting a room is a bit difficult here;
Elderly tourists are everywhere.
I need a cool place to plot the shortest route.

Driving on I-90W of Wisconsin and Minnesota
today was like racing with suntanned men
in their four wheel trucks and cowboy hats.

North Dakota's roads were rough
and here began sights of no man's land
and mine as the only breathing heart.

Day 4: 17 June: Lethbridge, AB
It's the season when most hotels are fully booked
so I'm glad to have found one soon
enough, before at the wheel I could snooze.

Driving on Montana Hwy2 today was like riding
a roller-coaster with myself as the lone rider,
with its uphill climbs and downhill slides,
the route taken by Louis and Clark.

An overdose of treeless, barren prairies,
though made heavenly by the Rockies,
made me detour to keep my sanity.
(I do like the way people tipped
their hats at the sight of me.)

At Great Falls were car dealers
with whom I was tempted
to trade in my car but I ended
up getting a car wash instead.
Mosquitoes stuck on the windshield
like black snowflakes finally disappeared.

Through Sweetgrass-Coutts border,
I entered Alberta. Four days of burning fuel
and arguing with my GPS was finally over.
So many lessons learned from this 2400-mile journey
Tomorrow will be treasured truly.

Crossing Montana in June 2008...
Couldn't take pix at 95 mph, so just view these sites:


  1. Hi Ms. J,

    You journal has inspired me, I am going through a very tough time in my life right now, and I am thinking of going back into writing journals and essays my self. I havent done in such a long time, I was too busy with work, work, work. I hope you let me get in touch with you again. My email address is

    You may not remember me, but I've never forgotten about you and the things i've learned from you. Thank you.

    God Bless You Always!


  2. Hi, Jacelyn!

    Thanks for getting in touch. It's always good to hear from former students.

    Go ahead. Start writing and have fun. This blogspot was actually started by my writer sister, so that my work could be made more accessible. I'm not a good writer, but it's my way of expressing myself. It's not meant to impress anyone; otherwise, I'd be miserable... Writing is a hobby and a therapy for me, so the site really helps as a kind of bank where I post all my pieces.

    As for your situation, it looks like you're trapped in this economy-driven society. You're now at your crossroads. Make a choice. Continue what you're doing, modify it, or leave it and change your life. Mine has always been simple and without complication because I learned from Buddhism that eliminating desire leads to happiness. One Japanese also taught me how to turn my work into a hobby. Now I shouldn't envy my contemporaries who have acquired so much and don't know when to stop, relax and enjoy the scent of newly-cut grass. I don't have much, but I'm stress- free. Think about it.

    Looking forward to reading your pieces, too. Keep in touch.

    Miss J