Stuck in a minivan, and I’m not allowed to drive

By Jeff Salter

First of all, I can’t believe this was my topic. What was I thinking?

Secondly, I really hate traveling when I can’t drive — there’s nothing to do, I can’t read on the road, and I usually don’t like the way most other drivers operate the vehicle.

Thirdly, I don’t think I ever really liked road travel, even during the decades I was still able to do a lot of it. And I believe that goes back to those many [ ? eight ? ] family trips when I was a kid and we were stuffed into tight quarters for up to 12 hours a day with hardly any stops. Yeah, we got to see quite a few wonderful places, but I always had the notion that the time and effort to get there had been an inordinate ordeal.

Fourthly, when I did want or need to go somewhere, I much preferred to drive by myself — no other humans in the vehicle. That let me leave when I wanted, stop when I wanted, for as long (or short) as I wanted, and I could spend the entire time in silence… thinking.

Fifthly, due to a number of circumstances and conditions – which I won’t belabor here – I’ve reached the point where I hardly travel anywhere, at all… period.

So, I’m back to the beginning question: how did I arrive at this topic?

Surely I must have been mulling over the type company that I should like to be with… rather than anything about the travel itself. And this week, the resident Foxes are showing a variety of interesting and perceptive responses.


With me and three companions, we’ll need a comfy interior…

After a great deal of soul-searching, I’ll have to conclude that – for a looonnnggg road-trip, I’d want to travel with three people whose entertaining company I would enjoy and folks from whom I would learn a lot.

Here are my fellow travelers:

Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)

He traveled widely, including overseas, and always had a keen eye and sharp wit. Sam was especially perceptive about human nature and could see through pretences. Oh, if Sam is still smoking those nasty stogies, he’d have to promise to abstain while we travel — I can’t stand cigar smoke.

Will Rogers

He was one of my childhood heroes, a beloved humorist, entertainer, and commentator on both society and politics. He, too, travelled all over the world. During the restroom stops, Will could entertain us with his rope tricks. Oh, if Will still loads up with chili at every eatery on the road, he’d have to promise to abstain while we travel — I can’t stand noxious gas.

Bill Bryson

Though he has recently upset me by unnecessarily veering off into harsh and obtrusive political statements – where no political observations were appropriate – I still enjoy Bill’s wry perceptions and incisive commentary. Some of his stories are laugh-out-loud funny, while others are just chucklers — but surely Bill’s keen eye and encyclopedic grasp of geography / history would make our trip enlightening and entertaining. So, if Bill could refrain from political commentary during our travel, he’d be welcome to come along.

So those are my travel companions — Sam, Will, and Bill. Minus the cigars, the chili, and the politics.

By the way, all three were terrific writers as well as genuinely funny guys. Think of all the fascinating stories they could tell later, after I spend that loonngg trip regaling them about the goings-on here in Possum Trot!


What about YOU? Which people would you want to travel with?

[JLS # 324]


About Jeff Salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Fourteen completed novels and four completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Cowboy Out of Time" -- Apr. 2019 /// "Double Down Trouble" -- June 2018 /// "Not Easy Being Android" -- Feb. 2018 /// "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 /// "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 /// "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015 /// "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015 /// "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015 /// "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014 /// "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014 /// "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014 /// "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014 /// "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013 /// "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013 /// "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013 /// "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012 /// "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012 /// Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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9 Responses to A LOOOONNNNGGGG Road-trip

  1. jbrayweber says:

    Like you, I prefer to drive. Mostly because I get carsick. But also, because I have control issues–like you. 😉

    Three people I would travel with, hmmm…that requires thought and it’s early. (I’m not a morning person, despite that I get up at 5am most days.) There are lots of people I would want to travel with, probably in smaller increments than really long distances. Actors/actresses, authors, musicians, historical figures, I’m fascinated by many people. I just don’t think I could pick just three. At least not this early.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Patricia Kiyono says:

    Great choices! I agree about not wanting to travel with cigars, chili and political commentary, but I would imagine they might not take kindly to those limitations. So maybe they’d each have to take one leg of the journey with you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I really loved driving long stretches, but, like you, life made some changes on me, so no more.
    You and I are of a like mind in this, Jeff, and I nearly grabbed Mark Twain myself, but I went a different ‘route'(!) with my choices, although I like yours.VERY interesting!
    I think you’ll find my fellow travelers to be so, too.

    [You can have Twain; I forgot about the cigars! Roll down the windows.]

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What great choices. I never would have considered Samuel Clemens but it would be interesting to travel with him and talk.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      all three of my selectees not only traveled a great deal, but wrote a LOT about their travels. Guess that’s why their names jumped out at me.


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