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Leaving the truck behind

Out there
by Stina Sieg
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

I love driving.

Every weekend, every holiday, every half-day of work, it’s my first thought of what do with my time. Maybe there’s a destination in mind, but maybe it’s just a light curiosity about something. If I wonder what Marble or Rulison or Meredith looks like, I might just have to go find out. With music playing, scenery whipping by, I savor the feeling of being behind the wheel. It’s a big bite of liberation.

But I won’t be tasting that for a while.



To my own shock, this weekend, I’m saying good-bye to my truck.

By the time most of you read this, I should be in Utah, hopefully Nevada. By tonight, I’ll be back in California, where my truck will stay with my parents. Saturday morning, I’ll be hopping a train back to Glenwood.



Even as I write this, it still seems surreal, and I don’t think I’ll believe it myself until I’m having to walk and ride my bike everywhere in town. This isn’t a green effort on my part. I’m not trying to save the world or make people feel bad about their own oil thirsty vehicles. I’m simply out of cash, and I’m dying to not be. I desire options. I’m yearning to be able to take a vacation. I don’t want to live so fully under the financial gun. Cutting out my biggest expense (really, it is), seems a like a good place to start.

I remember watching a documentary about Sam Shepard about 10 years ago, where he talked about why he loved driving, too. He spoke lovingly of lonely car trips that would last hours, until his eyes ran and he became planted in his seat. It doesn’t sound fun, I know, but I get it. There’s a freedom to that kind of discomfort. It’s something you can’t ever feel under the bright, impersonal lights of an office.

All of today, I’ll be lapping that up. I’ve never driven so far west from here, and I’m itching to see that country. I don’t care if it’s monochromatic and boring; it will be new.

I want to feel the tedium. I want to see the vastness. I just want the open road.

But living without it will be its own adventure, I’m sure.


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