Tumbleweed Smith
Tumbleweed Smith

I love travel and all that goes with it: the planning, the frustration, the airport waits, the crowds getting on cruise ships, the anticipation, the thrill of reaching the destination and seeing the wonders of the world. I have always loved to drive and have taken some wonderful trips by motor home and car. It’s fun to see how far you can go in one day.

Once when I was a soldier in Europe we went from Kassel, Germany to Venice, Italy over an 18-hour period of time. We left one Saturday morning at 6 AM and got to the Venice area at midnight. We spent the rest of that night in Mestre, a Venice suburb.

We were up at 8 AM Sunday and after breakfast we rode gondolas, took some pictures at St. Mark’s Plaza saw some fancy pieces of glass and got back in the VW Beetle at noon Sunday. In another 18 hours we were back on post by 8 AM Monday ready to report for duty. It wasn’t a leisurely trip by any means, but while we were in Venice we were relaxed and felt like we were lucky to be in such a special place.

Shakespeare said “I could be bounded in a nutshell and consider myself the king of infinite space.” We felt the same about time. We had a short time to visit, but we felt like we had all the time in the world to spend in Venice.

I have traveled from Memphis to Big Spring in one stretch, did the same thing from Big Spring to Tucson. Easy trips, both of them.

We aren’t doing much travel these days. No airports, No cruise ships. No long car trips. Every once in a while we need to get out of the house and drive somewhere. One afternoon we drove out to Moss Creek Lake and Signal Peak.

That gave us the idea to explore Howard County. Our first trip was to Forsan, 15 miles south. Then we went to Coahoma, 8 miles east. We went north to Knott (which has an East Knott, Middle Knott and West Knott). Then we went southwest to Elbow and Lomax. We’re looking forward to going to Ross City and Otis Chalk, Vincent and Luther. One of the secrets of having a happy life is always having something to look forward to.

We have a new city bypass called a reliever route, intended to take big truck traffic off our major north-south street. We explored the new highway the other day and discovered that the reliever route adds a couple of miles, but is faster. If you’re going from Lubbock to San Angelo on Highway 87 and take the Big Spring exit and go through town, you’ll go 10 miles in 18 minutes. If you stay on 87 you’ll go 15 miles in 14 minutes. If you take it, you’ll see some virgin prairie and some small canyons. It is undeveloped country, no service stations or stores. Yet.

I have no idea when we’ll take another cruise or travel across an ocean in an airplane. We do know that our first trips out of town will be to see our kids and grandkids. Our older son lives in Dallas and our younger son lives in Oakland, California. Son number one came out with his family one time this summer but we haven’t been with our California bunch in eight months, the longest we’ve been apart.