Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Final Thought on Vacation

Yes, here it is, November already and I'm finally posting the last observation on the August vacation. I got a lot of mileage out of it, in terms of blog posts, in addition to adding around 1500 miles to the odometer. This is the last vacation post, unless, of course, it's not, but I'm thinking it is.

The Jeep doesn't have air conditioning. I don't care. It's a Jeep. If I take off the windows and drive 60, I have air conditioning. I grew up in a time where cars didn't have AC. I remember when this was a selling point for luxury models. I have memories of being piled into the back of the car and driven to and from Gram's, a two hour drive, in the summer, with my siblings, without air conditioning. We survived. Now, of course, we wouldn't dream of doing that.

Yet, I drove to Virginia and back without air. On the way out, it wasn't warm enough, at least from my point of view, to have the windows open. Particularly as you get up into the mountains in the evening, the air temperature can be downright chilly.

On the way back, it was muggy and warm. I had the driver's side window down and then, when I stopped for gas mid-morning, put down the driver's side window because I needed the air circulation. The windows weren't put back up until I realized I'd be driving through rain for some time. You need to remember, I have a soft top with soft side windows. I don't "roll the windows down". I have to unzip them so "putting up the passenger side window" involves stopping somewhere to do that. There is nothing electronic about windows in my car.

By the time I got to Ohio, I had noticed a curious phenomenon. My glasses seemed to be awfully dirty. It bugs me to look through dirty lenses. I must have four or five glass cleaning clothes scattered about the house, purse and office. I don't know how you can see properly when there is a film of dirt on the lenses. So, it was most annoying to me to have what seemed to be constantly dirty glasses. Every time I stopped, be it for food or gas, I was cleaning my glasses. I even took them off and cleaned them with my tee shirt as I was driving because it just got to be like looking through waxed paper. I couldn't figure this out. It was incredibly annoying.

Then it occurred to me that because my driver's side window was open, I could be exposed to road grime. This would be the natural dust and dirt and who knows what else kicked up by traffic traveling at high speeds over a roadway. Once I had to put up the windows because of the rain, the film on my glasses ceased to accumulate. I thought about this and washed my face when I got home. The soap suds were not a milky white.

I love the smells of road travel. Driving through rain yields the smells of wet earth and wet pavement. Spring has fresh air and the smells of the earth awakening. Summer brings the smell of earth after a rain, the smell of steam, the smell of hay and growth. Fall brings a crisp air smell with leaves and the harvest and winter has the smell of frozen air. Every season brings a reason to have the window down. Yet this was kind of disturbing to think about. What else is going on my face and in my lungs, kicked up by travel on a highway? I won't change my driving habits to avoid this, however. I will just need to make sure I have glass cleaner at the ready.

Beverage:  Yorkshire Gold tea


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