Of course cars are the main thing on a road trip. Some sections of the old Route 66 have displays of the types of cars that were there in its glory days and there are ghosts of the retro gas stations from a time when nobody thought about fuel efficiency.
And we often saw huge trucks and trains because goods are being moved constantly and the side roads we picked, though generally quiet, do feed the main highways.
Most of all we were delighted to see the transportation methods used by the Amish people in Pennsylvania: buggies with horses, plain but cute scooters rather than bicycles and wonderful old farm equipment powered by teams of donkeys or horses. We spent Sept 11 in that peaceful environment and it was perfect. We made an effort to learn more details about the Amish values of collaboration and rejection of violence — how their views prevent them from “employing force in any human relationship” and how this means they will abandon a farm or community if harassed, rather than take revenge. Also, their goal of being plain relates to the desire not to elevate any one person above another.
Later on the trip we were surrounded by ornate motorbikes in Las Vegas and Reno… 50,000 of them in Reno for the Street Vibrations event. I think it’s very safe to say that Nevada is not quite as serene as the Lancaster county area of Pennsylvania. Although the road from Las Vegas to Reno is long and desolate, it is scattered with military bases and missile launching compounds, well-advertised brothels, dead mining towns and, wherever there might be a cluster of people, casinos.
But then there’s that other, exhilarating side of Nevada…. the breathtaking splendor when art and technology and lots of money collide! We went to the Cirque du Soleil’s “Love” show in Las Vegas and we were mesmerized! We know it would never exist without the financial foundation of an entity like the Mirage hotel/casino in Las Vegas because along with the Beatles music and the amazing acrobatics, it was a miracle of Very Expensive technology. It takes huge resources and talent to create a production like that and I felt proud of the Cirque du Soleil’s Canadian roots. Interestingly, when we got home our neighbour said he doesn’t like Cirque because there are no stars. So perhaps the Cirque du Soleil encompasses some bit of what the Amish propose 🙂 And those performers are truly collaborating and depending on each other. Almost every move requires huge trust.
I guess life is all about contradiction. Can’t we have the best of all worlds?