The Travel Issue 2014
When Historic Roads Beckon
Like water to the desert, so is the imagination to the mind. When dry, a single thought, vision or dream can flood our thoughts and awaken the genius within. Children know this space well. Without effort they can transport themselves anywhere, be anyone and accomplish anything. Children believe anything is possible.
I was nine years old when I held a fossil in my hand for the first time during a field trip with my 4th grade class. The archeologist tried to explain how many millions of years old the leaf on the rock was. I couldn’t wrap my brain around the time element but I could imagine being in a world that had no people, no buildings and vast open spaces. “Exactly,” the archeologist said to me, pleased that I could visualize what he was trying to explain.
Growing up in the desert provided ample opportunity for exploration. A Saturday would be spent with the family in the dune buggy traversing countless dirt roads. I would ride along imagining what would lie ahead...a ghost town, an old mine, a single grave in a remote area...each outing leading to a place and a story which, if unknown, I would create. And, on many occasions, my make believe scenario reflected some element of the historical truth.
“i am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. imagination is more important than knowledge. knowledge is limited. imagination encircles the world.”
- albert einstein
Perhaps this explains my fascination with old roads. It is not unusual for me to head out for a day or two and explore a new route. I travel slow enough to take in the scenery, buildings, signs, sidewalks and architecture along the way.
I use to love sitting in my college dorm listening to my roommate, Geri-Lynn, share the research she was doing for her classes. As a History major, Lynn had me on the edge of my seat with the passion she possessed in each delivery she conveyed. Thirty years later, we still share a zealous lust for history. Her last visit to the southwest led us down countless highways and through the steps of abandoned structures.
The Travel Issue of Élan is filled with articles by people like myself who prefer to ‘take the long way home.’ Each article takes you down a journey to places where those who forged the southwest left their mark along the way. From Historic Route 66 to the old Arrowhead Trail, you won’t have to go beyond our pages to experience them yourself. Even my old ‘roomie,’ Lynn, gives you a taste of one of our great adventures we continue to research, the Olive Oatman story.
When historical roads beckon, take them. Experience the excitement of visiting the past. The road less traveled is a gateway to engage your imagination. Don’t hesitate. Go! The highway is calling you to places longing to share their story.
Founder, Editor in Chief