"Into the great wide open
Under them skies of blue
Out in the great wide open
A rebel without a clue"
- "Into The Great Wide Open", Tom Petty
What is it about an open road?
I have a bit of an obsession with them. Whenever I see a long stretch of highway, my feet start to tingle. Some mornings, I just need to get up and get outta Dodge. I buckle my son in the car, pop in my "driving music", and go.
This is the picture that has fueled my imagination throughout the writing of my first book. It's a photo of the Kougarok Road in Northern Alaska. It starts in Nome and stops... where? Most people never reach the end of it. To look at the picture, you would think it lasted forever. It beckons you to hop in your car and drive, until you reach either a town or the end of the world.
But like all great roads, and all great adventures, it ends eventually, at a vaguely derelict bridge out in the middle of the tundra. The bridge taunts you. You can see the landscape stretching off until it melts into the distant horizon, but this is as far as you can go by car. Unless you have a four-wheeler, all you can do is stand and admire the view.
Big scenery like this fuels me. It makes me want to push myself just a little farther, drive just a little longer, try just a little harder. What's beyond that distant horizon? What's beyond the horizon after that? It reminds me life is just one long adventure, waiting to be had.
When I look at this picture, it makes me itch to get in the car and get started.