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A journey begins
JOHN GIBBS is a resident of Gays Mills, Wisconsin. He is an award-winning weekly columnist for the Crawford County Independent newspaper in Gays Mills, Wisconsin.

GAYS MILLS - Call me crazy but as you read this, I’m on a long road trip. This will be a sentimental and transitional journey, one that I have wanted to take for some time. I’ll actually be going away from the Covid hot spot that Wisconsin has become of late as I head out west for a big looping tour of some familiar and some new faces and places. I’ll be writing about it for the next few weeks and sharing the trip with you.

They say that half the fun of going on a trip is planning it and thinking about it ahead of time. If that’s the case, this trip is going to be very enjoyable. I will be connecting with people throughout the trip, high school and college friends, a former employer, and of course relatives. In different times, I might have done a bit of couch surfing on the trip, but under present conditions I will no doubt stay at several motels.

With much of the fall chores done, I hope to enjoy some good weather on this jaunt before winter sets in. My route will be across the northern tier of states to Washington before I turn south into Oregon and thence most of the way down the Golden State.

From there. I turn left to take a northeasterly path toward home. I’m packing warm clothes for whatever I run into while north and shorts for the visit with my sister in Las Vegas (weather prediction for the week ahead: high 80s and low 90s).

I’ve had the car looked at and deemed ‘good-to-go’ on such a trip. I bought most of the curd the Marketplace had, which I will take to trade with and gift friendly natives. I have no pressing obligations to concern me while I’m gone. I have a number of newly cleaned CDs (the Gays Mills Public Library offers the service) to listen to, books to read, maps to puzzle over, and a well-stocked cooler for food on the fly. I hope to avoid any kind of a crowd and will eschew crowded restaurants. I will finally get to try some drive-through coffee places for my morning eye-openers.

As I began planning for the trip, I started reading a 1859 book called ‘The Prairie Traveler: a Handbook for Overland Expeditions.’ It was interesting to plan a modern car trip, as I read this quite dated book and I will be traveling in the same direction and areas that I read about.