Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Driving with the top down

After spending twelve hours in airports and aircraft on my way home from Louisiana, I was rewarded with a late night drive from Albany to New Paltz.

There's no better way to travel on a starry summer night than in a Miata with the top down.  I have a panorama of road, rocks, trees, and sky - endless sky, and so much more.

The smells are amazing.  From fresh cut alfalfa to wood smoke to barnyards to skunks and roadkill,  each scent bringing with it a memory for a few seconds, to be replaced by another olfactory trigger and another memory, like a slide show of my life.

The sounds too are different.  The constant roar of the wind, the Doppler effect of the trucks on  the northbound side, the Miata's exhaust making the tiny engine roar like a race car.  These things, unlike the smells, keep me in the present.

The refreshing coolness of the night air as the Miata slices through it at seventy makes me want to get off the Thruway and find a winding mountain road where the machine and I can commune with the night, but I've been away for a week and home is the stronger pull.