New York. Chicago. Columbus, Ohio. Dozens of places that seem like a good idea at the time. Niagara Falls. Six of us drive through the night to sleep on picnic tables until first light, river rushing in our ears. Florida at Christmas. I wake to a mockingbird doing cardinal impressions and stay until April mosquitoes come out. San Diego to Tucson and back, more than once. Leave after dark, arrive before dawn. I never see the intervening desert. Cleveland to Pittsburgh. Bloomington to Louisville. Estes Park to Boulder in second gear. Turkey Creek, west of Denver. Mountain hail sandwiched with fat slices of sunshine. Annie's cattle break the fence and follow the creek. Each morning brings cows milling in the front yard.  Coffee mugs in hand, we wave stout sticks and shout in Spanish, German, Hungarian, driving them across the highway, back up the canyon. And out of  Flagstaff, racing the weather one year, boots and beer, beans and bacon.  Nowhere and nothing but faded street corner Indians and dusty pickups  dotted with snow, snow that falls with late afternoon, snow like snow  never  falls in Ohio, snow like great clumps of pillow feathers freed in a savage fight. 

Copyright 2000, Jan C. Snow 

Jan C. Snow has published essays, fiction, nonfiction and poetry in a wide variety of  publcations, and her commentaries are heard nationally on public radio as a feature of "Weekend Radio." Two volumes of these essays have been published. Still addicted to road trips, she's considering ending this summer by crossing the country with a friend who's taking a car to LA. When she's home, she writes and teaches in Lakewood, Ohio, one city west of