Have you ever driven down a backroad and wondered where they go and how long they have been there? I often find myself traveling through the countryside down a back road looking out over the land as I go. I look into the pastures and see trails made by cows or other animals that lead aimlessly across the land.
Oh, the tales that these roads could tell and the adventures that happened along the way would be breathtaking and I am sure, would leave us in awe.
I think about the road I am on and can’t help but think that at one time, many of those roads were nothing more than a cattle trail, that later over time became a path and then a dirt road and finally a paved road or highway. I think about how bumpy and worn they were and the people that traveled them on horseback, in wagons, and in carriages during that time and in later years, the first automobiles. I think about the bumpy rides and the problems they had as they went down those new roads of life to a place that they had never been, with hopes and dreams of happiness and a piece of property that they could call home. I wonder about the problems that arose, the dangers, and the terror that they felt as they came across the many perils and weather conditions as they carried on with their journey. I can’t help but wonder if they saw the same beauty that we see when we travel down those cow trails that are now roads and what they thought as they made their way along the vastness of the countryside. Oh, the tales that these roads could tell and the adventures that happened along the way would be breathtaking and I am sure, would leave us in awe.
These roads were and are the foundations of our dreams and lives and are the pathways to our memories, our lives, and our future.
Next time you travel down an old back road or dirt road, take a moment to reflect as you look upon the countryside and think about the people before us that traveled down these paths and how they must have felt. Think about the foundation that they laid unknowing and of the impact that these same roads would have upon our lives later in years. Think about the roads well-traveled and how they have impacted your life and memories for years to come.
I am blessed to have been able to grow up, going down old dirt roads, and living those memories in my mind forever.
Reading about dirt roads has made me happier to make the choice to return to the dirt roads of my childhood. All the other traveled roads and places can’t compare to the legacy of home to wander in the woods again and imagine youth again. Thank you for sharing, Annemarie
Beyond the pleasure and emotion that an old dirt road can provide and that I share, we cannot forget its metaphorical meaning: Have the courage to lose yourself by following the less obvious choices dictated by the heart, do not follow the paths already taken. ..conformism … instead follow the small impervious paths that bring you knowledge.
I really enjoyed reading this piece, Charlie. What immediately comes to mind are the bike rides I would take on the country roads outside the town where I grew up-how quickly the neighborhoods shifted to farm lands, trees, and ponds. I loved riding my bike along those country roads. Your piece also made me think of the book by M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Travelled. I realize a different topic he addresses-yet, that’s where my mind went… Thank you so much for this piece, for reminding me to appreciate those who have created the roads I now travel. Welcome to BizCatalyst360!!
I am so glad you liked it. Bike rides are great. In the Pisgah National Forest where I hike and fish, is a great place and I see a lot of bikes. Biking around roads and in parks and such is a great way to see the countryside and all the beauty. I am glad it takes you to a time that you enjoy. Thank you for the warm welcome.
This is lovely, Charlie. You have the true soul of a writer! Welcome to this great community!
Thank you so much. I look forward to getting to know everyone and hope that I can provide things that people will enjoy and learn more along the way.
Charlie – Great message. I lived in Boston for 25 years and always marveled at the lack of straight streets in the original section of the city. Rumor has it these twisty-turvy streets were originally cowpaths.
One of the best books I ever read was Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon.
From the Amazon write-up: “William Least Heat-Moon set out with little more than the need to put home behind him and a sense of curiosity about “those little towns that get on the map — if they get on at all — only because some cartographer has a blank space to fill: Remote, Oregon; Simplicity, Virginia; New Freedom, Pennsylvania; New Hope, Tennessee; Why, Arizona; Whynot, Mississippi.” His adventures, his discoveries, and his recollections of the extraordinary people he encountered along the way amount to a revelation of the true American experience.”
I highly recommend it as a way to follow your lead.
Jeff thank you so very much. I will look into that book. It sounds like a very interesting book.
Some of my favorite trips are when I chose to get lost – just turned off the highway and traveled generally in the right direction, e.g. north and west.
I love to just drive and see where a back road will take me. I have seen some of the most beautiful places ever, just by taking a side step or two.
Thank you for this, Charlie! As you write, I think about how fortunate we are. The road we travel is made more accessible by those who came before us. I am grateful beyond words, and your lovely article is a great reminder.💖
Thank you so much for the compliment. In the world we have today, it is so easy to forget what it may have been like in the past. I stand upon mountain tops when I hike and as I look down below, I often wonder how people even though about making it through the places they did.
I often say that people whose only knowledge of Wisconsin is the stretch of I 41 from Milwaukee to Green Bay, they probably aren’t impressed. The texture and character of this state is found in those winding roads that take us through farmland, over all the bumps and rolling hills and all the beauty and grandeur of a landscape that was carved out by the glaciers. About the only thing that can be seen from an interstate is that people don’t mind littering. You can catch your breath and find new perspective on the two lane roads, and see where things happen… it’s where real life happens, and at a pace that doesn’t leave your knuckles all white. Thank you for this piece, I enjoyed it immensely.
Thank you, I am glad you enjoyed the article. I love what you said and you are so right. I have a coworker that is from Wisconsin and I have seen photos of her father’s farm and other places. It is beautiful up there. Littering, well that makes my ears turn red. 🙂 It is something that I will never understand.
Welcome my dear friend. Many of know that wisdom is gained walking do a dirt road.
Thank you, Larry. A lot can be learned on the old dirt roads.
Thank you for sharing this piece, Charlie. I’m certain the next time I find myself on a back road, I’ll think about who might have traveled before me and what their journeys might have looked like. Welcome to BizCat! I think you’re going to love it here!
Thank you for welcoming me here and the comment. I like to give people things to think about as they are out and about. I know I do all the time when I am traveling, hiking, or fishing streams and rivers.
Charlie – Welcome to the BC360 family. Like the Dirt Road Storytelling Group, here you will find encouragement for your writing, respectful and thoughtful engagement, and you will make new friends. Great introduction to your style with this post.
Thank you for the comment and encouragement. I look forward to providing content that people will enjoy and just maybe take them to a special place in their hearts or past.