I thought the US was made up only of the cities I had seen so often in movies and on TV. Until one summer I visited Yosemite and everything changed. I realized the country included immense areas and natural wonders unknown in Europe.
Once I moved here, I vowed to discover a new part of my new country every year on my birthday. It was the only way to truly getting acquainted with my immense new country.
So every year I pick another state I want to visit, and make my husband arrange a trip as a birthday present.
But last year he gave me another present: a car. The only hitch was he bought it from a friend who worked at a dealership in Arizona. Could we really save money buying in Arizona? It was a favor to a friend, he explained, and was a good enough deal. He would just ship it back to Pennsylvania. People who change jobs do that all the time.
I saw it as a once in a lifetime opportunity to really see what is out there in the America between the coasts. So we took a few days off on our calendar, found a cheap flight to Phoenix, and started driving back.
The first thing that impressed me about the West was there was so much of it. This amount of uninhabited space almost made me dizzy.
We drove through fields of tall cactus plants like in cowboy movies. Even in May, the temperature was up above 90 degrees. We entered the Navajo territory between Arizona and Utah.
Once on the Navajo reservation, time jumped an hour later. Arizona is on standard time but the Navajo are on daylight time. Nobody could explain why.
In Monument Valley I felt like I was in another cowboy movie. This one didn’t have giant cactus, it has giant formations of rock that looked like towers and cathedrals. They were timeless and magnificent. I couldn’t help imagining John Wayne riding between them.
In the mountains of southern Colorado we hit a blizzard in a 12,000 foot mountain pass. From 90 degrees, to a foot of snow an hour later. This country was a galaxy away from planet Pocono.
Descending from the mountains we merged onto I-70 and Kansas. Every night was another budget motel, every day I was on Yelp searching for interesting places to eat. My husband called it a “road trip” and said it was an American tradition. I call it an amazing vision blurring by at 75 miles an hour. There are roads in Europe but no romance of the road. No road novels or road films. That is something uniquely American and you only feel here.
Christina´s radio show is every Sunday morning at 8:00 AM on Pocono 96.7. Tu Voz con Christina. Email: Christina@pocono967.com