So... It's snowing like crazy...

I didn't want to (because I was in denial) but I packed a winter coat for this tour run. Never mind that it was sunny and 68 degrees when I left Denver.  I knew I'd need it. Alas, I was right.  Sitting in Cincinnati this morning, looking out the window, all I could think is that the drive to Chillicothe sure was gonna suck! That's alright though, because being here is great. Which brings me to today's bit of subject matter.

People ask me all the time, "How do you drive so much?  It would make me crazy spending that much time in the car."

You see, it's like this: I like all the places I get to go and driving is how I get there.  It's true: I like to drive. Love it in fact. I can't remember a time when I didn't enjoy a good road trip.  I've even been known to undertake huge trips back to back. The touring thing is kind of like that. It's a road trip that sort of never ends. Instead of going someplace, and then going home, you just keep going to another place.  And then another, and another. But the driving is just a small part of it. The meat and potatoes are the places you go, and the people you meet. Ok, now I'm channeling Dr. Seuss...What I mean is...

The drive doesn't matter, and it really isn't hard when you're focused on the destination. For instance, I had to stare down several hours of driving today, in horrible conditions. It wasn't fun. But I wasn't worried about that. Because it's the other end that matters.  When I got here, there was a warm house with my friends in it. There's a show to play, and good food to eat. There will be much eating, drinking, and being merry, with people I really enjoy being around. We live far apart. If not for my job, I might never see them, seeing them makes all the driving more than worth it.

Sometimes (ok, a lot of times), I go to places I've never been before.  On those days, the inspiration comes from the mystery of it all.  Who will I meet? Anybody's guess. Sometimes they're just people. Sometimes they're friends I didn't realize I had, because I hadn't met them yet. Those folks make any drive worth it. And when you come back again, so much more so.

Sometimes destinations are between stops. The more you travel, the more you find little gems.  A favorite truck stop. A favorite restaurant with amazing pie. A favorite hotel in a little town someplace that you've stayed in twice, where the desk clerk remembers your name. He thinks what you do is cool, so he watches your website. He knew you were in the area, and held a room for you, just in case. All these things help to shift focus away from "all that driving". I never get in the van and think "I'm going to drive 387 miles today". I think "I'm going to St. Louis! I hope Christina and Don are working tonight, it'll be great to see them."  

So now you know. Contrary to the well-worn cliche, it's not the journey. It's the destinations, and the people (or pies) that wait for you there. The driving is nothing; it's just a way to get to them.  

Safe travels, America! See you down the road!