In Transit

If the goal were to write about transportation or being in transit, what should be considered? Well, it could be any kind of transportation, i.e., car, train, plane, boat, or probably even things like sled, skateboard, or wagon. Then, an important consideration would be what might make a particular incidence of transportation memorable, perhaps location or circumstances or emotions. If I had just been one of those recent first non-astronauts aboard the outer-space flight, that would have been my obvious choice, but, unfortunately, I was not, so I must recall something from my past worth repeating to others. I will briefly describe a few memorable instances of being transported, in order of occurrence. Included modes are cars, a roller coaster, a surfboard, a camper, and a boat.

My short ride on a surfboard during the ’80’s

During the 1950’s, the most exciting form of transportation for me was being a passenger in my family’s car as we drove to New Hampshire. The actual most important moment was when the white lines on the road became yellow, signifying that we had entered another state. Wow! How exciting that was! Today, I continue to experience a blip of excitement whenever I see a ‘Welcome to’ another state sign, even when returning to Massachusetts after a foliage expedition.

For at least twenty years, that was my transportation highlight, until 1972, when, sharing driving with three others, we drove nonstop from Massachusetts to Florida in my orange Volkswagen bug to see our guru and to visit Disney World. For about 24 hours straight, we alternated driving, providing snacks and beverages to each other, and sleeping in the back seat. What a thrill that was, even now in my memory, but how comfortable could we have been in that little car? Three of us were in our mid-twenties, while our fourth grey-headed friend, Roz, was about forty, which seemed so old, wise, and mature to the rest of us. A footnote to this adventure is that Roz and I rode a new roller coaster at Disney five or six consecutive times, with screams and great delight.

In the fall of 1973, I began a year of living and traveling in a Winnebago with my husband, our son, and our schnauzer, which included two months in Mexico and about twenty national parks. That was certainly the ride to outdo all others.

In the early 80’s, a ride that was really short, probably less than twenty seconds, deserves to be included here. It occurred on a surfboard during my surfing lesson in Hawaii. Surfing is hard work, mostly paddling out on a surfboard beyond the waves, then attempting timing and balance for the ride back. I was not a natural, but somehow accomplished perfect form for a dozen seconds in about twelve inches of water. I was unaware that a photographer was present, ready to capture us at the perfect moment, until after the lesson ended and we were back on the beach. The picture was a bit pricey, but how could I resist? I have it still!

In approximately 1985, a taxi ride from DC to rural Pennsylvania, where I was living, deserves honorable mention. My lover and I were on a business trip in DC, where we had flown. As I remember this, it’s interesting to me how some details remain vivid, while others fade. I don’t remember why, but our flight home was cancelled and it was important that we return without delay for other business matters. So, we took a taxi and, during that 4-5 hour ride, enjoyed sex in the back seat, modestly covered by our coats and apparently ignored by our driver.

Despite the thrill of that ride, certainly the winner of my experiences in transit must be my sail across the Atlantic. With my husband and two friends in their 43-foot cutter, we set sail on June 13, 1995, arriving at our destination in the Azores on July 7. More than three weeks at sea and a lifetime’s worth of adventure, fear, amazement, boredom, and exhaustion, ‘out for a sail’ can’t begin to describe that experience.

Many modes of transportation and many emotions! Although I have flown extensively, for both business and pleasure, usually with enjoyment, I’ve not chosen any of those trips to include here. Ah, but there was that one flight . . .

Copyright © 2021 Carole Rein

Published by cyrein

Quaker, adventurer, wife, mom, sister, friend, special ed teacher, learner

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