A week ago I had a full post drafted up, proclaiming that I’d found the perfect road, my favorite road, and that it lay in NH. But I let it sit so that I could dig through and improve some of my lesser quality writing. Then this past weekend I found myself running up I-89 through VT at the start of the fall foliage season, with some music I can’t even remember now, just thinking “you know, right now this is a fairly perfect drive.”
I’m coming around to the believe that the perfect road is never constant, it’s a shifting target that depends on what you need that day.
A week ago I was convinced that Bear Notch Rd in the white mountains of NH was my perfect road. And that week it was. Leading a small convoy of cars I had blasted my way up from Bartlet NH through the tree covered slithering trail of asphalt that eventually dumps you out just East of the highest point of the Kancamangus Highway. Halfway through the 6 mile stretch between the gates they close for the winter months I glanced up and realized the Evora S and R8 V10 I had been leading had fallen back out of sight. Giggling I dove into the next turn foot planted with the turbo screaming, absolutely happy. Occasionally a break in the trees would reveal a quick glimpse of how high I’d climbed before I dove into another set of turns. The road is sublime, there is nothing along the road to distract you, just smooth pavement, turns ranging from long high speed sweepers to tight back and forth flicks, and sunshine flickering through the overhead tree cover. Perfection.
But this week that isn’t what I needed. 10:30am on a Saturday, already an hour and a half into my drive to visit some family, a relaxed highway cruise with the early stages of New England fall foliage was my idea of perfect. I didn’t need tight turns, questionable speeds, and screaming engines. I needed some quiet music, some fantastic views, and a leisurely pace through one of the prettiest places to be when the temperatures start to drop.
The only picture I took the whole time I was in VT.
It seems silly to have not realized it before, that I’ve always found what I needed in driving.
Years ago when I first moved out of college and I felt isolated and trapped in a strange place I jumped on my old 1976 Yamaha Motorcycle and just pointed it west. A couple hours later I found myself almost 100 miles away in Wilmington Vt. No plan, no map, just an old parallel twin singing its way along some New England back roads providing therapy. Empty roads, cool air, a clear head, and an exhaust’s song. It was everything I needed at that time.
Somewhere in Southern VT
I have found many more “perfect roads” in my 12 years of possessing a licence. Everything from an isolated buried highway in the middle of a blizzard to an early morning blasting up highway 1 North out of San Francisco to a quiet byway deep in Maine swiftly racing the sun to the eastern most point in the US. They’ve all served to help me enjoy or get through whatever was going on at that point in my life. I hope I never stop finding them. Maybe I should start sharing some of their stories.