1. This country is big. There are a lot of people that live in it but there is a lot of open space. Lots of room.
2. You can drive for miles and miles and people still speak English, still say thank you and you’re welcome, and still say have a nice day. That common language thing is really amazing. Like what makes Americans American? Is it that we feel so happy that people understand us wherever we are?
3. The woman I spoke to on line waiting to buy tickets to the cave was from Michigan and worked in a foundry, pressing metal parts in a very hot environment, making $11/hour ten hours a day, six days a week. (Hey, I wasn’t doing workforce development work, she is the one who brought it up) And it made me think about how long she had to work to take a trip with her husband across the country and see this cave.
4. Danny and Jeremy never cease to amaze me with their openness and friendliness in approaching strangers and talking to them. (they are working on a top secret project that I can’t reveal)
5. This family is a big fan of listening to music while traveling. They are not into podcasts or having me read to them. It makes them all fall asleep. (Well, listening to podcasts while I’m driving makes Jay fall asleep. He doesn’t fall asleep while he’s driving)
6. People are genuinely nice. When we see people from lots of different states at the tourist attractions we can say hi and make small talk about where we’ve been and where we are going, etc. and we are all just Americans enjoying our country and we don’t have to ask each other what our political beliefs are and what we think of the president and his craziness. The core element of our fellow citizens is a great pride in our country and what it has to offer us and how much we are enjoying it. (That’s it for the deep thoughts)
7. There are harsh reminders that not everyone thinks like me, a fact that was thrown in my face with these fine t-shirts seen in Keystone, SD.