Monday, March 21, 2011

Day 23 Marathon to Sanderson

There are a lot of roadside memorials to people who have died along our highways. Most commemorate young men, but there are a few to females, seniors, and even the occasional child. They typically are found on curves or at intersections. Some are well tended and maintained, but most have illegible, faded lettering with tattered, plastic flowers. Like the pharaohs, we want to immortalized our loved ones after they die. A lasting monument provides comfort, validation, and a sense of continuity. In reality, that is just a fantasy. We can't keep alive the person, or even the memory for very long. After our short lives, these memorials will all become faded, tattered, and ultimately forgotten. The memorials degenerate into a passing curiosity to succeeding generations. Eric's remains are in a jar, we don't have a grave or a roadside memorial for him. In spite of the intellectual futility, I think I'll make one when I get back. It does give sense of comfort.

The ride today stared an hour before sunrise to avoid the headwind. I finished the easy 56 miles before noon, and checked into a family owned motel in tiny Sanderson. Many of these non-brand name motels are wonderfully unique places filled with love and charm. So often we overlook them, choosing a predictable and recognizable, but sterile chain brand. We are really missing out on vintage Americana.


  1. Dr. Bob. Wow those pictures of the grave sites were very moving, I have gone on some roads like that, that have alot of crosses on the road, although I have never stopped at any your pictures hit home with the stories behind them, and this summer when me and my family go Texas, I will make a plan to stop at these types of hotels, its true we do miss out on vintage america..thanks for the insight!

  2. I'm so glad you will do a road side memorial too. Sometimes following your heart, instead of your head makes a lot more sense. And, thank-you for the photos and story of the others who have passed on the roadsides you are traveling now. It's all the more potent that we see these images, mostly near intersections and curves, and with your insight. I appreciate that you've brought these to my attention. Although I never met your son, Eric, or you. I think of you both every day... and I don't think that will stop after your bike trip ends. I think about you both when I drive. I'm hoping that the people I talk about you and Eric with are doing the same.
    Thank-you for rolling forward. Be safe.