We always left when it was dark

When the punishing sun’s heat was doused and the night’s cool breath was released

When most were asleep in readiness for the following days work

Where there were no speed demons to avoid, no road rage to curtail

The car crammed full, every nook and cranny

With food, books, games…..

Prepared for whatever lay ahead and more

Our little shoes kicked off for comfort made us giggle in delight, such a small thing but yet…

Swallowed up by pillows all around us, warm blankets cocoon us

Stars were out with a pock face moon to study and mesmerize us

Dotted throughout the dark horizon were many singular lights, farmhouses perhaps

A few gathered here and there in clusters of small, unseen communities

As we passed through a town, there was a lone blinking caution light

Surrounding darkness, warm blankets, cool night air, and car motion lulled us to sleep

Morning brought a much-anticipated breakfast at a diner, gas fill-up, and bathroom break

The car was cleared of garbage to make way for new snacks and drinks

The day time illuminated the landscape, to occupy us

Cars representing every colour of the rainbow; provided us with hours of amusement, counting

Punch-buggies added a physical aspect to the game

A van full of kids, yelling, making faces at us as their parents yell at them

A motorcycle with a leather-clad driver roared by, the picture of adventure

Glimpsing inside a horse trailer delighted us all; we had owned horses throughout our lives

Moving trucks prompted questions of their origin and destination, and who was moving

Trucks delivering farm animals, mostly cattle and pigs, made our noses wrinkle at the stench

Flat-bed trucks hauling cars, pipes, machinery; held on with chains or belts flapping wildly in the air

Closed transport trucks, a mystery with just the company’s name on it to hazard a guess of its contents

Signalling the truck driver to honk hello, we felt compelled to do it every time; it made us smile

Farms skirted the highway; some had weathered buildings and equipment, while others shiny and new

Glances of huge machinery collecting crops in the fields and storing it in enormous, metal silos

So many rolls of hay to count, pointing out cattle and horses grazing in the fields

When the farms gave way to trees it was a welcomed change; we scanned for deer, anything wild

Despite our lack of success we kept searching but were presented with road-kill instead

In the day, the small towns looked desolated and rundown; the odd one was charming though

As night drew close, a swarm of lights rushed upon us signalling the approach of a large city

An assault of noisy vehicles, impolite drivers, and smog filled air greeted us

Tired and stiff from that day’s journey; we needed a goodnight sleep in a bed

Ah, only day one of our vacation and miles of road still ahead of us

And then there was the return trip…

Illustrated by: Rebecca Sherratt