When you think about a road trip, what comes to mind? A sizeable corral of literature beckons—Steinbeck, Kerouac, Pirsig, Wolfe, Bryson—hey wait, where are the women writers? Is Thelma and Louise our only touchstone, complete with its Freudian cliff-plunge ending? No. There are plenty of good women writers writing interesting travel and adventure books, but you have to google the topic to learn who they are. I did, and here’s a selection of 20. And here are some more. Let’s make it so we don’t have to search so hard for them.
There’s a demand for travel writing whether by land or sea, as our little sailing blog affirms—we’re closing in on 600,000 page views, and I only post when there’s a sea-story to tell.
When I think about a road trip, I’m immersed in the sense of place, but that includes wondering what’s under the road, which probably makes me weird, but really, I want to know: what’s down there beneath my wheels? What ancient ocean rolled and deposited layers and fossils, or what magma chambers lie miles beneath the road? It ain’t just all boring rocks all the way down. A team of 1,200 scientists from 52 countries recently discovered a vast underground ecosystem almost twice the size of all the world’s oceans. Let that sink in: the average depth of the world’s oceans is two miles, but under our feet live somewhere between 15 and 23 billion tons of micro-organisms, more than the combined weight of all humanity. The scientists bored holes almost 5,000 meters down, and took photos of nematodes (a type of worm) and micro-organisms living 1.4 kilometers below the surface, without oxygen.
Oh. My. God. I have so many questions, and am now wondering about the wisdom of sleeping on the ground in a tent…
This month I’ll be driving east from the west coast, solo, to canoe Minnesota’s Boundary Waters with eight women friends. Along the way I’ll be reading travel memoirs and observing sky, mountains, grasslands and high deserts. And how being among them feels, maybe even changes me. And writing about it. See you on the other side.
I’ll be posting on Instagram where cell service allows: https://www.instagram.com/karenlsullivanwriter/