4360 Miles in 126 Hours

Troy Paiva

10) Day Five- A Lifetime in 126 Hours

I am up at six again to watch the sun rise like an atomic fireball, red in the churning dust. An easy 400 miles in six hours and four Krispy-Kreme doughnuts later, I pull into my driveway. The trip totals 4360 miles in five days and six hours for an average speed of 34 miles per hour. This includes sleeping, shooting and all other stops. No question, some kind of perverse personal record.

The American roadside of my youth dies a little more every year. Every trip brings new disappointments as familiar abandoned landmarks burn down, are melted for scrap, get bulldozed and subdivided, or just vanish into the desert sand. What remains by the sides of the old Miracle Miles withers in the blistering sun. But the soul-cleansing love of the road keeps me coming back, just as the roadside's decline assures that I'll continue to bring my camera.