SAULT STE MARIE, MI — Bertha Benz, the wife of Karl Benz, was the first person to take a road trip. Without telling her husband (or the authorities), she took a Patent Motorwagen and drove with her children Eugen and Richard (fifteen and thirteen years old respectively) 66 miles, from Mannheim to Pforzheim. She left at dawn on August 5, 1888 and arrived at her mother’s home at dusk. They returned the next day.
Road trips make me un-cranky. My favorite trips tend to head west from Detroit, since these avoid Ohio. They seem to have some vague justification, like family gatherings, races, and so on, but these are just McGuffins, simply to point the car in a rough direction.
Sometimes I have too much time on my hands. This can be easily achieved by neglecting things like eating, sleeping and family. Generally this means I’m obsessing over something trivial. Such was the case last year when I virtually re-lived a vacation I took 15 years ago, thanks to Google.