Freeways are cold, straight strips of get-you-there-as-fast-as-possible passages stretching from a point A and a B with little to nothing in between. I'm not a huge fan of hitting the road and freeways are the reason. Granted I avoid all those lanes of madness day-to-day because I live and work in the same town but there really is no joy in freeway driving. It's a utility. Sure it gets us there but that's about it. Unlike trains or even planes (those are for another post, perhaps) most of the time we sit in solitary confinement in a box stuck in one place or hurtling ahead trying not to hit another one.
But I've recently fell in love with driving again -- with some caveats. Two lane roads off the freeway can be liberating. Sure they can be just as straight and boring but when they they snake through a canyon or round the contours of hills and mountains they can be a blast. Not just because I can pretend, if just a little, I'm a host on Top Gear test driving the latest Italian sports whatever, but because my hands, eyes, arms, and brain are actually having to do something. I've also found long drives to be a great time to catch up on podcasts of radio shows I never get to listen to normally like The American Life or Radiolab. And where podcasts are replaced with a great passenger or two all the better.
I may not be much of a driver's driver but when I do hit the open road I want that journey behind the wheel to be every bit as enjoyable as the destination.