Yes, the road.

Yes, the road.
Eagle Nest, New Mexico. “People like to drive because driving is actually and symbolically an almost perfect mechanism for escape…there is probably no human being who does not have troubles, real or imagined, from which he at times feels the need to flee.” George R. Stewart.


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Brooklin, Maine, United States
We own a 1975 GMC Sierra Grande 15 in Maine and a 1986 Chevrolet Custom Deluxe 10 in West Texas. Also a pair of 1997 Volvo 850 wagons. Average age in the fleet is 28 years--we're recycling. I've published 3 novels: THE LAW OF DREAMS (2006), THE O'BRIENS (2012), and CARRY ME (2016). Also 2 short story collections: NIGHT DRIVING(1987) and TRAVELLING LIGHT (2013). More of my literary life is at I was a Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study for 2012-13. I'm an adjunct professor at Colorado College and in the MFA program at Queens University of Charlotte. In 2015-16 I was a Fellow at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The Autoliterate office is in Car Talk Plaza in Harvard Square, 2 floors above Dewey Cheatem & Howe. SUBSCRIBE TO THE AUTOLITERATE DAILY EMAIL by hitting the button to the right.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Maura O'Connell "Western Highway" & that Nevada Road

Years ago I spent some time at a cattle ranch in the Surprise Valley, which is a narrow slice of irrigated, alfalfa-growing flatland tucked up there on the northeast edge of California. Most of the ranch's grazing sprawled out into BLM land in the adjacent Nevada desert. Just received these photos from our Nevada correspondent of that wonderful wide open road, Hwy 447 that runs up to the Surprise Valley from I-80 just west of Reno. Remind me and sometime I 'll tell you the story of my only gunfight, which happened in the parking lot of a Denny's in Reno in 1976. I wasn't the gun. Meanwhile, try the Irish singer Maura O'Connell's wonderful "Western Highway"

"This being 447 heading north to Cedarville, which probably hadn't been paved back when you were around this iteration a major inspiration for my '45 Chevy, though lacking storage I still haven't brought it up [the woodrats are a major disincentive].  We do this most every week we're on the desert, going for groceries in Alturas..." --MSM


  1. Looks very drivable... (the louder the music the better) ... no cattle looming around the blind corners though, I hope?

    1. funny you should mention it as, though rarely sighted, on that particular trip a group of cows and calves were indeed lurking around a blind corner just prior to the last picture...otherwise, yes, eminently drivable!