What a time to venture out on a trip across the country.
The pandemic rolls on. Those who persist in questioning the gravity of a disease that has killed 638,000 people treat straightforward precautions — masks, vaccines — as political acts that must be challenged.
My adopted home state is in the grip of a vast wildfire disaster, which is being visited upon other parts of the country as a dense layer of smoke and hazardous air .
A catastrophic storm has blown in off the Gulf of Mexico into Louisiana.
A war we’ve walked away from after 20 years has erupted in what could be a bloody finale or an entirely new and dire chapter. Only the human cost is clear.
I could go on. I haven’t even mentioned the seething mess that passes for our politics. But as U.S. tourism boosters have been saying for more than a century: See America first.
My brother John and I are headed out on a cross-country drive in the morning. More on that to come., including why we’re doing this at such a fraught moment.