I could travel the world and never see anything more lovely than a sweet gum in the fall (do click on the photo). This raises the question of why I should travel the world. I am far from opposing such expeditions, yet it seems to me that most of them are inspired by nothing more noble than the desire to escape obliviousness at home by imagining oneself to have experienced something abroad.
A relative was here recently. He had driven 5,300 miles in two weeks and planned to complete the final third of his journey in one week. He explained that it's sometimes possible to see two national parks in a single day if one takes a business-like approach (i.e. treat them as a prostitute to be done with rather than as a lover to romance). His own scheme was to pick a park’s most celebrated feature—which the federal government would have conveniently situated near a commodious parking lot—take a snapshot of it, and drive on to the next park. He had already bagged Rushmore, Yellowstone, and Crater Lake, and had his sites set on Yosemite, Sequoia, the Grand Canyon, and, last but not least, heaven. I’ve heard that, despite its extreme heat and various other inconveniences, hell does have a first-rate postal service, so I’m hoping Earl will send me a snapshot of Yahweh to go alongside his other trophies.