a worthwhile read

In an online world of click-bait and attention grabbing headlines, there is a increasing lack of quality articles on the internet. However, this series on TheDrive.com is worth reading. Yes, all 73 installations.

Zach Bowman, his wife, and their young daughter have been trekking across the country. They sold everything, outfitted their 300,000 mile Dodge Ram with a camper, and have been exploring the country while trying to stay off the beaten path.

He has a beautiful writing style filled with honest reflection and insightful advice. It doesn’t hurt that he is an excellent photographer and sprinkles beautiful photographs throughout each story.

We’re committed. Two months ago, I was the proud owner of a tidy stable of eccentricity: a KTM 950 Adventure, a third-gen Miata, a Fiesta ST, a bastard Fox Body Mustang, and the old Dodge. Each machine had its own story. Each was a thing I had worked and scraped and saved for, sweated over and wrenched on. Each key on my ring a source of pride.

I’m drawn to his journey for more than just the well-crafted, personal writing and the breathtaking photos. I’m drawn to this story because there’s a small part of me that would love to do the same thing.

I love the built environment and the beautiful cities of the world, but being out in nature has been a pleasure of mine since I was young. Life is about balance and I can’t spend all of my time with buildings, lest I forget about the natural world in which we exist. As an architect, I cannot spend my whole time focused on the details or else the big-picture design will fall apart.

There’s something about the sky out here. More than a vastness: the clouds are different, somehow. Massive cumulous creations, flat-bottomed and floating in formation through a depthless blue sky. And the great plateaus of land run parallel to them, a respectful chasm between the two.

As a family, my sister, mom, and dad would camp and hike. One of our favorite spots was Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, Texas. Just a short drive away from the heart of Dallas, but it was a whole separate world. As I got older, my dad and I joined Boy Scouts of America. We camped every month for several years. Sometimes our camping was in exciting and new places. Sometimes our camping was at our usual spot within sight of the glowing skyline of Downtown Dallas.

Regardless of where I was camping or who I was camping with, one constant remained: stories around the campfire. Whether it was a scout leader reading Rudyard Kipling in the dark forest or silly stories from my sister, the day always ended with stories. Do yourself a favor and go read some of the stories about “Bowman’s Odyssey” on The Drive. Imagine you’re sitting around a campfire. Or right there with his family in the backseat of his Dodge Ram. I promise that you won’t have any regrets.

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