When I’m on a vacation, be it a month-long backpacking trip or weekend jaunt, each day I plan to leave a section of Walt Whitman’s Song of the Open Road. I might leave it in a B&B guestbook, tuck a note behind a hotel painting or write it on a dollar bill I spend at a hot dog stand. In any case, I’ll be tracking where I leave the poem here. I call it The Open Road Project. Click on the stanzas below to find out where they’ve been left and track the poem’s progress here.
I left the eighteenth section of the poem at the Rock Bottom Grill in Hot Springs, North Carolina during the third weekend of December, when a group of friends and I rented a couple of cabins for the weekend to celebrate the holidays and the birthday of yours truly. This was my sixth trip to these cabins (I think) in the past two years- I really can’t get enough of them. There’s nothing more relaxing and wonderful than natural spring-fed hot tubs, making huge delicious meals and sitting around drinking wine with your friends right up until you go to bed. We stopped for dinner at the Rock Bottom Grill, a great little pub with good food and good beer. Just as we were finishing up dinner, they started setting up a karaoke machine, so naturally we had to stay to sing a few tunes. I left the poem nestled in the lovely little tree they had set up in the front window.
I think whatever I shall meet on the road I shall like, and whoever beholds me shall like me. I think whoever I see must be happy.