You know the saying “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence”? In other words, we believe we might like something we don’t have better than the thing we do have. Well, that old saying does not always apply to cross country travel. Why? Because, compared to the American West, the American East is definitively greener. But, no one from the West wants to go there!
We have found, on our travels throughout the country, that this is true.
People who live on the East Coast almost universally, except for those who don’t travel at all, wish to go and see the marvels of the West. The Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Zion, Grand Teton, Arches, the Redwoods. The list goes on and on.
The West contains landscapes of a staggering nature. Sheer beauty so different from what Easterners are used to seeing, it’s a shock to the system. A wonderful shock, to be sure, but of high, amazing drama. And, to know that all these natural wonders belong to every American and that we hold them in trust for all to see, well, you just have to go!
And go we do! Easterners flock to the West. But, Westerners do not flock to the East. Why, I’m not totally sure. I think they’re not saying, because “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”.
We frequently asked folks we met out West if they’d ever been East. “Well, no.” was the number one answer. Most folks didn’t say anything more. Except maybe: “There’s so many trees! You can’t see but a few yards away, maybe a quarter mile at the most. I feel all closed in, in the East.” or, “It’s too crowded there. Too many cars. I can’t drive in that”.
So, the only conclusion we come to is this: Westerners don’t believe there’s anything good on the East Coast. We sometimes would tell them that we “followed Fall down the East Coast”. “Oh, yes. The leaves. It must be beautiful. I might go see that someday.”. But, they haven’t yet and didn’t make any plans to do so.
But, consider these facts, my Western friends:
1. Our country began in the East. John Adams, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson. All were born here and created the foundations of America here, in the East. There are buildings – whole towns – that are hundreds of years older than things out West. (That white guys built, anyway. Those Ancestral Puebloans built things long before white guys landed in the Caribbean.)
2. The American Civil War and the Revolutionary War took place on Eastern soil. There are hundreds of battlefield sites and there are structures still standing that saw the agonies of those wars. Come and learn something!
3. Our nation’s capitol, Washington D.C., sits regally on the shores of the Potomac River, waiting for all Americans to come see how our government works. There are many thrilling museums and monuments to behold and be proud of.
4. New York City. The Big Apple, huge and exciting, glitters on the Hudson.
5. Come see something moist, for heaven’s sake. The rivers, creeks, stream beds and reservoirs are full! Of water! Hard to believe, but true. The East is waterland! Down South is steamy, with hanging moss and palm trees. And very friendly people with a great cuisine. And they’ll show you how people used to live, before we found all that space, out West. Up North, you’ll find a different culture. And those famous leaves.
So, here’s an open invitation to our new, Western friends. Travel East. Stay with us and we’ll show you around the Mid-Atlantic. Just bring along some Valium – it might be too exciting!
I also drove to LA, huntington beach, holly wood VIA the southern route. People in Utah think that a dead tree on a dry hill is beautiful. And if that is the only tree up there, I suppose that it is the most beautiful. When we came back through Colorado on a more northern route, “70” , it was amazing how lush the vegetation in pennsylvania and northern maryland was. I took it for granted. My trip made me appreciate the land of pleasant living. I can identify.
Ha ha! A dead tree on a dry hill! Made me chuckle. I now appreciate the green of home much more, too!
All of this may be true, but I can’t help but believe that other ideas grab the attention of the westerner…Their attention is pulled in other directions–to the borders of our country, perhaps. Canada and Mexico beckon them…the Pacific coastline, too. Alaska and Hawaii must be the obtainable exotic location of choice, it seems to me.
See you soon!
Diane – Ooo, yes! If I lived closer to Alaska and Hawaii, I’d go there, too! In a heartbeat!
There is a lushness to the landscape back east that westerners can’t imagine. I always chuckle when folks in CO get all excited about Fall colors. CO doesn’t have color”s”….it’s yellow (Aspens) or green (Evergreens)…that’s it…..lol. I look forward to you sharing all that the East has to offer….along with RV Parks and State Park reviews….we have to park somewhere, you know 🙂
Ingrid – We found a great park in Kansas called Clinton State Park, outside Lawrence.
It’s the yin and yang of north america. Each side frames and glorifies the other like day and night …perhaps like nowhere else in the world!
Jerry – Agreed! and Thanks.
I do love the Pacific coast, but I also love our own little piece of nature in the hills of Kentucky.
athursdayschild – We haven’t been to Kentucky yet but will get there someday (Tramper Voyage/2??). In which part of Kentucky is your sanctuary? Sounds lovely!
We are close to WV, where my husband commutes to.