We are leaving on a long overdue road trip that I’m not sure my infatuation with all matters perrylicious will survive.

On Columbus day weekend ten years ago, my wife and youngest daughter joined me on a spur of the moment trip to Big Bend National Park, a nine-hour drive from our home into an isolated corner of west Texas. In those pre-iPod times, we contented ourselves with listening to one of Patricia Cornwell’s Scarpetta novels to make a long, familiar journey seem shorter. Two days of hiking and isolation in the Chisos Basin were a wonderful escape from work, elder care, and the dust still settling from the 9/11 attacks.

After a couple restless nights trying to sleep in the tent conversion of the ugliest car of the twentieth century, we decided to spend a civilized night in the relative metropolis of Marathon. The hotel there is directly across the street from a very active set of railroad tracks that seemed much busier than usual on Sunday night, the explanation from my engagement calendar says it all….

Ten years later victory in the “war on terror” seems as elusive as the chance of prevailing in the even longer “war on drugs”.

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