JULY 17, 1944
HYDE PARK, Sunday—Some years ago, when our boys were young, they used to go out west occasionally and work on a ranch in summer, and one time three boys who had worked together, motored home in a rickety car with a puppy which one of them had acquired on the way. They arrived with a very sad puppy dog, and were in a state of complete exhaustion themselves, but they made the trip in such a short time that I am quite sure they didn't see anything of the countryside as they passed through it.
So for real sightseeing in the future when life becomes normal again, I would not recommend motoring at top speed. But I look forward with pleasure to leisurely driving because it allows one to stop and look at a view, or to take a detour if one hears of something interesting which a few extra hours will allow one to see. Above all, it gives one a sense of being part of the countryside more than any other method of travel I know, except a bicycle or a horse or your own two feet.
In Europe, these last three ways of travelling have always been more popular than they are here, because the distances to be covered are not as great. I imagine, however, that in this country, motoring will continue to be the way to get a most intimate knowledge of the country.
Train and plane travel will always cause differences of opinion among people who want different things. Trains do not take one so quickly through the countryside, and some people find them more comfortable. From a plane, one gets more comprehensive views, and after the war we will have planes as manageable as any car, and which can land in a field by your cottage in the country or on the roof of your city apartment. They won't fly as quickly as the transcontinental planes do, but they will make your trip anywhere within a radius of a hundred or two hundred miles a pleasant day's excursion.
I write this column because I find so many people are thinking now of future days. Dream journeys sometimes become real journeys, and it is possible to plan for them in a way that we would never do if we knew that we could leave at any time the spirit moved us! When one is young, one travels largely through one's imagination, and when one is old, one travels largely through the eyes of younger people. So even if the dreams which we make today for future journeys never materialize, we may be able to start other people off and have them come back and tell us of their experiences and impressions. You will probably find, as I do, that other people's tales of travels are usually more interesting than my own, especially when I have none of the discomforts of travel and can have all of the enjoyment!