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Community Comment

Sat., April 18, 2009, 7:45 a.m.

Ramblin’ Fever…

Good morning, Netizens...

First, I'll play the chorus from one of my old Merle Haggard favorites, “Rambling Fever” which goes like this:

Ramblin' fever, the kind that can't be measured by degrees
Ramblin' fever, there ain't no kind of cure for my disease

The minute the winter's accumulation of snow ceased making our highways half so tricky to navigate as they have been and the minute the State Highway Department begins putting their snow plows away for yet another season, I begin to get my annual dose of Ramblin' Fever. As quickly as the jackrabbits once more begin assuming control of the high meadows in the Sawtooth Range, I tromp my foot onto the accelerator heading for destinations unknown.

Once my wife and I traveled over a three-state area following any of our favorite Bluegrass musical groups wherever they would play. From the mountains of Idaho and Montana to various places throughout Washington State, we rambled whenever one of our favorite bands played, slept out either beneath the stars or, later on, in the motorhome. Unfortunately, that entire urge died. I was told emphatically I could not befriend a Spokane City Police Detective who figured prominently in what was once one of our favorite bands, and it is to the point now that we hardly ever attend any musical festivals as we once did. No, let's be more emphatic than that: it was a former Assistant Chief of the Spokane Police Department who made the “rules”. All we have done is follow his questionable lead, and we avoid any involvement in the local musical scene. Everyone lost in the deal.

However, the rambling fever, which has always been there subconsciously, that inherent urge to climb aboard something with wheels and head out into the morning sunrise, still lives there beneath the surface, unwanted, but nonetheless part of my consciousness. I don't like Big Cities, I don't do well in the heart of a rush hour traffic jam on some concrete slab, and I sure as hell do not relish the thought of some pin-headed high-ranking police or political bureaucrat judging my character without even meeting me face-to-face.

However, the minute that Spring peers its bright green nose above the snowbanks far enough to see from beside the road, I grab the digital camera and look for a road that seems interesting and off we go. If that road passes another that also seems interesting enough to follow, we follow it until we decide to come home. Hopefully we will have gotten lost a time or two; perhaps we'll find a place to justify ramblin' fever.

It's almost time to ramble again. I can hardly wait.

Have you ever gone rambling across country for the sheer heck of seeing the countryside? If so, where did you end up?


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Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.