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Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Writing Road Trip

Lisa Bullard

The Quest

My one visit to Hawaii might best be defined by an afternoon quest. I was there to say goodbye to my cousin, who was coming to the end of her battle with cancer. I discovered she had developed a singular ambition: to find a pair of size 11 ruby slippers. She took great pleasure in […]

Lisa Bullard

Treasure Hunt

One of my favorite road-trip memories is “mud-puddling” in western North Carolina. We had followed signs that lured us in with the promise of gemstones practically free for the taking. The space we wandered into looked like a roadside picnic area, and seemed ideal for the kind of lazy afternoon we had in mind. We each purchased buckets […]

Lisa Bullard

Time Travel

When you tour Rome, you’re not always sure if you’re traveling in taxis or time machines. Down one street, you’re transported back to around 2,000 years ago, watching the Christians take on the lions in the Forum. Head down another street, and you’re enraptured by one of Michelangelo’s Renaissance masterpieces. Turn your head, and you see—the […]

Lisa Bullard

Roads Not Taken

My brother’s driving directions are full of “roads not taken.” He’ll say something like, “Go about a mile and you’ll see Hamilton. Don’t turn there! You want the next street.” But without fail, I see Hamilton, remember that it was part of his directions, and turn before I’m supposed to. My father and I are […]

Lisa Bullard

Misdirected

Several years ago a friend and I got lost driving through New Orleans. Eventually we pulled over so I could ask a gas station attendant for directions. He rattled off a set of instructions in a Cajun accent, ending with, “then take the Hoopalong.” I looked at my road map. No Hoopalong. I asked him to […]

Road Food Re-Mix

Road Food Re-Mix

by Lisa Bullard I love seeking out oddball road food opportunities. In New Jersey: a Chinese-Italian buffet where the spaghetti and lo mein rubbed shoulders like long-lost cousins. In Nashville: a Swedish-Southern all-you-can-eat spread, with fried chicken and pickled herring vying for att‚ention. In New York City: a Greek-Mexican café. Many of the world’s diverse taste […]

Return Visit

Return Visit

by Lisa Bullard San Francisco has an eerie quality of reinvention that is unique to that city for me. When I make return visits to other destinations, the visual “pieces” from each trip start to fit together like giant jigsaw puzzles, and eventually I form an integrated picture of the whole place. But despite the […]

Lisa Bullard

Well-Traveled Paths

by Lisa Bullard I slip into auto-pilot when I’m driving through overly familiar territory; I stop taking in the same old landmarks. And then one day, there’s a stop sign where there’s never been one before, and my eyes are re-opened to the possibilities around me. There are “story paths” like that too: fairy tales […]

Biker

Pilgrimage

by Lisa Bullard Every year, thousands of bikers road trip to Sturgis (South Dakota) to celebrate their shared passion for motorcycles. For some of them, attendance is an eagerly anticipated annual tradition that holds the same power found in spiritual rituals. One year my friend and I were caught unawares in the middle of the […]

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Through the Woods

by Lisa Bullard A few years ago I decided to visit a friend in North Carolina over the holidays, and the only way I could afford the airfare was to fly on Christmas Day. I admit to a case of self pity as I set out, picturing the rest of the world in their new pajamas, opening […]

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Crossing the Border

by Lisa Bullard Once when flying back to the U.S. from Canada I met up with some zealous border control agents. The customs guy wanted a detailed description of what I’d purchased. “I bought one of those souvenir snow globes with a little Mountie inside,” I said. The guy thought a moment and then sadly […]

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Packing List

by Lisa Bullard I generate a flurry of lists for every road trip: A “bizarre attractions to stop and see” list. A “things to tell the cat-sitter” list. A packing list. I love lists. I love them so much I have a whole journal full of different sorts of lists—I write down everything from household […]

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Winter Roads

by Lisa Bullard Winters add the element of surprise to the Minnesota driving equation. Mid-journey, you can be sucked into one of the car-devouring potholes caused by my state’s radical temperature changes. Or you can skid on a deceptive slick of black ice, and end up straddling a snow bank. In those moments, you realize […]

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Home Away from Home

by Lisa Bullard I like to play a certain game when I’m traveling. I pretend that the place I’m visiting is my home, and I imagine how my life would have been altered if I had in fact taken root in that other environment. How would things be different for me if my world swirled […]

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Plotting Your Route

by Lisa Bullard Using an “I’ll just see where the road takes me” approach has led me on all sorts of adventures. But it’s also meant I’ve arrived at midnight and discovered every hotel room in town is rented to lumberjacks. I still don’t plan ahead for lumberjack influxes—I figure one of those per lifetime is […]