summer postcards: road trips

bertha

Bertha Benz, was the first person to make a long distance road trip (106 km in an ‘experimental’ Benz ‘motorwagon’, maximum speed, 16 km/hour). She made the trip with her two sons “and without the permission of her husband Karl,” inventor of the world’s first car. Her reason, she said afterwards, was that she wanted to visit her mother but the truth of course was that she wanted to show Karl, and the world, that road trips can be jolly good fun.

May I just add that the the only thing missing from the account of Bertha’s historic outing is what she ate en route because the best part of any road trip is surely the stopping to eat. This is certainly true from memories of my own radishes-and-homemade-rye-bread-koolaid-in-one-thermos-coffee-for-my-parents-in-another-climb-the-granite-boulders-for-a-nice-picturesque-spot-to-eat-overlooking-highway-11-on-the-way-to-Muskoka roadside picnics when such stops were possible… to the can’t-go-anywhere-so-eat-cheese-sandwiches-in-a-cemetery version of more recent times, and a thousand in between and because I honestly can hardly remember a meal in any resto that I’ve loved more than some of those impromptu noshes.

I’m suddenly feeling compelled to write a more complete version of Bertha’s story, one that includes a hamper.

6 thoughts on “summer postcards: road trips

  1. My father scouted out the best church parking lots to eat our lunch of egg sandwiches made with mayonnaise that germinated in the heat. Probably why he choose the church parking lot as he was looking for divine intervention 😎
    Also tea with milk poured into the cover of a thermos. That would be the same thermos I took to school in grade ten filled with vodka that my girlfriend and I drank in front of the nuns as someone told us it had no smell. Thermos’s not just for road trips ya know

    1. I only discovered Bertha quite recently. I’m sure she had a wonderfully packed hamper complete with linen and silver. But in my story, all that will be eschewed for a bag of pretzels.

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