Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Why I Enjoyed My Nighttime Drive From Austin To Houston

Last night, from about 10:30 PM until maybe 1:30 AM, I drove back to Houston from Austin. My wife is out-of-town visiting family and I had Thanksgiving dinner in Austin with a friend. I took Highway  290 to get to Austin and back.

I enjoyed my ride home.

Here is why I enjoyed this ride—

1. I had three hours alone to think.

2. It was mostly cloudy. I liked looking at the light of towns and cities in the distance reflected by the clouds. I’m not saying people are always best in the abstract, but it is good to have a mix of actual human contact and a more remote consideration of the human condition.

3. I was glad not to be robbed or to stumble upon a robbery-in-progress when I stopped at an all-night gas station at midnight to get something to drink.

4. I was able to contemplate the road I was driving on as agent of communication between people. The road is an extension of our natural desire to go other places and to see other people.

5. Consistent with the point above , I thought about how the road was built by people, yet how it also bended to the topography.  Terms like “natural” and “artificial” don’t really have clear meanings in many ways.

6. I liked the intermittent flashing lights on the electrical towers, radio transmission towers, and cell phone towers. Though these towers often stand isolated in remote places, they are in fact necessary to facilitate all sorts of communication between people.

7. I felt active and alert while driving and thinking, yet I felt removed from the world out in the night at a late hour. I found this to be a good state of mind.

It is helpful to have breaks from the routine of life. Such breaks can allow for reflection, for new thoughts, for the updating of long-standing ideas, and for renewed commitment to ideas that are of personal importance or that are of personal interest.

November 26, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , ,


  1. […] He enjoyed his late night drive back home to Houston a great deal. Neil liked this ride so much, he wrote a blog post listing seven reasons the ride was so […]

    Pingback by Eye on Williamson » TPA Blog Round Up (November 29, 2010) | November 29, 2010

  2. Often make this drive at all hours of the day and night…wildflowers, geese, kolaches or cinnamon rolls…you gotta love Texas. I could relate to all your observations.

    The day Lady Bird’s funeral was held, there were out-of-season bluebonnets blooming all along 71, near the big power plant-I couldn’t believe it. It is a great trip, in all seasons.

    Comment by Melissa | December 1, 2010

  3. Melissa– Thank you for this comment. Good things are often able to found in everyday things if we make the effort to see these things.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | December 1, 2010

  4. Because of my age I don’t make long solo drives anymore particularly at night but I know the feelings you described itimately and I really miss the experience. Thanks for sharing.

    Comment by Jerry C. | December 1, 2010

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