Skip to main content

An Essay on 2020

Well, what can I say? 2020 was a year like no other. The losses humankind suffered during this period were unimaginable when the year began less than 400 days ago. We lost so many things – friends, loved ones, co-workers, colleagues. We lost the things we’ve taken for granted all our lives - human touch, family traditions, concerts, and school. We also lost jobs, careers, our patience, our sense of security, and our health. And some lost hope. But something else happened in 2020 – we *found* a lot of things too. We found Zoom & Skype. We found heroes, healthcare workers, and other selfless essential personnel. We found comfort, deeper connections, strength, and resilience. And so many of you found… us.

In 2020, our websites, blog posts, and YouTube channels were found and viewed by countless new sets of eyes. For example, the encyclopedia of highway footage that is the ‘roadwaywiz’ YouTube channel was never more popular with audiences than it was this past year. People flocked to the channel in numbers not before seen and the channel’s expanded *live* programming schedule incorporated road enthusiasts from all corners of America and entertained many more. Given that everyone was stuck in their homes wishing they could travel instead of actually doing so, outlets such as this one enabled folks to do just that - virtually taking viewers to most corners of North America from the comfort of their own homes.

People have asked me what my favorite memory from this past year is and, on the surface, it might seem like an odd question, given the tumult of the last 300 days. It was March 28 – I was sitting in my living room in Dutchess County, NY and I was giving a live webinar presentation on the freeways of Las Vegas. (Go on YouTube and search “Wiz Webinar Las Vegas” – you’ll find it.) In the past, I had done these presentations with other folks in my direct company and I never had the desire to become proficient in Skype/Zoom in order to bring folks into the conversation remotely. Yet that is what was necessary and that is what happened. I and many of my “roads scholar” friends became experts in these services overnight in order to make this presentation possible. 

Yet there was something else that struck me in the middle of this episode. It happened during the 2nd half of it or so, probably during the video portion of the program. It all just hit me that during this day of fear, darkness, and uncertainty, here I was talking with my friends Steve, Doug, and Josh about ROADS. Just like always. For two hours, it was almost as if nothing was wrong in the world and that little “Moment of Zen” (to borrow the expression) is what stayed with me all this year, and it’s the one feeling I remember most fondly about 2020.

Dan's living room - March 28, 2020

Gribblenation also continued to expand its reach in 2020 by incorporating new bloggers and introducing audiences to new locations. We were there for you when things looked their darkest and we’ll continue to serve as your next best distraction when you need it. It may not take me very long to tell the stories of America’s roads and historic sites, but rest assured that Adam, Tom, and Doug will always be “up to something” and it’s our collective mission in 2021 to pick up where we left off and continue sharing our experiences with you. Why? Because every road has a story!


"Auld Lang Syne"



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Deer Isle Bridge in Maine

As graceful a bridge that I ever set my eyes upon, the Deer Isle Bridge (officially known as the Deer Isle-Sedgwick Bridge) surprisingly caught my eye as I was driving around coastal Maine one Saturday afternoon. About 35 miles south of Bangor, Maine , the Deer Isle Bridge connects the Blue Hill Peninsula of Downeast Maine with Little Deer Isle over the Eggemoggin Reach on ME 15 between the towns of Sedgwick and Deer Isle . It should be noted that Little Deer Isle is connected to Deer Isle by way of a boulder lined causeway, and there is a storied regatta that takes place on the Eggemoggin Reach each summer. But the Deer Isle Bridge holds many stories, not just for the vacationers who spend part of their summer on Deer Isle or in nearby Stonington , but for the residents throughout the years and the folks who have had a hand bringing this vital link to life.   The Deer Isle Bridge was designed by David Steinman and built by the Phoenix Bridge Company of Phoenixville,

Former US Route 99 through Athlone and the last Wheeler Ridge-Sacramento corridor expressway

Athlone was a siding of the Southern Pacific Railroad located in Merced County on the alignment of what was US Route 99 between the cities of Chowchilla and Merced.  The Athlone corridor of US Route 99 was one of the first in San Joaquin Valley to fully upgraded to four lane expressway standards.  The Athlone expressway corridor was inherited by California State Route 99 when US Route 99 was truncated to Ashland, Oregon during June 1965.  The four-lane expressway through Athlone was the last segment of what had been US Route 99 in the Wheeler Ridge-Sacramento corridor to be bypassed by a freeway.  The Athlone expressway corridor was bypassed by the modern California State Route 99 freeway in 2016.  Despite being put on a road diet and narrowed what was the Athlone expressway corridor still displays evidence of being part of US Route 99.   Above the blog cover photo displays the Athlone expressway corridor of US Route 99 south of Merced as depicted in the July 1939 California Highways &

California State Route 38

California State Route 38 is a fifty-nine-mile State Highway located entirety in San Bernardino County and a component of the Rim of the World Highway.  California State Route 38 begins at California State Route 18 at Bear Valley Dam of the San Bernardino Mountains and follows an easterly course on the north shore of Big Bear Lake.  California State Route 38 briefly multiplexes California State Route 18 near Baldwin Lake and branches east towards the 8,443-foot-high Onyx Summit.  From Onyx Summit the routing of California State Route 38 reverses course following a largely westward path through the San Bernardino Mountains towards a terminus at Interstate 10 in Redlands.   Pictured as the blog cover is California State Route 38 at Onyx Summit the day it opened to traffic on August 12th, 1961.   Part 1; the history of California State Route 38 California State Route 38 (CA 38) is generally considered to be the back way through the San Bernardino Mountains to Big Bear Lake of Bear Valley