Many people talk about how it’s not the destination that counts, it’s the journey.

That does not apply to cross-country road trips. You can have the journey all you want—especially the part where you’re driving through Montana. Hey, no offense, Montana. It’s just that you’re one big wide-ass state, and when you’re on a cross-country trip, it’s the narrow states that I appreciate. You know, the ones you can check off the “been-there” list after just a couple of hours. The ones that make you feel like you’re actually getting somewhere.

Have you driven across Montana lately? While one can travel through Idaho, North Dakota, Ohio, or even Georgia in a few hours, Montana takes at least six days even if you’re driving well above the posted speed limit. I swear that’s fact, and not just how it feels.

And yes, Texas is in the same category with Montana. The difference? I’ve never had to drive across Texas in one stint. Come to think of it, though…I don’t want to think about it. I once flew into Midland, Texas, and then drove to Big Spring. They’re only about forty miles apart, but every single mile looked exactly like the previous mile, and you know how tiring that gets. Same thing when driving from Houston to College Station.

By the way, don’t get Big Spring, Texas, mixed up with Big Springs, Texas. They’re some 400 miles apart. I suppose in a state the size of Texas, one could begin to run out of names for cities, so you just start leaving off the last letter of another city’s name. Hmmm…

More observations from cross-country trips to race tracks in next week’s installment of this story.