Friday, August 20, 2010

Time Travel

This morning we left our home in central Ohio and travelled about 190 miles, through southern Ohio's fields of verdant soybeans and golden-tassel corn in parallel rows, arriving about 3 hours and 20 minutes later in central Kentucky. We spent several hours visiting, eating, and enjoying the company of our daughters, then traveled back the same route, arriving home about 11 hours after we began.

We zoomed past Kentucky's "SPEED LIMIT 70" signs at 80 miles an hour. We were going no faster than most of the cars, and sometimes slower. We were usually in the middle, and sometimes near the tail end, of lines of cars traveling the same road. Some cars raced past us at speeds well beyond 80 miles/hour.

I ask you, is that not time travel?

It occurs to me that any speed faster than we can move our bodies without mechanical, electrical, or automotive assistance is time travel. When, in less than 4 hours, I travel across a space that would take me many days, perhaps weeks, to walk, am I not traveling through time at a faster pace? And doesn't that therefore become time travel?

On the drive home I was thinking that my ancestors who lived before the invention of automobiles probably thought a ride in a cart or carriage, or perhaps on the back of a running horse, was fast. When I was a child, my grandparents owned a car very much like the one above (with my mom sitting on the running board). I remember riding with my grandparents and hearing Gramma say to Grampa, "Bob, you slow down. You're going too fast!" And he was speeding along at only 35 miles per hour! (Did my grandfather like speed as much as I do?)

For about 20 miles on the way home today, traffic slowed to 20 miles an hour or less and was bumper to bumper. Perhaps that was as fast as a fast horse traveled years ago and yet I thought it was very, very slow.

These days we travel by airplane across a 2000-mile-wide continent in 8 hours and travel halfway around the world in less than 24 hours. Surely that's time travel!

What do you think?


  1. I love your description of southern Ohio; you must have driven through the Scioto valley along Rt.23. I too remember traveling as a youngster with my Grampa but not with Gramma present, so he went a little faster. I remember traveling at night with my family from Girard (near Mineral Ridge)to southern Ohio to visit my Mothers family near Chillothe and going through Columbus when they had electic buses with two poles on top that were attached to overhead wires. They created a mini light show with the sparks that flew from them. I always managed to wake up in Columbus to watch the lights and then go back to sleep for the rest of our all night trip which now takes only about four hours ( traveling faster through time).

  2. A journey by ship from the UK to the US took 6 weeks (if the going was good, and a lot longer if it wasn't) in the 1800's, but I can hop on a flight to NY and be there in less than 8 hours. I like FAST time travel :-)

  3. I definitely think this is time travel. Time travel is much faster now than it was a while ago for sure.

  4. Anonymous - what fun memories of your childhood travels. It's amazing that you were able to wake up going through Columbus!

    Jo, I like fast time travel, too -- the speedier the better. But sometimes I just want to stop for a while.


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