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The Journey . . .

   Miles To Go
Before I Sleep

by Maricia Mlynek


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We have traveled thousands of miles, across every type of terrain, and spent countless hours absorbing America. Today, we passed through the Gateway Arch, which symbolizes the door to the American West. We were exiting that door. We crossed the Mississippi River and headed back into the rolling foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.

As our journey is coming closer and closer to an end, I am beginning to feel a little like the man stopping by the woods in Robert Frost’s poem. We have had the wonderful opportunity to see not only our nation, but the people who make it the United States.

The quest for fun, adventure, culture, and home kept us going. Brief glimpses into the land so fair have been a revelation. I have come to understand the similarities in every people, every culture and every state. I have also seen the vast differences that make us unique and diverse.

I have loved looking into the lives of strangers and coming away feeling acquainted. I have been blessed with the chance to see the sun set and rise on the waves of the ocean, snow covered tops of the mountains, arid vastness of the desert, and even ice covered plains.

As we crossed back into the more familiar states of Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, I began to feel the saddle sores of this journey. Just like a wonderful book, I didn’t want the last chapter to come so quickly, but I was longing to know the end. We were on the last leg of our journey and West Virginia was calling. I would have liked this journey to last a little longer, but “I had promises to keep and miles to go before I found sleep.”

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

by Robert Frost

        Whose woods these are I think I know.

        His house is in the village though;

        He will not see me stopping here

        To watch his woods fill up with snow.

        My little horse must think it queer

        To stop without a farmhouse near

        Between the woods and frozen lake

        The darkest evening of the year.

        He gives his harness bells a shake

        To ask if there is some mistake.

        The only other sounds, the sweep

        Of the easy wind and downy flake.

        The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,

        But I have promises to keep,

        And miles to go before I sleep,

        And miles to go before I sleep.


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