From Thielker’s site:
The road acts as a physical and philosophical guide for many of our experiences within the world. In the United States, nostalgia for landscape created and fueled by Manifest Destiny has perpetuated a desire for freedom and newness with each journey in the car. We are encouraged through automobile advertisement to believe in the transformative power of driving and motion to transport us beyond our everyday circumstances towards a better life, or at least a way to literally leave the past in the dust.
Explorers, and then artists, functioned as anticipatory tour guides for largely uncharted, yet alluring sections of the country. Now we posses the freedom and facility to navigate the country at will, drive for days on end with stops only to accommodate the most basic needs, fuel/waste, and cross invisible borders. Yet the road is a limited pathway- both protecting and guiding our experiences in larger nature. We crisscross areas along delineated routes, at times renegotiating to account for mountains, cities, and lakes. The length of these journeys is a functional necessity but there is poetry in the travel as we lose ourselves for a time while driving, touching the land through the fingertips of tires on road. Our viewpoint within the car, creates a particular frame for experience, both fixed in its planar orientation, yet extremely mobile in its pace and direction. In road views, we experience an engineered network, but an egalitarian exposure to any and all points along that vector. The process of driving erases what is behind so that all we can focus on is the future.