Mother Road


In America, “mother road” is a term used for Route 66 – originally connecting Chicago with Santa Monica, CA. I find the importance of roadways to progress, human development and our lives in general quite fascinating.

I have my own “mother road”, I must admit, a stretch of Autobahn running north-south across the Austrian Alps. Many years ago, at 8 a.m. every Sunday morning come rain, snow or shine my parents would load us four kids into the back of a Volvo 740 Diesel, and set off on that very road. It was an hour-and-a-half drive to the church my Dad supported, an hour-and-a-half of making memories, listening to music, watching the scenery go by.

Even to this day, when I travel that stretch of Austrian Autobahn every curve, every bridge, every tunnel has a comforting familiarity that makes the 11Euros toll worth every cent. At its highest point, there is a breathtaking view of the approaching mountainside, and every time I pass by there I just have to take a picture. My dear wife once asked me not to, so as not to endanger our kids in the back of the car. I ignored her. Which I usually don’t do. And although it seems insignificant, that moment has become my favorite memory of traveling my “mother road”.