Whether it’s a jaunt to the grocery store for milk or a five-hour cruise to some faraway destination, each and every drive is a visual treasure hunt.
Literally everywhere I drive, I’m constantly scanning for snowmobiles (or motorcycles, bicycles and quads) that might parked on the sides of garages/barns/buildings. On trailers, amid piles of junk, surrounded by tall grass… wherever a sled might be sitting, I’m constantly on the lookout for it.
All my snowmobiling friends do the same thing, and I’d say it’s equal parts artistry and highly-trained skill honed by years (decades!) practice.
To the oncoming vehicles that pass us going the opposite direction, our eyes naturally detect those that are pulling a trailer. We experience the same brief moment of anticipation as we wait for this trailer to reveal its full load and, as drivers, we long-ago perfected the from-the-windshield-to-the-rearview-mirror sweep of the eyes to extract a few more moments of gazing.
If there are snowmobilers in the car, we proclaim the brand, model and year of the machines that we see. And if there is no one in the vehicle who shares our same appreciation of treasure, our proclamations are silent yet nearly as satisfying.
Conversely, when driving with my wife, I’m always struck by the contrast between what she sees and what I see. She is almost completely unaware of the treasure we past, even the easily seen machines parked in driveways or at the edge of the road with “For Sale” signs affixed to windshields.
Instead, she sees the homes that these sleds belong to, or the flower gardens that decorate their periphery. Different kinds of treasure, I suppose.
Sometimes I spot some treasure that requires slowing down and, occasionally, even stopping for a closer look. Typically it’s a vintage machine, a rare race sled or something so unusual that it requires further investigation.
I know of many treasure seekers who have knocked on doors to inquire about forlorn machines parked along sheds or in tree lines, but I’m not one of them. Some have even scored such treasures for such nominal fees that I briefly reconsider my policy of look-but-don’t-buy.
At the end of the day, I’m satisfied with having seen (however briefly) some treasure as I drive along the trail of life.