The Highways That Carry Us Home
Travel Tales by AFAR · 21 minutes ·

The Highways That Carry Us Home

It’s time to head for America’s heartland. Our guide will be Kelli Jo Ford, a Virginia-based writer, teacher, and author of Crooked Hallelujah, a much-praised novel that follows four generations of Cherokee women. In this episode Kelli Jo takes us on the road: For years, she’s made regular pilgrimages to Oklahoma to visit her family. As a kid living in Texas, those trips were especially poignant: Her grandma Longshore would meet Kelli Jo halfway, to take her back to Oklahoma for a summer of noisy feasts and preserved wild onions and creek crossings. All the things that to, Kelli Jo, felt like home. And their meeting place of choice was a Love’s Travel Stop, a special institution in this part of the world. Love’s is famous for their 24-hour services, which can include gas, travel tchotkes, fast food, on-site tire repair, and much more. But for Kelli Jo, this family-owned chain, which, naturally, features a large red heart in its logo, is more than just a place to get gas, or use the bathroom, or stock up on road snacks. For her, they are forever linked to home.

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