You do not see milestones on modern highways. In the US they have been replaced by green, metal markers that number the miles you have traveled. Of course modern vehicles have odometers counting away those miles, distance and years put behind us in the many little journeys of life. Back and forth to work, around the island, daily routine and explorations. In a good life those miles represent both the mundane and little adventures.
I put well over 200,000 miles on my last vehicle. The new vehicle? Purchased with 78,000 miles already on the odometer, thus I can only claim the last 22,000 as mine alone. But this was a Keck fleet vehicle, I put a smattering of the previous 78,000 miles on this truck, either driving or riding up and down the mountain.
Another large, arbitrary number… I have rolled the odometer on my 1995 Ford Explorer past 200,000 miles. It occurred when driving back from counting whales along the Akoni Pule highway north of Kawaihae.
When I bought this vehicle it was the first vehicle I had ever purchased new. I took delivery with eleven miles showing on the odometer. It seems so odd to consider 200,000 miles. I try to remember all of the wonderful memories of those two hundred thousand miles… Old mining roads in Arizona, dozens of star parties with the back packed with telescopes and gear, driving past sandstone arches in Utah, snow and ice covered highways, parked underneath a Saguaro cactus having lunch among desert wildflowers, the back heaped with wet scuba gear on a Hawaiian beach, a sunset atop Mauna Kea.
I remember worrying when I bought the vehicle, $23,000 was a lot of money to me back then, would I get to use the vehicle enough to make it worthwhile. Would I end up wrecking the vehicle in the first year? Would it be stolen or experience some horrible break down? Two hundred thousand miles later I can answer that question.