chapter lx

Day Eighteen

Posted on: March 17, 2009

Greenbelt, Maryland, mile 4040. Holy cow, eighteen days and 4000 miles. I feel so lucky on so many counts; that I have time to do this, that I have so little, and so little to worry about, that I have so many friends and family, that this is a beautiful world, that life is good. I am filled with contentment and gratitude and look forward to what’s coming next.

It was a beautiful day, rain finally stopped and although it is chilly and was overcast most the day, it was a wonderful drive. I avoided the Interstate practically all the way – a little to Durham, and then coming into the DC area – at rush hour! I have done most of this without a map – some places I knew how to get there, and some times it is just asking locals how they get from here to there. This morning I asked the desk clerk about US 29 or US 501 and he suggested 501 but didn’t know much about it in Virginia, so when I got to Virginia, asked how they would get to DC and several people in the little store had suggestions, so I found 29 again, and both roads were easy, no traffic, very few TRUCKS and pleasant to drive. That whole area – North Carolina, Virginia is rolling and winding, the bottom of the Smokies. One of my favorite places in the states. I also love Kentucky but probably won’t see Kentucky this trip. Finally drove out of the allergy zone yesterday, as not much is blooming here yet, but as I came around a curve in Virginia this afternoon, there on a hillside in front of me was a whole pink tree, standing against the grey hill and surrounded by all the other stark naked trees. It was breathtaking. I am sorry that I never got a photo of a redbud.

Tomorrow is the day I dress up Bella. I stopped at a custom car shop today that does decals on cars – it occurred to me that a decal might be what I’m looking for, but it would take a couple days. This was by the side of a road, gravel drive and inside two people huddled around a small woodstove and a stock car with decals all over it. All day I’ve been thinking of how to do it myself, and picturing what I want besides “Bella” on the hood. I will post when it’s finished. Last night when I went to dinner, there was a twin parked in the lot, except the other one was a little less battered. I asked the men at the next table if it was theirs, as they were the only other people in the restaurant besides a large noisy family but they had already left. It wasn’t, and then I realized that it probably is not the kind of van they would be driving – hunters, fishermen, they probably have a Ford pickup or some gallumping SUV.

The mountains in the East are so different from the mountains in the West. They are lower, softer, not so jagged and treed. There was the most incredible huge red sunset tonight. I am at Joan’s and they have the largest magnolia in the front yard that I have ever seen. Too bad I won’t be here when it blooms. I will stay here through the weekend – time to do laundry, see some of the Capitol and enjoy being with more loved ones.

Hills in Virginia

Hills in Virginia

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