chapter lx

Posts Tagged ‘north carolina

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

Advertisements

Burlington, North Carolina. Mile 3600. No pictures today, it rained the entire day. Sometimes so hard that I had to slow way down, scary where the heck is the road? Stopped at an outlet center somewhere along the way, looking for winter boots. I don’t ever have much luck with those places, but there was a Timberland store, and I thought maybe. But no. Why would I be looking for winter boots in the South in the spring? I didn’t thing the prices were all that terrific either. Took the US route for awhile, before it rained so hard, and missed a turn, got totally lost and when I stopped to ask for directions, no one really knew where US 29 was, couldn’t read a map – I didn’t even know what town I was in, but they were very sweet and told me how to get to the Interstate. I found 29 again by accident, so stayed on that for awhile. I had reserved a room at a motel that was not a chain, a little out of the way on 29 in Reidsville, but the rain was so hard as I got to Greensboro that I missed the turn, probably went 20 miles too far, stopped again to ask directions, and they got out a map, another one knew exactly where I wanted to be and said it was probably 45 minutes away. It was nearly dark by then, I was tired and just wanted a good dinner and rest. As I headed back, into the deluge I passed an exit with the whole cluster of cheap motels, and thought, why am I going another 45 minutes just to be in a non-chain? Get off now. So I’m at an Econo lodge despite my desire to support the independents. Oh well.
I have been so lucky with food along the way. The desk clerk told me about a buffet near by that serves home cooking – they prepare all their own food, so I had barbq, biscuits, collards, white beans, green beans, roast beef, grits, gravy and apple pie. It was all delicious.

On to DC today. It looks clear, and I think I will take the US route up there – adds an hour but could be pleasant, up through Virginia.

Atlanta in the fog

Atlanta in the fog

I’m still in Atlanta, having a lovely visit with Meg. It has been raining and cold since I got here, just as well not to be on the road. We spent all day yesterday getting a new couch for Meg. She has been looking for a long time, and we made the decision yesterday. We finally decided on Ikea, so had to rent a pick-up to get it home, and then put it together. After all that work, moving the old one to the porch, rearranging the living room, we went to see He’s Not Really That into You, fun with a good cast. Brunch with one of her friends this morning, and just hanging out. I actually had a little nap this afternoon. Off to North Carolina tomorrow, and then off to DC.
It will be good to get some more miles behind me, but I really feel so not-rushed. All the time in the world. My car hasn’t sold yet, which is a little worry but at this point I don’t know what I can do. There it is, and here I am.

Meg's couch

Meg's couch