Friday, June 28, 2019

Missing The Road

I love the sight of the Delaware Memorial Bridge Twin Span in the morning

The Fourth of July is next Thursday.

Of course, that's a great time for a road trip.

Man, do I miss it.

I got a chance to drive down to the Philadelphia area for the World Selects hockey tournament back in May, and that was great but something was missing.

It's not all fun and games in the walk up to traveling. There's the stress of making sure all I's are dotted and T's are crossed before leaving.

Packing, buying supplies, and securing all necessary transportation. All part of the fun.

What's missing for me (because I'm nuts), is getting on the road before sunrise.

I love -- like, love love love -- the peace and serenity of dead quiet and empty roads.

When we travel to North Carolina, we leave around 5:30 a.m. simply because I don't want to be obnoxious to my co-travelers. When I drove to Charleston, S.C. by myself in 2012, I was ready to leave around 3:45 a.m.

Yes. I'm nuts.

I miss the days of driving to Florida with my family. We'd leave early on a bitterly cold December or February morning. We'd shed the winter jackets -- slowly -- as we would get into Virginia or wherever.

We'd leave our Howard Johnson's in, say, Florence, S.C. on our second day of driving and it would be just us and a few trucks on Interstate 95 in the pitch black pre-dawn hours.

For the most part, it was my dad driving, my mom and sister in the back, and me in the co-pilot seat. My I-95 book in my hand, and a boombox radio in my lap (we only had AM radio in the 1978 Chevy Impala).

These days, I happily settle for driving from New York to Fayetteville, N.C.

But I miss going to all kinds of places on the road. I miss Cooperstown, Maine, Pittsburgh, Ohio, and beyond.

The first (and only time) I was in either Alabama or Mississippi was to and from New Orleans to visit family in 1975. We drove. I can still remember large pieces of it.

There's a culture to it all. The food, the entertainment (radio), the roadside stops (South of the Border? Hello?).

Each state has a different feeling to it. I realize that's more of a mental thing to me, but I feel a change as soon as I cross each state line.

There's a strategy to it, such as making the best time and keeping up the driving energy.

People hate I-95, and I certainly have cursed parts of it. But it also flows through my soul.

I'm babbling, of course. I could write a whole lot more.

Of motels and gas stations and Wawa and Waffle House and radio stations and mile after mile after mile.

I've got stories. Lots.

I need a road trip.


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