November 27, 2011

900-mile drive

I drove across the older of the US mountain ranges, following my smartphone GPS through the night (both ways) to be with family on Thanksgiving this year.  I usually fly, and when I did drive more regularly, I never went this way -- off the interstates.

On the way out, it was rain all night, the Tuesday before the holiday.  I didn't see much traffic and was tickled by the back roads, the empty city outskirts (Cumberland, MD was notably picturesque on the way back), and walls of fog through the Green Ridge National Forest.  I enjoyed use of both lanes as I followed the inside of each curve.

This is how passing a big truck at night in the rain is like life -- when you first come up to the back wheel, you are blinded by the spray and in a reasonable panic may be tempted to slow down, but if you just keep going -- holding steady and remembering to breath, you soon emerge into clear sight again!

On the way home, through the Saturday night following the holiday, there was only rain on the last stretch into my Columbayeh.  My phone took me yet another way back, making record time (under 7 hours) and somehow shaving serious miles off my trip.  I saw (and honked at) 2 separate deer-sightings along the side of the road, and happily sailed down a curvy mountain road which demanded trucks & buses go in low gear @ 10mph.  Again, I didn't see a lot of traffic, which made me wonder -- where are all the other people following this route?  And why were the outbound & inbound routes so different?  Hmm...

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