16 January 2009

Road trip

A party on Wednesday evening and a day at home. Then ... a journey south. The reason? A visit with my sister and her family recently relocated from New York state to Florida. A retired state trooper, Tal takes delight in the thought of a road trip. And, he likes to get an early start.

That said, and adding that I packed a lunch we could eat in the car without having to stop, it is a very long day. There is no direct route between Edgefield and the environs of Tampa. We travelled I-20 which enters Georgia within 35 miles of here at Exit 177, going only as far as Exit 130, where we picked up GA22 and US129 to Macon and I-75.

The interlude of secondary road was interesting and pleasant, lots of rural landscape, an ambitious new development centering on Lake Oconee, lovely little towns, some sad and some thriving. In fact, I have designs on returning to the small town of Gray where I spied a used bookstore/local art gallery/coffee shop.

After Macon were hundreds of miles on I-75 to Valdosta, with hundreds more to Tampa. But, much of I-75 along that route is three lanes in either direction and the road passes through some beguiling landscape, horse farms and cattle ranches, pine forests giving way to live oaks and cypress.

This world is simply astounding. It struck me suddenly that people live everywhere and mostly love where they live -- as much as I enjoy South Carolina. Our tendency is to forget that, to assume our place to be the only, or at least, the best place. So, as the miles rolled by I daydreamed, appreciating the variety speeding by and wondering about everyday life along the way.

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