Free Leaf

"Don't gain the world and lose your soul, wisdom is better than silver or gold..."

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Location: Falls Church, Virginia, United States

I have a lot more questions than answers, but I just keep asking. I constantly want to leave, but somehow manage to stay. I am both perfectly happy and completely miserable because of it. I think I am misunderstood but that could just be a huge misunderstanding, either way I guess the best way to put it is, "I ain't often right, but I've never been wrong."

9.18.2006

Tennessee weekend part 1: The Drive

This weekend was too much fun and too much info to throw into one post so this will be a three part series discussing taking a roadie by yourself, RV life and of course the amazing football game.

I have often said that driving is one of the pleasures that I value most about American life. The freedom of being able to explore this huge country of ours is often overlooked but to me it is easily one of the greatest things about this country. My drive to Tennessee was not as eventful as some of my others since Virginia took up 95% of the drive but it was still enjoyable and not terribly long.

On Friday I left incredibly early after dropping off a friend at the airport. The actual plan was to drop off and go back home to sleep for a few more hours but at 5:30 am with my car already packed I was too excited to go back home, so I just kept going instead of backtracking. The most difficult part was that the caffeine addict that I am did not have time to make his standard three cups before leaving so I was driving impaired essentially. After about an hour or so on the road I found the haven of all road trips, Cracker Barrel. As a pro road tripper I made sure to stop and enjoy a breakfast by myself as one of the first and only people in the joint. I had the sunrise sampler and plenty of coffee, took my vitamins and got back on the road. A few hours later I stopped for coffee and took a nap. Yes I napped in the car at a gas station, I was tired, it was only about 8 am and I had been awake for 3.5 hours. But the 20 minute snooze really helped, as did the dunkin coffee that I picked up. When I drive I have a little rule that every stop must accomplish at least two things. You can not just stop to go the bathroom, you have to go to the bathroom and get coffee or food or gas, something, but if you have to go to the bathroom and don’t need anything else you have to keep going. Later on in this trip I made a 3 part stop, cash, restroom and food, that made me happy. But for the most part the drive was uneventful, it was peaceful, I listened to a lot of music, hit little traffic and got to enjoy some great time alone.

And for me there isn’t a better way to travel, I do love interacting with people but I also have a huge loner streak inside me. I like hitting the road by myself, singing along to songs on old CDs and being free of outside influence. It gives me much needed time to think and reflect. Oddly it’s alone on long drives in my car where I mourn the loss of my grandparents, where I remember them fondly and I take time to think about so many other people who have come in and out of my life and how they have left their mark on me. Most people would dread the 10 hours in the car that it took me to get to Knoxville and they would hate the 8 hours it took me to get home but I loved it. Just as the ride down was filled with excitement of the coming weekend, the ride home was a breeze after what was a perfect weekend.

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