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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Final Note From The Road

After a good night's sleep following my whirlwind trip, here are some final observations from the road -- all 2,991 miles of it. Because, if there's one thing one can do during 46 hours of driving, that's think:

• I did something on The Sunrise To Canton Road Trip For Research that I've always wanted to do, but the innertubes made it so easy. I couch surfed from home to Canton, visiting cyber-friends along the way. These are people I've known for years in the space of cyber, but whom I had never met;

• All the people I know who lent me a couch, bed, or just stoked me up with coffee for my next leg of the road, were all more wonderful than I had imagined from just the communication on the innertubes;

• Every family has their own shit to deal with. While it was not the topic of discussion with any of my couch-suppliers, every one of them alluded to trouble in their family that led to a current sitch-eee-ay-shun of family psycho-drama;

TO BE FAIR: I participated in my own family drama when I saw some of my relatives this weekend between trips to Canton, Michigan;

• One gets no sense of topography from maps, which are as flat as South Florida. It was nice to be reminded that there are places not at sea level which won't flood during the upcoming Great Glacier Melt™;

A panoramic example of topography from Morgantown, West Virginia. Note the cemetery in the far background.
 • Professional truckers still understand the courtesies of the road. I'd signal my brights at them to let them know it was safe to merge. They never failed to signal back as a "thank you;"

• Civilian drivers tend to be rude fucks who only seem to be concerned with getting there first;

• No matter where I drive I always do the speed limit, unless conditions require a slower, safer speed. I am always the slowest car on the road. In fact, there are times I feel like an impediment to the flow of traffic by hewing to the speed limit;

• The invention of car turn signals was a total waste of time;

• I had no idea Canton was so large. Because it's an unincorporated township, as opposed to town or city, I thought it would be so much smaller. I guess at one time it was, but now it's pretty much suburban sprawl from one end to another. Traversing Canton always took longer than I expected it would;

• No one has led a 100% exemplary life;

• Be good to your neighbours because you never know when a journalist will come sniffing around for information;

• A solution to a problem I was having in my novel jumped out at me from out of nowhere and I almost hit it with the car. I wasn't even thinking of the book when it happened;

• One meets a lot of nice people along the road, provided one takes the time to talk to them;

• I was once able to get a much better sleep on the back seat of a car;

• I kept seeing signs that said "Trucks over 3 axles use right two lanes." You mean straddling the line? Wouldn't it be simpler to say "Trucks over 3 axles prohibited in left lane?"

• I had the misfortune to hit morning rush hour traffic in Jax while on the southbound I-95;

• The last 100 miles I could see the smoke of several brush fires rising into the air on both the east and west side of I-95. Yet I turned on the news and searched online and could find no reference to it;

• With approximately 10,000 tunes on my music machine playing on random shuffle, here were the Top Five Played Artists [in descending order]: The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Beatles Bootlegs [a separate category to any die-hard Beatles fan], Willie Nelson, Alberta Hunter. Oddly enough the first 4 have multiple albums on the music machine. Alberta Hunter only has 1 album on there, plus a few selected tunes from her early days singing with Eubie Blake. More proof, if any is needed, that random shuffle is quite random;

• I never thought I'd say this, but that was entirely too much Wliie Nelson. I'll have to winnow it down a bit;

As I tell people: I love to drive, provided I have tunes. This may have been a long drive, but I enjoyed every minute of it. I would also like to thank the friends I met along the road. You were all so terrific and any time you're in the neighbourhood, don't hesitate to call.

Further Reading on Not Now Silly

Notes From The Road
More Notes From The Road
And Still More Notes From The Road