Nonnie Travels, Part 3
I never woulda done it on purpose, of course. My plan was to amble south and west from Black Mountain, North Carolina to some point in central Georgia for a night, and then, the next day, on to the Florida panhandle, where I live. I would drive along what I think of as "soft highways." I avoid Interstates to the best of my ability. As soon as I get on one I want off it-so there's little point in trying them. This has taken me many years to learn. I'm a good driver, I think, but I have issues-see Nonnie Travels, Part 2, if you're curious about those-it's right under this post. I did avoid the four-to-six lane, beat up, loud, unforgiving zoomers for the most part. I followed through on that part of my plan, anyway.
Self-navigating with my follow-roads-that-point-south-or-west-or-both rule, I ended up in the southern Appalachians, on two way roads with a hair-pin turn every two seconds. Nobody else around for long chunks of time. The roads had signs with numbers and "south" or "west" posted every now and then, but since I couldn't look at my maps,(I love maps and had lots of them with me) they weren't very helpful. I'd flash by the infrequent shoulders and pull-overs and think, "oh, there was one." Once on this path, I had to go on until I came out somewhere, turning around just didn't seem doable. Hell, I couldn't even think about changing the CD. My hands were too busy. Really, I felt like I was driving with my arms. My entire body. Still, early Tom Waits was rather good company for this drive. He and I had a blast.
Driving up and down and around mountains, in October, on the kind of day that deserves all the best weather words thrilled me and gave my six-year old Buick a happy shock, too. Okay, maybe I wouldn't recommend the sort of morning I had to fellow heart patients, but man, it was fun. I had red, yellow, gold and green trees, dappled sunlight, miles of dense forest and then panoramic views of somewhere (didn't much matter where at that point, did it?) and I was counting only on myself and my trusty car, with Tom for additional spirit. I never woulda done it on purpose, what with my issues, and my promises to be careful, but fate gave me a gift…and a boost. I'd even gone south and west after-all, albeit not very far south or west, mostly up and down. Sort of like swinging. Huh.
|This is the Windsor Hotel, dressed up for Christmas, in Americus, Georgia.|
I stayed here on my way up to Black Mountain, and again on my way home. Great place. No fooling.