…had places to go, people to see, adventures to … er, advent!

Trash was put out, the sun was up, and I only looked sorta like an escaped mass murderer – not anything too scary. North I headed, but not as I have soooo many times recently before – instead this time I choose to take the local road. State routes, two-lanes twisting through towns and places, not flat fast soulless paths through states. I didn’t realize until I got back, but I certainly had made the right choice!

Change is good, change can do you good, change for change sake is the easiest way to make some change.
(long winded write ups with cool yet random photos are, on the other hand, perhaps just me doing what I do – feel free to click through to enjoy…)
(this is where the cut/jump ‘read more’ link failed to work. sigh)

But I ended up in a lovely road trip state of mind, taking in the chance of a frown-inducing storm (a reason Ramona & 9PTM made the trip with me, not the Pacific Coast), the curves and twists and ups and downs of rural Virginia.

Watched over by wings and tunes, I pass the Thai restaurant, the fire roasted pizza, and overpasses protected by motor-cops… to find my way to gas stations where the price wasn’t evil, and a young gun on a swift Suzuki was making tracks – up from Florida on his way to new jersey! Oh the memories that flooded in; but I wished him good travel and didn’t pull up a rocking chair.

Small towns tight up to the Blue Ridge Mountains, with drug stores and blue rooster candle maker shops.

Not the only set of wheels on the road, America is at work, with truck, trucks with trailers, and others making money with their time. Small towns with pretty flowers keep my eyes wide open under the fluffy clouds that failed on their earlier threats.

9PTM was as enthusiastic as ever, which is nice. I get concerned he can’t see out too well, but he’s never complained. Guess the prettiness of the Shenandoah national park and skyline drive area made him content.

Long fence lines, the lovely fields with the mountains in the background, seems like a slice of heaven laid out here on earth. Of course without a strong focus on where I was and where i was going we ended up taking a ‘shortcut’ up and over the mountains. Twisty fun roads indeed!

On the other side, past the tourism that big holes in the ground draw, an example of America’s race to the bottom sits in front of ma nature’s heights just beyond – conflicting feelings, that one. Of course, the scary stormy clouds out on the horizon also bring feelings.

Through the low parts of the valley, clouds covering the sky with white and grey, through drizzle on the highway, past classic pickups and backyard views to die for. Into the land of Mary with clouds a threatening, into a wet stormy patch entering William P’s space, up past the capital, the state route gives my heart hope that was lost on the highway.

Up along the river, with hilltops on the other side, where a man can stop and talk to his sister while a bubbling creek roars past, up towards a sha-mokin dam! Into the oncoming evening through lovely two-lane blacktop across the hill dotted night.

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53degrees/65degrees on a Sunday morning, i return to my descriptions of a week away…
now it’s 10:27 and I’ve been poking about my pics, listening to Car Talk, generally enjoying an incredibly lovely Sunday morn – cool and sunny. yay! looking at using Flickr as photo bin…
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Waking up to foggy mountains and crazy hair, 9PTM waiting to continue the trip, cleanHarbor trucks disappeared in the night. North, Onward!! we go, groggily into the coffee-free morning, in search of … the correct way to get where I want to be.

Random truth – somewhere in my boxes of many things is a piece of tile the same as that used on the space shuttles as a heat shield. I was rewarded with that for my knowledge of glass as an insulator of electricity when as a small kid the fam visited Corning’s glass museum… which has been totally redone, as I noted driving across a bridge and into the town proper. Boo’s gonna love visiting next spring.

Oddly, Corning was not the town I wanted to be in, as lovely as their bridges and old stone churches are, so I soared off to a town named for animal parts, and then up up and away, rt. 13 calling to me from my youth, and into the loveliness that is the finger lakes region of upstate. What a drive.

Ithaca is gorges, so say the stickers. Today it’s as modern and contemporary as any of the towns and cities I’ve skirted, though the solar panels on car dealerships, a slightly less snazzy pedestrian bridge, and the cool looking Sciencenter are of interest. Sometimes in my traverses I ponder what this all looked like to first visitors, looking down from a ridge line to see the long and skinny body of water called Cayuga.

But I trundle on, past the piggery (why didn’t I stop??) up the other side of the valley, then down the slope into the small towns and phoenix of books, past the golf courses with lovely views, and drive ins with all American food, into another small lovely educating town, amazed as always by the buildings, by the awesome attempts and saddening/maddening decrepitude that creeps through these towns, a noxious weed that hasn’t been dealt with well enough.

Thank goodness books are free!

Past homes from the late 1800s, to campgrounds and common places I ambled, farms and farmland lush in the springtime minted atmosphere, sunshine and clouds, a lovely breeze to keep 9PTM and me smiling as tunes played on.

Matt shares a shortcut/alternative path, and I say yes, Yes, YES!!! Because I don’t stray very far from my safe confines of the pleasant corral of my life. I know the boundaries, I know the corners of my box of life; not sure why I stopped (the times are long gone, I’m sure the reasons were sound and sad). Thankfully my life intersects with the well kept boxes of my friends, who have lovely homes, wonderful pups, and are filling fast with a joy, a hope, an essence of power I never knew existed. Stage of life giving wisdom to the truths of the universe? The physical universe pounding the corporeal cage of our minds into a moment to pause, a moment to notice the things that are truly important?

All I know is that a coy smile from the safety of the arms of their parents gives the super small proto-peeps an awe inspiring power – why yes, wee one, you will grow, you will raise up, we should do what we can right now for you for time is fleeting, the sun is lovely and the skies are endless in your future. Please don’t cry.

So we go for a walk, and I see a friend in his rightful place, again. Loved, loving, centered and focused as before but so so so differently now. Again, wisdom? Stages? Life!

Also, a tractor, outstanding in it’s field.

Choices we have all made have gotten us to this point, where I smile, a creek flows, flowers bloom and the earth shares a token of her might with us, so that we can share with others. The toes are washed in the cooling power of motion and liquid, the clouds dance across the fields of blue as the sun chases the horizon again, so time to nap says buddy, time to be says Lily, time is good says I.

Flowers, babies, trees, doggie on the grassy field of a springtime afternoon – all is right with the world in upstate new york.

Another day, I drive by another house of veterans, this one guarded by a cobra! On our way to a theater with blue men, past an aging (nicely?) institution that once had pizza that tasted great, but had a funny name.

Family’s gather, pizza is enjoyed, pup & peapod impress and make us smile. Sunshine filtered by leafs, amazing how nice nature can be. Moonlit clouds challenge my inner photographer, though I blame the equipment as all good journeymen must. The ‘nimals are not unsettled, they just keep doing what they like to do – perhaps a lesson we need to learn?

Mickeymatt has crafted and created, as is his way, and has some lovely woodcrafts coming together.

Shall we have some more pizza with family and friends? Why yes – yes we shall, and thanks Ma H, it is always wonderful to be in your company, to be in your home.

Springtime continues to give up her beauty and loveliness, while Utica has both improvements and indications that the climb has been tough, perhaps too tough. Visits can sometimes be tough, but always good, no matter how much the bag filled with emotions gets pummeled – do I blame stages again, or just the lovely springtime breeze? Both, sure.

Hail arrives, then departs. Voss’ continues as a touchstone of simple goodness (now expanded to the Utica Zoo!!), and an ice cream with my sister at B&F makes the evening wonderful, again.

I don’t want to leave, especially with the promise of smiles served all day, but alas, life must continue so I roll, 9PTM guarding our goods, south, out of town, past the halls where my youth transpired, past massive constructs put into the ground with hope and purpose, past the all American food, the first hobbit house I saw so long ago, into and along the path I rolled north on (why do I not change? Oh right, I will…)

I take turns, get lost, turn around, don’t run out of fuel, foolishly commit to a path that pushes hard back against me, yet I continue the clouds and sun and sky helping me understand.

Also, a car full of popcorn. Oh how I love America’s highways and byways.

I jaunt through Gettysburg – quaint little town, with an eerie history that’s been laid out for all to see. Spooky, sober, sad really. Almost apropos of the long weekend past … do we ever learn? Does it ever make a lasting impression? (see: scott wins the cold war! oops it’s warming up in the gulf; Kosovo; Somalia; the gulf again. how’s Afghanistan doing? did I mention Chechnya?)

Perhaps the sole benefit of having our small towns suffer at the hand of neglect is that the few buildings that are getting some love look fantastic – I can imagine the whole town looking that good.

South south I roll, out of Penn’s woods, darting into mary’s woods, across the Potomac to make a left into Virginia if I dare. The horse farms give way to desolate luxury, big homes far from town, the sun sets far away into the mountains.

More small towns dot my path, fireflies making me smile and ponder, too many bugs give their lives as I push push push to get home to my beloved, to Boo who gave me the time to roll around in my mind. To see things I have not seen, have seen not recently enough, to see the ones I cannot see again.

Home, later than I wanted to be, blue accepts my return, boo hugs me hard. Happy to have me home, I’m happy to be here.

ciao,

}S{ | dona nobis pacem |

“Keep Calm and Carry On” or “Keep Calm … and Cupcakes!”

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2:21pm + Thursday = 7th June, 2012
78 degrees on a mostly cloudy durham afternoon
it’s long, it’s kinda … oddly written. think the pics kinda rock. had a blast on the trip and fun writing this up…
complete photo montage over at Picasaweb
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