Friday, July 18, 2008

Driving East

It was a lovely drive! It was a bit long in places; some of the driving across Oklahoma is a bit dull, but I am getting ahead of myself. Let's start at the beginning!

Monday, right after work, I packed the car and headed to bed early. Saga and I then trundled ourselves into the car early Tuesday morning and headed south. It may have been three when I wrote my entry on Tuesday morning, but by the time I was actually on the road, two hours had gone bye. Saga and I were passing through Colorado Springs right around sunrise. Still before rush hour, but not nearly as early as I would have preferred.

We could not have asked for better weather! The winds were calm for most of the day, and the skies clear over the beckoning road. I listened to music and books on tape, Saga occasionally leaned against my shoulder to cast an inquisitive glance forward (I'm guessing that this is the Canaan Dog equivalent of "Are we there yet, Daddy?"

I stopped and had one of the salads I had packed for lunch at a roadside park in New Mexico. We were about to descend off the plateau into the lowlands where Texas and New Mexico join-up. We skirted between a couple large thunderstorms in western Oklahoma, and had dinner (another salad and some fruit) at a rest stop in Arkansas.

We stopped for the night Tuesday in West Memphis, Arkansas. Wednesday morning, we were on the road again bright and early. (The clock said six so I know that it was seven in the morning. – We'd long since charged into the Central Time Zone.) It wasn't a "full night's sleep, I had not gotten there until after two in the morning, but it was enough for the time being.

Wednesday's weather was better than Tuesday's. How is that possible? The skies were bluer; the air was clearer; the roads were – with the exception of traffic just outside Nashville – wide open! It was a great day to drive. The one thing I did which I considered to be ill-advised was to take the detour from the direct route and go through the Blue Ridge Parkway in Eastern Tennessee.

The drive was lovely and it only added three hours to the overall time (according to the calculations my GPS gave me) but the traffic getting to the parkway was horrendous. I knew I should have though about that twice. Here is a word of advice to everyone out there:

The best time to visit Pigeon Forge if you want to avoid the traffic is any time before 1963! Every time I have ever been there it is one large traffic jam as people vie for position in the queue for Dollywood and the other tacky destinations in the area. (Were there really that many go cart tracks in Pigeon Forge last time I was there?)

Saga and I made it to Charleston on Wednesday night just after nine-thirty. My friends and I had a bite of dinner and a nice chat and then I skulked off to bed. It had been a long two days.

Yesterday I set-up my computer and did some writing for the projects I am working on in the morning and did some work for my friend, the Colonel on his computer in the afternoon. My friend Fritz arrived from Florida last night and some time today we are headed up to the beach. Look for more soon!

Wherever you are today, I hope you're going somewhere!

Don Bergquist – July 18, 2008 – Charleston, South Carolina, USA

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