Tales from the Road

Dateline: Macon, Georgia, Sunday, 11:00 p.m. We've exhausted the channel lineup on the tv here at the LaQuinta Inn. The dogs have made their last trek around the perimeter of the hotel. Magic has watered every lamppost and sniffed every tree. Molly is stretched full length on her purple blanket, nose tucked neatly between her front paws, while Magic has appropriated the left side of the king sized bed (Jim's side -ha!) My dogs are amazingly flexible creatures. From the moment we set out on this three day journey, they seemed to know we were in for a long haul. They accommodate themselves nicely in the car, taking turns lying on the pillow in my lap or perching on the console between the two front seats. They communicate in silent signals, rising from one spot in unison and trading places efficiently and neatly before going back to sleep. Like any couple in a long term relationship, they've learned the give and take required to keep things on an even keel. I'm happy to say, we all seem to be faring quite well on this trip - I'm resigned to eating junk food for three days, and Jim has accepted the fact that there will be crumbs on the black suede seats in his car. And, by the way, we are cruising smoothly and easily, courtesy of the Hemi engine in his new Dodge Charger. We traversed the hills and dales of the Smokies without a hitch. Speaking of the Smokies, I am in love with those glorious Smoky mountains, even on a day like today, when the trees were all brown and bare, and the mountain tops were wreathed in wisps of grey fog. They are majestic and fearsome, emerging victorious after the endless flatlands of Ohio. I am most proud of my southern heritage when I travel through those mountains, imagining Daniel Boone (a distant relative of mine, so I'm told) trekking across that green land, and fording the Cumberland River. Yes, in terms of the view from the road, today was my favorite day. Now we've reached the tail end of Georgia, and there's nothing really pretty to look at anymore. Tomorrow brings the endless wilderness that is I-75 in Florida, the view unbroken save for high brick walls shielding the latest luxury community from the eyes of prying motorists. It's always a bit disheartening crossing the border into Florida, and knowing there are still about five hours of driving left to do - and that's if you're lucky and don't find yourself embroiled in one of the Florida's famous traffic jams (shudder). And I'm thinking I should probably go to bed, so I'll be bright eyed and bushy tailed for the remainder of my road trip. It's been a quiet trip so far - and quiet is good. I'll see you on the other side.