The Cumberland Post

The Cumberland Post
My Backyard, Six Miles from the Cumberland River

Friday, June 11, 2010

Ruminations from the Road

*It's a long way to there from here. There being Delaware. Here being Tennessee. We drove about 650 miles on the first day, all the way from Nashville to Manassas, VA. On the way we had an enjoyable dinner at Mrs. Rowe's restaurant in Staunton, VA. BTW, Manassas is where the first major land battle of the civil war (the Battle of Bull Run) was fought. The Confederates won the battle but you know the rest of that story. It's a beautiful area but we didn't tour the battlefield. (The first two pics and the map are not my images.)

*Just over the TN/VA line we were following a slow moving SUV as it was passing an 18 wheeler. The SUV began slowly weaving toward the rear tandem wheels of the big trailer. At one point the SUV actually made contact with the trailer wheels. The SUV driver swerved away from the trailer, slowed and pulled in behind the trailer. Her head was turned as we passed and she seemed to be looking at something in the seat of her car, not the road ahead. Perhaps she was working on her laptop. With both hands. None of that simple texting stuff. Probably an MSM "journalist" working on a story about Obama's quick and efficient response to the BP Gulf Oil Spill.

*It's a fact, not an opinion--the Shenandoah Valley and Southwestern Virginia are unparalleled in beauty. I like the red rocks and clear blue sky of AZ and NM. I like the rolling expanse and emptiness of Montana. I love the green rolling hills of Middle Tennessee. But nothing, I mean nothing compares to that drive up and down 81. I've driven it many times and it never fails to get me. It's the landscape, gentle green mountains on both sides, and the clean, orderly signs of human occupation and toil on the farms that nestle in the hollows and valleys. It's America as Jefferson imagined it.

*Delaware. Their license plate reads "First State" (so named because they were the first to ratify the Constitution). Except for the coast, Delaware's a lot more rural and agricultural than you might imagine. I saw lots of corn. No stills though. And the state is flat. Even flatter than Louisiana. Delaware's only 30 miles wide and 96 miles long--its 2,490 square miles makes it the second smallest state after Rhode Island. Our Delaware destination was Ocean View, which is in the lower part of the state. It's essentially part of Bethany Beach which you can see as the bottommost listing on the map.

*We stayed 3 days and 4 nights and it was an excellent visit. Here's a few selected photos from the trip. The first one shows the lovely home of Joyce's sister Helen and her husband Joel. They've lived here for about ten years.

Our trip to the beach. Joel, Joyce, Helen.

Yours Truly, taking the ocean breeze.

A visit to Lavender Farm.

Lunch at Seacrets, an unusual outdoor restaurant/bar. Great crabcake sandwiches. Most of the restaurant is under a canopy of palms. There are several bars, one of which is shown in the second pic. Yep, it's in the water. That's Joyce on the left in both pics in her usual black and white.

Carefully crossing the Bay Bridge on the return trip. Those side rails look pretty flimsy to me...

Somewhere in the Shenandoah Valley. The sun is setting and we have about 500 miles to go. We got in around 3:00 AM and put our heads on the pillow around 4:00. Note to self: Never drive 800 miles in a day again!

If you have time, check out my two previous posts from today as well. Now, having just returned from one of the states known for its Bluegrass (Virginia), I'll stop with this. I've posted it before, but I do like it. So here it is again...


  1. Welcome home and thanks for taking us along on part of the ride! Great pics!

    I'm hoping to exercise restraint on my road trip this summer. I'll be traveling to Pittsburgh/Buffalo and perhaps to Columbia, SC if SN1 gets his way... as he's running me hard to come spend some time with him in his neck o' the woods.

    It's really, rilly hard for me to suppress that ol' Type A "I must get there! Now!" sorta behavior. The last time I did this sorta thing I did 591 miles in ten hours and 21 minutes. Which doesn't sound like much until you consider I was on the mo'sickle. That was three years ago and I SWEAR my butt still hurts. But I'll be in the car for this year's road trip; I think I've done my last major road trip on the bike.

  2. I wondered where you were. Now I know: doing "800 miles in a day!" The last time I did that was 6 years ago. Never again!

    I guess that bar in the water has a sign: "Shoes and shirts - no service."

  3. Dan, I'm glad you're back, my friend! I have about a bazillion comments to make on what you have written, but I am sundowning.

    I shall get back to this tomorrow. Seriously, I am very happy that you found your way home. We worry about people your age, ya' know...

  4. Dan, we sure missed you when you were gone. But, it looks like a good time was had by all! 800 miles in one day is too much, my friend. I won't bore you with my stories...don't bother to thank me.

    Just a personal note here. I noticed before you left that you had put a photo of yourself on your blog. Do you know how you get a certain image in your mind of what someone looks like by what you glean from their writings?

    You know what I mean. The tone, and temperament...the manner, etc. I had never seen what you look like, but had formed an image in my mind. And I must say that you look EXACTLY like I pictured you. I mean, EXACTLY!

    When I saw that photo I thought to myself, "This is spooky. The dude can convey his entire 'self' through his writing." Seriously, I was floored. I want you to take that as a high compliment. I believe it to be a sign of transparency...which is rare.

    Also, while you were gone I posted a link. You may have seen it, but if not I wanted to point you to it.

    I was just fascinated by this video. It was shot in rural North Carolina in 1964.

    Once again...Glad to have you back, pal.

  5. Buck, Glad you liked the pics. And excercise more restraint than I did and put a limit on your daily mileage on your upcoming trip. I'm still paying for that 800 mile stunt.

  6. Barry, "Shoes and Shirts, No Service." Heh. That's a good one! The water's not so deep, but I wondered about some college kid drinking all afternoon and falling off his stool into the water. At that age you tend to lose track of your drinks.

  7. Andy, thanks for the compliment. My wife says I'm transparent too. She can tell right away when I'm fibbing a little! Thanks also for that video. I had seen another part of it, but not the buck dancing part. It's a GREAT video. I can't dance worth a flip, but dagnab it, that kind of music makes me want to try.

  8. That was a good one, Dan. For many years when the boys were all at home, we took our vacation every summer in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

    Those are some of the best memories we have as a family. There was one store along the beach that sold the regular stuff that tourists staying at rented condos would need...easy to prepare groceries, beer, body boards, t-shirts, sunglasses, etc.

    There was a sign as you walked in the door that read, "No Shoes, No Shirt? Come on in! We sell that too!"