Whereas yesterday I had a driver’s high, today I experienced whatever is its opposite. I started flipping out somewhere in eastern Tennessee. When you’re pushing hard to make it cross country in three days, you don’t have time to appreciate the beauty of the land. You don’t have time to relax.
When I crossed into Virginia late Tuesday afternoon, early evening, I realized how beautiful in this state where once I lived. And the leaves were just beginning to turn. Alas, that it became dark as I headed north on I-81. That made the driving even more challenging. Not just that. I had forgotten the extent to which trucks use that route. I had to concentrate as much on driving as if I were driving through LA.
And then I understood how draining driving can be. I had thought I would arrive refreshed “back east” as we Angelenos call this part of the country. Well, I made it here and am now staying with my friend Rick Sincere, but am a little zoned.
Rick and I did have a great evening, going to dinner on the Corner, the shopping district near the main grounds of the University of Virginia where I completed my legal education (actually the law school was not on main grounds, alas, alas).
We visited the lawn, the center of the University designed by Mr. Jefferson (Thomas, that is) himself. Chatted briefly with Al Clark, the Room Seven Resident, a member of the Jefferson Literary and Debating Society of which I was a member when in law school.
i delighted in the statue of Homer on the lawn, smiling as I considered my own odyssey and the epics i was listening to as i headed east.
It was interesting seeing how much the University had changed since I was here. And how the names and locations of various buildings and local establishments, some no longer in business, came to mind as I walked around. Places that I had not even considered since I was last in town.
Earlier today as I drove, I was listening to The Odyssey, hearing Odysseus recount the ‘odyssey” part of his journey (only about one-third of the epic) when he takes his long journey home from the Trojan War, with numerous adventures.
On my journey, I could not afford to have such adventures as I had to haul a** so I could make it east in time to see my friends. Well, while I am delighted to be here at Rick’s, I regret that I really didn’t get to enjoy the drive today–as beautiful as the country was.
The long and the short of is if you’re going to drive cross country, don’t try to do three days in a row where you need to make 850 miles a day. While you may get a driver’s high on the second day, you start wigging out on the third. At least I won’t need to drive any more that 5 hours/day for the next 8 days. And only on three of those days will I be driving two hours or more.
When last I left Odysseus, he had arrived home in Ithaca, not knowing where he was, but greeted by the goddess Athena. I can understand the disorientation, but lack the divine welcome.
UPDATE: Rick has a post acknowledging my visit. Check it it. And while you’re there, check out his blog which is a source of information on matters libertarian, musical, electoral and central Virginian.