Road Trip Thoughts

April 2, 2006

I often drive to and from my assignments. I work with people, end users just like you and me, generally at law firms. I help them improve their digital karma. 🙂 A week at a firm post-upgrade is total immersion in people. My peeps engross me with their questions, concerns, perceptions and needs, what's working, what's not, why, best approaches, solutions. Whew! It's a combination of training, support, and end-user advocacy requiring my all. And I love it. Love people, humor, most folks' earnest desire to do good work and become more efficient. But, by assignment's end, recharging is a necessity!

So, it's a great pleasure for an extroverted introvert to contemplate 500 miles and 10 hours by oneself, CDs aplenty, atlases by my side so I can trundle down the skinniest lines on the map. No stringent deadlines, no internet connectivity unless I make a point of finding a hotspot. My Subaru Forester fears no road (I do – but that's another story.)

Most recent drive was from Franklin, NC to Manassas, VA and back. Gorgeous, awesome scenery. Incredible to drive north of Asheville, NC up I-26 to Tennessee and then Virginia – the ascent brings you near "America's roof" Mt. Mitchell and very large chunks of mountains. I live in the mountains and even I was impressed. I-81 parallels VA SR 11, so I meandered along 11 for awhile. Lovely to open the windows and hear … almost nothing. Once off the interstate the smells of greenery and soil and hay become evident. I couldn't resist the lure of the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia, so I hopped on for a bit, visited the Peaks of Otter at milepost 86, and descended down 43 into Bedford, Virginia and then took 29 north to Manassas. Was it worth the 2 hours it added to the trip? Of course.

The return involved taking in Skyline Drive, in the Shenandoah National Park, only half an hour from my hotel in Manassas. Through 105 miles I saw maybe 6 – 7 cars, many deer, several quail, and a few turkeys (the birds – not tourists.) It was early, the fog had not completely burned off, very atmospheric. An excellent way to start the day. Skyline Drive ends at 105 miles and the Blue Ridge Parkway begins, but I had to get serious and get home. Too much time away from my sweetie and too long in the car seat! It was time to load the CD player and hit I-81. It's a good sign when I cross my state line and the sun breaks through the clouds, blue skies abound, and all around I can see ridges, mountain after mountain. Home again.

Random Thoughts

  • Subaru Foresters Rock! I will never buy a different car. My Forester is hitting 100,000 miles and I expect to own it at 250,000. We'll see!
  • So sue me if this sounds sappy – this is a beautiful land – see as much of it as you can.
  • Ordinary people doing ordinary things lift up my heart – day-to-day life, chopping wood, carrying water, being in the moment.
  • Rediscovering music long ago packed away is much fun!

Road Trip Hits

So where have you visited lately?

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