Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Halfway There

I am in Raleigh, North Carolina, roughly halfway to Florida. It was a terrible drive. No snow or ice as originally predicted, but there were torrential rains and fog so thick you couldn't read the signs even when you were right in front of them. It was really creepy, in a Stephen King kind of way. I almost expected pterodactyls to emerge from the mist.

It was exhausting, since it was so hard to see, what with the fog and rain and mist thrown up by other vehicles. Every once in awhile, it would clear just a little, and it would be like, "Wow! It's actually kind of fun to drive when you can see where you're going."

This must have been a really big weather system. I don't think I've ever driven all day and not gotten out of the rain. I kept expecting it to stop...but it never did.

The hardest part of the drive was the last bit. I thought I was home free...but I couldn't find the hotel. I overshot it, and had to turn around. Only it was one of those roads you can't turn around on. I ended up driving around in circles in strange neighborhoods. It got dark, and the rain got really heavy. I stopped and got directions at a drug store and a gas station. The first person I asked was no help. She said she had just moved to Raleigh from New York!

It occurred me, as I was driving around, that I have a lot of cultural knowledge, gained mostly via osmosis, that will be entirely useless if the end of the age of cars is truly at hand. For example: how to turn around on a freeway, what a beltway is, knowing what exit numbers mean, that odd-numbered highways are north-south and even-numbered highways are east-west, etc.

I spent part of my childhood in Raleigh (while my dad got his PhD from NC State). Tomorrow, I'm going to get up early and go back to my old neighborhood and see what it looks like now.

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