I must write something, so I’ll write about the weather!
I’m on the road to Alabama. We left D.C. sometime after noon, heading south on I-95. The express lanes out of the city were clear, but they disappear in the far exurbs, and we decided to leave the interstate for Route 1 to Richmond. That plan proved a little harder than expected when a shortcut dead-ended at the gates to a massive prison complex, but in general it worked.
Route 1 travels through a combination of sprawl, old towns, and new exurbia. The exurbs can get strange: pods of massive $200,000 attached rowhouses designed — by law — without any stores or bars or meeting places within walking distance. I’m currently reading Zoned in the USA, by Sonia Hirt (Virginia Tech). When I finish it, I may have more to say on the topic.
We stopped at a Dunkin Donuts, best damn coffee in America, and pushed on to Route 360, aka the Patrick Henry Highway. Why get on a soul-destroyed interstate in a canyon of trees when you don’t have to? The road took us through a quaint area of farms and a landscape that was far less weird than points north in the state. For example, no Confederate symbols. Not one.
Well, maybe one. There were three flags outside the Black Forest Haus in Amelia, Virginia. One was Old Glory. The second was the German bundesflagge. The third ... well, the third looked like the Stars and Bars as we zipped past, but that couldn’t be right, could it?
We didn’t turn around to check, but we did make a U-turn a little past the Tastee Freez because the storm clouds gathering in the distance made for an unbelievable tableau.
Now, we had a destination in mind, a town we hadn’t known existed:
So we got back on the road ... and right as we did, the rain started, the clouds closed in, the wind kicked up, the visibility dropped. We slowed, and the squall passed ... but downed trees closed Route 360. So we had to get on the off-off-interstate.
Where we ...