Yesterday I took a long trip to get back home to Durant, OK. I took the long way home. It was beautiful with the fall colors and the sunshine lighting up the roadsides for the seven hour trip.
I went through Milano, but not in Italy.
I went through Buffalo, but not in New York.
I went through Palestine, but not in the Middle East.
I drove right through the middle of Athens, but not in Greece.
Next I drove through Canton, but not in Ohio.
At the town of Emory, I turned off the highway to Paris, but not in France.
I went through the city of Greenville, but not in South Carolina.
Just down the road was Kingston, but not in Jamaica.
Yes, this is the right time to take an old fashioned trip through Texas. All these places are in Texas, and if you look for them on a map, the route from Round Rock to Denison will become obvious.
I was trying to avoid two things on this trip. One is Interstate 35, which is closed, yes CLOSED, between Waco and Temple. All three lanes of traffic come to a stop and then comes many minutes where two or three miles of trucks and cars all try to get merged into one lane to exit the freeway and crawl along the frontage road for I don’t know how many miles. Did that going down to Round Rock, and did not want to repeat that experience.
The other thing is the Dallas/Ft.Worth Metroplex. It is always crowded and slow, no matter the time of day. I have a theory that tall buildings exert a force field around them that makes all vehicles go slow. It is proportional to the distance from the buildings. The closer you get to the tall buildings downtown, the slower the traffic gets. It nearly stops when you’re in the center of those buildings. Then as you start to move away from the buildings, the traffic starts moving faster and faster again. When you reach twenty miles away the traffic is up to normal freeway speeds once more.
It must be so, because repeated experiments have confirmed that this force is always in effect. It works the same way every time.
Over sixty five years ago, before President Eisenhower in a fit of liberal spending decided we needed interstate freeways, everyone drove on the two lane country highways through the countryside. It was relaxing and enjoyable, which can’t be said about driving on freeways.
There were downsides if you got in a hurry. Most cars back then only went fifty or sixty miles an hour comfortably, so it was best to slow down and enjoy the scenery. If there were curves or hills, passing became a dangerous tactic, and the head-on collision rate was atrocious. And this was way before seat belts and air bags came on cars, and the dashboard had piercing objects (knobs) sticking out of it, not to mention the number of drivers impaled on a steel rod of a steering column.
It was a slower age back then. So the lesson is don’t get in a hurry.
I believe we have lost something in our hurry to get someplace else. How many people don’t bother to notice a stunning dawn or a brilliant sunset? Too many times the sun is just that bright thing in our eyes when we are driving the wrong way.
The autumn leaves are turning now, and the colors are spectacular.
Don’t drive too fast and miss it!