It was 12:30 by the time we left Philadelphia and began driving south – the GPS indicated it would take 7 hours, but it took much longer due to weather and traffic. The first part of the drive went well, we raced through Delaware at a good pace, pausing south of Dover for gas, a snack and a check of the weather maps – it was sobering. Heavy rain was to the north, west and south of us. By some minor miracle, we were still in a calm spot. That didn’t last long, and rain began to come down by the time we reached the Delaware Border.
The land of the Delmara Peninsula as they all this chunk of land – it is shorthand for DELaware, MARyland and VirginiA – is long low flatlands, hardly a hill in sight, and filled with broad farmlands, sleeping the winter away. Stubble in the fields makes us think corn is grown here, and they would need it to feed the chickens they raise out here. Along the way, we saw a huge truck stuffed with wretched fat chickens, wet in the rain, their pink hides showing through their feathers, off to meet their makers.
Where there wasn’t farmland, there was forest, or scrublands, a selection of pines with black rough bark, scaly and looking not too far removed from an ancient jungle.
The rain and murk increased as we drove southward, trying to beat the sunset to the Chesapeake Bridge. The further south we went, the more rural the regions became, strip malls and big stores giving way to ramshackle towns and homes in various states of disrepair, much like the Spaulding Turnpike heading north – but here, the road seemed to go on forever, and the rains kept coming down.