Day 3: A drive through nowhere

Sunset seen from I-95 in the Carolinas

Sunset seen from I-95 in the Carolinas

If you look at I-95 on a map, you will be astonished at how few historic places there are – or other points of interest once you get south of Richmond, Virginia.

Pops had imagined it would be mostly farmland, with the odd town here and there. In fact, it was mostly swampland, transversed by mostly elevated highways, girded in by tall pine trees, and offered more desolation and isolation than the heart of Utah or Wyoming. Perhaps it was the tunnel vision, blocking out views of anything for mile after mile, just monotonous trees, and the same collection of cars zooming along with you. The still bare bushes revealed stagnant black water, pooling in vile oily streaks, trying to drown pine forests, and creep up the road. Here and there, trees had topping into the ludicrously small grassy area – indeed, there were no breakdown lanes to note, not like it was in the north or west.

North Carolina took a painfully long time to pass through, and we were helped in part with the passage by a call from Trixie’s boy on the phone, a little bummed out with school. Mum had a fine chat with him, and filled us in as we approached a spot he had identified as “South of the Border” a chaotic attempt to create a theme park with a Mexican mascot and the sort of things that would attract any sensory-deprived Southerner to its doors, with offers of fireworks, tobacco, and other amusements of note.


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