The Twelfth day of Christmas

Arnold Travel Blog

 › entry 14 of 14 › view all entries

Yawn....Ok so this is it the final run home. Time is 4am and we are packing the car up to go, this should give us enough time to get home and relax. It is a 9hr drive from here. We wake the clerk up and check out then head to the mandatory southern breakfast spot....The Waffle House. We grab our eggs and hash browns "scattered, smothered, covered". Which means with onions and cheese in waffle house speak. And head off into the morning darkness of back woods South Carolina. The hundreds of year old oak trees hug the side of the road and the Spanish moss hangs from the tree ominously in the moon light, down these roads are plantations and old cemeteries’. Not somewhere you would want to be walking at night. You might see a scene like this in the headless horsemen or the like. We cross into a small town called Yemessee where the train station has not been upgraded since probably the turn of previous century. Old wooden and brick single story buildings sit still in darkness, it’s not hard to imagine the old south here and almost see people around this little train station waiting to go where the horse and carriage could not.

We reach the highway and get to our cruising speed of 80. This is the speed we will stay at until we reach more traffic in Virginia.
Devin goes to sleep for most of the ride but occasionally I wake him up for gas and bathroom breaks. At one of these stops in North Carolina.......sigh....he wakes up in a fowl mood. The best I can figure is he had road trip madness because he decides to throw an atomic fit.
...............ok Let’s not go into that..........

As we get to Virginia the traffic starts to get heavier as I expected but in Richmond we see our first sign of snow on the sides of the road. When we left here we had 2ft of snow in a day. Now just a few dirty snow piles occasionally line the road. The closer we get to DC the heavier traffic gets but not as bad as I would have expected. It tends to be stop and go usually on the weekends here but we cruise at 55 without slowing much. As I see the RT-50 exit towards Annapolis my excitement mounts just thinking about my own bed and my own shower and my own bathroom......we are in the final stretch. As I get to my neighborhood just past Annapolis the snow that was here when I left is still here. I find that funny. The stop at the mailbox produces a stack of mail I can barely pull out of the box. and finally I park, we get out, unlock the front door and step inside.....We have completed our Journey.

Twelve days ago I left this place and found mountains, floods, snow storms, the desert, oil fields, wind farms, Mexico, the rich, fellow tired travelers, old friends, new friends, multiple cultures, historic places, and two oceans.  I've seen the Arizona Cactus and the South Carolina Oaks. I've seen people live hundreds of miles from anyone both in the desert and in the swamp and I've seen people live stacked on top of each other. I have seen as far as the eye can see and at times I've wondered what was around the bend. I have seen hitchhikers in every state with backpacks in tow, traveling and searching for who knows what. I have met people who worship only money and I have met people who care about nothing more than their families’ happiness.  And yet in everything we have seen there is a shining unique quality about it all.

We have found much more on this trip than I thought, Devin and I have never laughed so hard or so much together ever. As a dad I was never so proud as when he said on Christmas Eve "We're going to be fine, we're together lets just park and try again tomorrow" ; his sense of adventure is evident and one day I know he will strike out to see the world with no reservations. I am not a very religious man but only gods hand could have crafted some of the sights we saw. America is a beautiful country that should be explored by all. Yes this journey has been an adventure that neither of us will ever forget, we are truly blessed to live in this great diverse country of ours we call
The United States of America.

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photo by: MDandbeyond