Yesterday LaTuga and I covered 497 miles, from Pittsboro, NC to Pell City, AL. It’s the first time we have been in Alabama, USA, which is covered in pine forests, rolling hills, lakes and rivers — just beautiful. Stephen gave us a send-off by doing an iPhone video of the event.
My plan was to leave at eight in the morning and spend the night in Atlanta, six hours away. After goodbyes, last-minute loading, gassing up and hitting the road, it was nine-fifteen. (Thanks, Stephen, for finding me enough gas to get to the gas station.) So be it. What’s the rush? I ask myself. This is a road trip and I can do what I want. I’m on my own schedule.
Maybe I was too tired from the Monday night before with the grand finale mezcal and southern buttermilk fried chicken and apple pie with homemade ice cream goodbye dinner at The Small Cafe with dear friends.
Maybe, I was procrastinating the departure, not wanting to say goodbye to KitKat, the new addition to my NC house and life.
I think I was just a little bit scared and anxious about starting out across the country by car into territory where I had never been before. A single woman, traveling alone. I’ve traveled far by plane, but not by myself in an automobile for any great distance. As I drove along, I saw many women at wheel going long distances. My only disappointment? The audible.com book I bought to listen to along the way could not be heard above the road noise.
LaTuga is a formidable vehicle. She is not really a car, nor is she a truck, but she sits high and proud. I’m a little person inside her ample body and I feel secure. Once I got onto the Interstate the rhythm of the drive was soothing. It was only three-thirty in the afternoon by the time I got through the beginnings of Atlanta rush hour traffic. The road signs said two hundred more miles to Birmingham along I-20.
So, I kept going until dusk As soon as I crossed the border into Alabama, I entered Central Standard Time, and gained an hour, although the sun told me differently. I pulled into a comfy Comfort Inn, and found a local catfish and steak joint where there were the best hush puppies I’ve ever tasted and a cornmeal coated catfish that was too good to count the calories. See more photos on my Facebook page. No beer. No wine. Only tea. No hot tea, that would be ice tea, ma’am. So I opted for hot water flavored with lemon and sugar. Went down pretty well.
Now, I’m itchy to hit to the road. I spent time writing this instead of getting out the door. Next stop? Who knows! I have all the time in the world until Wednesday when I’m on an airplane to Oaxaca from Austin, TX.