Well, I haven't left a message in awhile. However, my site isn't dead: I just haven't had anything momentous to share.
Over the last few weeks, I've been able to take a vacation It was a driving vacation, and I quite enjoyed it. Here follow some thoughts on the states I drove through in chronological order:
Ohio (Northern): Defective by design? Boring? Ohio isn't a destination: it's something your drive through to get where you're going.
West Virginia: Gorgeous scenery, literally the whole state is covered in hills and mountains. Very beautiful, but I had the sneaking suspicion that if I walked off the trail, I'd get bitten by a Copperhead snake or something. The area through 64 from Beckley to the VA border is incredible.
Virginia: Very long state. 64 is rather dull. I mean, it's a tunnel of pine trees. I can get that up north, but on the east side it has some of the WV mountains, and it's just as impressive.
North Carolina (Eastern): We entered through Norfolk, VA to get down to the Outer Banks... now I know what OBX means. Outer Banks is very cool. I liked it very much, but found a lot of it to be be... Lake Michigan with salt, ya know? Jockey Ridge was a nice sand dune and all, but it's tiny compared to Sleeping Bear. Wright Brother's memorial was great. Best part was food: fresh seafood...
South Carolina: My opinion of South Carolina is slanted. We drove down I-95 and encountered some of the worst roads outside of Michigan. Stay in the right lane for the first 30 miles down I-95 and you'll get sick to your stomach from being bounced around. However, once down state, it's got a strange "you're almost to Florida" feeling to it. It was terribly muggy while we were there. The slant is that I stayed with my aunt and uncle, and the area they live is just simply gorgeous off the charts. Hilton Head is awesome. We drove through, and I'm trying to figure out how I can make enough money to live there... We drove upstate (I-26) out of SC, and that was an equally interesting drive back into North Carolina.
North Carolina (Western): The west side of NC was completely different that the East side. Very hilly... and that's being polite. We stopped at a gas station and saw a box of fireworks so big, we couldn't have fit it in the truck. I wondered if it was a joke, but it's not. Apparently, they love to blow stuff up in North Carolina. We drove across I-40 towards the Great Smoky Mts... and I know WHY they're called "smoky". We drove the Blue Ridge Parkway between Waynesville and Tennessee... and it PORED like mad. But once the rain broke, we got a few shots from Wolf Mountain that are... absolutely, freaking, Ansel Adams-ish. I wished at that moment I was a well educated photographer with immense talent, so I could capture that scene, because... it defined the saying "we're not worthy". It was awesome.
Tennessee: Rather slim state, isn't it? We drove through Knoxville, which seemed pleasant enough. We had breakfast at a Cracker Barrel. Otherwise, it had some of the Great Smoky Mts to it, but then it went down hill into Kentucky. Not much else to say.
Kentucky: I drove all the way through Kentucky, north on I-75. It was really nice in the southern half, but the Northern half has rolling green hills... which seemed kind of Michigan-ish. Geography differences began to fade into similarities to my home state.
Ohio (South to North): Drove up I-75. Cincinnati smells. Bad. Dayton traffic is horrid. The state is utterly featureless once you get away from the Ohio River. I drove all the way through as quickly as possible because I wanted to get the hell out of Ohio as soon as possible. No offense, but even Indiana has features worth looking at. Ohio is like a troll under the bridge that smells bad, looks bad, sounds bad, probably tastes bad, and generally assaults all human senses.
Okay, so I'm a bit hard on Ohio... still... what the hell is in that state besides Cedar Pointe and Six Flags? The Rock n Roll Hall of Fame? Drew Carey?