Road trips require freeways and I enjoy using the car to slice and dice my way through traffic. I hug the right lane as I know 70% of tickets are given to vehicles traveling in the number one (left) lane, so I avoid that as much as I can. The car I photographed above hugged the left lane, the sole occupant slouched low behind the wheel. The tag on his Ford Fusion Sport was an enigma. Black letters on a yellow plate with no state, federal or consular ID. A freeway mystery.
We usually eat a motel breakfast, nowadays they offer more protein and less pastries happily. Lunch is sought out by my wife, her iPhone and Urban Spoon and Trip Advisor. No longer do we stop at random, the Internet travels with us. S&S southern buffet in Macon, Georgia, a local landmark in a dying suburban mall.
I like traveling The South because in part the region lives in the shadow of its past and all those stereotypes. You see a movie like The Help and imagine its set in 2013. It's not. The boom years boomed in The South too, and the electronic era brings a lot of the outside world into the quiet corners of the country. I'm pretty sure corruption and racism and nepotism rule the roost to some degree here as anywhere but for the casual visitor from another planet the South presents itself as the ideal region for a varied road trip.
But there again I claim no roots anywhere much. Born in England, grew up mostly in Italy, became an independent adult in California and am slowly resigning myself to decrepitude in the Keys. The road trips remind me of my rootlessness, my pleasure in absence, my life away from where I belong.
You hear people in Key West say they never leave their island. I've heard of folks who never leave Old Town. My sisters never leave home anymore and watch the Italian seasons from their Umbrian farmhouses. I suspect it's all genetic or something, like being gay, or the color of your eyes. I find myself unable to shake the travel bug. I'm going to Italy in September so pasta and motorcycles will be on the menu next month.
For the next ten days The Keys will not feature on this page. Change is good, but normal service will resume only after you travel from here to there with my wife my dog and me. William Faulkner, Vintage Motorcycles at the Barber Museum, Johnny Coley, Cooking School in Atlanta, Tea in Tupelo, Outlook Mountain, the fresh water Aquarium and the history of...auto wrecking? All will be revealed.