The ribbons of Interstate highway from central Florida to upstate New York have been our home for much of the last two weeks, on a road trip that included family time at theme parks and amusement parks, picnic lunches, a lot of natural beauty, and too much fast food. Here are a few observations from traveling:
–Upstate New York, particularly the Finger Lakes region, is among the most beautiful and interesting that I’ve seen in the country. The region around Ithaca, with it soaring hills, gorges, water falls and the town descending to Cayuga Lake, is dramatic and gorgeous (or “gorges” as the local t-shirts say). The drive on Highway 14 from Watkins Glen to Geneva along Seneca Lake, with vineyards on rolling hills down to the long, seemingly endless lake, felt like a trip along the Mediterranean.
–The first drop on the Superman roller coaster at Six Flags Darien Lake is the biggest and fastest I’ve even been on. What a great thrill ride, even without the loops and corkscrews common to the other thrillers.
–We paid from $2.099 in Atlanta to $2.499 once in New York for gasoline, but the high prices did not keep people off the roads. The Interstates were packed much of the time; the roads were full yesterday through Virginia on I-81 and through the Carolinas, with frustrating delays.
–I believe it was Charles Kuralt who said that because of the Interstate Highway System you could now drive from coast to coast in America and see absolutely nothing. The same is generally true from Florida to the Canadian border. Certainly if a visitor to America was to take the drive we did this week, it would seem obvious that the nation is forested, agrarian, and underpopulated. It does make me wonder why most of us crowd into cities, when there is so much open land and beautiful vistas, even along the east coast.
–How did we as families take long trips without DVD players in the back seats, not to mention Gameboys and CD players with headphones. The license plate and alphabet games only went so far.
–Returning from long, fast travel on crowded roads, I realize how vulnerable we have been every mile and on every turn, and I’m so grateful to God for a safe trip, free from mishap, illness, or breakdown.
The drive was worthwhile to see family and to create new memories for the kids, and for us, but it certainly is good to be home, even if I’d rather be looking out over the Finger Lakes rather than suburban Atlanta.
Now, to figure out what happened in the world while we were gone.