Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel across the country from coast to coast without seeing anything. ~Charles Kuralt, On the Road With Charles Kuralt
Holiday travel can be most frustrating. Canceled flights due to lousy weather or icy roads making driving hazardous. After spending a delightful Christmas in Raleigh with family, we knew there would be traffic on our return home to South West Florida but were shocked at the epic proportions. Driving south on Interstate 95 through South Carolina last week was like driving in a parking lot. It was stop and go for eight hours with speeds of 5- 10 miles an hour for miles and miles. Thank goodness we made reservations south of Savanna well in advance because, we were told, there were no rooms anywhere because of the traffic. It was a combination of post holiday travel as well as the exchange of our national demographics. This means the snow birds are returning to Florida for the winter. This yearly ritual clogged the roads to a standstill and we were caught in it. I believe Montréal had the record with the most RV’s caravanning together. Lots of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Illinois tags to count.
The good news is that it wasn’t raining. We had plenty of snacks and water, and mostly time to discus the past, present and future many times over. We took turns driving when we dared get off the interstate and then take a number to get back on. What torture.
During my break from driving, I decided to capture the moment. Obviously, I was bored.
I also turned my attention to the clouds. How unusual I thought. Looked like contrails of planes zigzagging across the sky. So, I cloud gazed and took pictures while occupants of cars creeping along gave me a smile or a thumbs up. A few others began looking up.
Later on, as the sun began to set, unpretentious color revealed itself; almost the end of an imperfect day. Or was it? We observed no major accidents and we eventually arrived home safely to greet a new and meaningful New Year.
We look forward to more travel and adventures… abroad, and on the back roads (and yes, interstates) of this beautiful country we live in. And in between those times, I still reminisce about previous trips and the rich cultural experiences Ron and I have shared together.
Where ever life leads you this year, enjoy the journey, the moment, friendships, family, good books, good health, new recipes, laughter, and don’t forget to study the clouds.
Our forecast today is 84 and sunny. No snow here in Paradise.
What I like is that you made the best of what could have been a trying situation. Wishing you a wonderful 2015!
Wishing you the same, Letizia. Thank goodness so many people took it in stride or there would have been road rage and pile ups. It’s not worth it. From reading your blogs, I believe you would have turned it into a positive… perhaps compiling a collection of road travel books. 🙂
That would be fun indeed 🙂
I love the quote you have begun with. My dad keeps grumbling about this every time we zoom past various villages on the highway.
Hope you have a wonderful year full of travels! 🙂
Thank you Sumithra. There’s not much to see from a highway. that’s for sure. I hope your transition into school here in the US goes well.
Oh, Lynne! I truly feel for you driving on I-95, especially over the holidays. There is nothing more frustrating for me than getting stuck in traffic and crawling along the interstate for miles and miles. Thank goodness you looked up! The sky is beautiful, isn’t it? Glad you’re home. Have a wonderful new year my friend.
Yes, you would know what it is like, Debbie. Going no where. But when I think of the road conditions you travel in around Ometepe, you have my sympathy, too. I wish you and Ron the best of this new year.
When you know you have paradise at the end of your journey, Lynne, it’s all worthwhile, isn’t it? I invariably cloud gaze if we’re travelling a boring bit of road (and sometimes when I’m walking too- NOT so clever! 🙂 )
You’re right. Returning to paradise helps. Cloud gaze all you want, Jo, just not on your Monday walks when walking. 🙂 I can only imagine where you would topple to.
Lovely photos Lynne and it is so true, even here in South Africa, that holiday traffic is horrendous. We also avoid the ‘seasons’ and can now, that our children are off our hands and stay at HOME at Christmas!
This is the first holiday traveling we have done in10 years. Our kids/grand children have always come down here because their grandmother (my mother in law) couldn’t travel. Now that she has passed, we thought we would make it easier on them. They have gone through the reverse when the traffic was horrendous in just getting here. I guess it all evens out, eventually. I hope to stay HOME next year.
Oh golly! That would test my patience (and i know i would lose.) Pete very often points out cloud formations. He is a sky watcher and draws my eye upwards – like you have. Refreshing reading this morning here in very hot Oz! And lovely looking too! Happy new year both! xox😊
Glad this was your cup of tea this morning. We woke up to 48 degrees F this morning which is cold for us. Just watch those freckles in the land of OZ. Happy New Year to you and Pete. I know who will be looking upward. 🙂
Had to look up farenheit to celcius conversion … The convertor said, yes it is cold your way. And watch out for freckles over here … I think it is bang on, dont you?🌞🌏 …⛄️🌎
Freckles are universal and I have my share. I’ve paid for my sun worshiping. 🙂 Wrinkles and skin cancers. Ugh. Love your little symbols. I need to find an app that does that.
The pastels and vivid colors of the sky help me keep things in perspective as we travel long and winding roads interspersed with weather changes and other dangers, Lynne. Traveling from mid-Colorado to the southeast corner of Kansas every month has taken us through tornado warnings, sleet, hail, dust storms…and during winter, ice storms, sudden sleet interspersed with snow. So many times during the winter we’ve been caught along the interstate as they closed the gates.
I enjoy your perspectives!
Oh, Marylin. I am so fortunate to not have winter driving with weather concerns and dangers like you face. Those trips have stories in them for you and your mom. The clouds can be a source of joy or concern depending on the weather. Thank you for your perspective.
It’s not a bad timing after all, you got a great view of the skies there. The cloud formation had it’s own stories behind and it reminds me that my first time travelling alone to another country i had a very welcoming clouds formation (it forms like a stairs). 🙂
Cloud watching helps wherever one travels. Thanks for your comment,RC
What a perfect wish for the New Year, Lynne! “enjoy the journey, the moment, friendships, family, good books, good health, new recipes, laughter, and don’t forget to study the clouds.” Sometimes we need to be reminded to study the clouds. Because it’s when we are studying the clouds that we can take stock, breath, and enjoy what is. Imperfect or perfect 🙂
Studying clouds is a good metaphor for taking stock of our lives.
Like you say, to breathe and enjoy what is…perfect or imperfect. . So true, Tahira.
Happy 2015 to you!
One thing about living here and in Costa Rica is that the skies are ‘trail’ free! I forget about the contrails until I am back in the USA!
Oooh, the traffic doesn’t look like fun either, but getting of of Guayaquil has tested the patience of many drivers!
The connections is getting faster now that it’s late, but all of the paintinig has me exhausted. Time for some z’s!
Happy New Year, btw, to you and to Ron!
Hi Lisa. So good to hear from you. Interesting you don’t see contrails and I can see why. I remember Guayaquil traffic and riding in a broken down cab that belched and smoked its way to our stop. Hope you have a healthy and smooth sailing year. Now, if we could just get you on a faster connection….. Take care!
Lucky for us you found time to cloud gaze! I have never seen our skies look quite as dramatic. Shall have to settle for the cows on the road when I get stuck in traffic 😀
I am chuckling. Yes, I remember the cows and other obstacles to navigate. Thank goodness our driver was a patient saint and took it all in stride. 🙂