The Long Way Home


The Open Road
l. Rural Florida: Jeff finds a giant cockroach. c. Motel hell, South Carolina. r. Last morning, Ocala, FL

l. Jeff finds a giant cockroach, Citra, FL. c. Motel hell, South Carolina. r. Last morning, Ocala, FL.

As difficult as travel can be sometimes, I feel the most at home on the road. I love getting up early and listening to morning sounds: muffled voices through motel walls, the slamming of car  doors, and watching the highway from outside our room, calculating how long it will take us to  get to where we’re going. Our car is our house for the week. We eat lots of trail mix that gets gooey and stale by the end of the trip, drink PA Dutch birch beer. Yes’s Fragile makes a good soundtrack for the red dirt roads of South Carolina, and “Supernaut,” our Floridian anthem. I loved sitting on Tybee Island beach, watching giant ships and earlier, eating salmon croquettes at Neighborhood Soul Food. I loved our late-night stop at the Piggly Wiggly to buy goofy t-shirts and Little Debbie S’mores cakes for the ride home. I loved how on the way back, we stopped in Elkins, North Carolina to find barbecue and instead found a car cruise, the tiny main street packed with people sitting in lawn chairs on a Saturday night. It felt a little like stepping into someone’s home uninvited: not unfriendly, but knowing it’s only temporary — that in just a six hours’ drive, we’d go back to our lives again.

Top: US 301, Florida Bottom: l. Fireworks pit stop, South Carolina. r. Blue Ridge Mountains, Virginia

Top: US 301, Florida
Bottom: l. Fireworks pit stop, South Carolina. r. Blue Ridge Mountains, Virginia.

Top: l. Old friends, Tybee Island. r. Savannah from the top of a parking garage. Bottom: l. Witch house, Savannah, GA. r. Pelicans, Tybee Island.

Top: l. Old friends, Tybee Island. r. Savannah from the top of a parking garage.
Bottom: l. Witch house, Savannah, GA. r. Pelicans, Tybee Island.

Top: l. Rayon mill, Jesup, GA. r. US 301, Hawthorn, FL. Bottom: l. Cornfields, South Carolina. r. Closed campsite, North Carolina.

Top: l. Rayon mill, Jesup, GA. r. US 301, Hawthorne, FL.
Bottom: l. Cornfields, South Carolina. r. Closed campsite, North Carolina.

Top: l. Open road, Georgia. r. New River Gorge, WV.  Bottom: l. Jekyll Island, GA. r. Blue Ridge morning, VA.

Top: l. Open road, Georgia. r. New River Gorge, WV.
Bottom: l. Jekyll Island, GA. r. Blue Ridge morning, Virginia.

Top: l. Micanopy, FL. r. Elkin, NC.  Bottom: l. Blackville, SC. r. Cross Creek, FL.

Top: l. Micanopy, FL. r. Elkin, NC.
Bottom: l. Blackville, SC. r. Cross Creek, FL.

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11 Comments so far
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Great photos, so vivid I feel like I was on this trip. Love Witch House, Micanopy and Cross Creek. Thanks for sharing.

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Comment by Michael Williamson

thanks, michael! our friend in savannah lives a few blocks away from “witch house,” which is for sale (and tempting, i tell you!). it reminds me of a house baba yaga would live in.

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Comment by Lisa

Absolutely love the shot of the old Pepsi machine. All of them, really. But that one hits home.

Speaking of home, in Seattle, Birch Beer is basically unknown and nearly impossible to find. It was one of the only drawbacks in moving away from Pennsylvania.

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Comment by Eric

Thanks, Eric – the Pepsi machine is what made me have my husband pull over and stop the car. It was so quiet that Sunday morning, I loved taking that time for photos. Where did you live in PA? It’s still hard to find birch beer here – we actually found the PA Dutch in West Virginia!

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Comment by Lisa

I lived near Lewisburg, about an hour north of Harrisburg. Tons of Amish and tons of birch beer.

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Comment by Eric

Still thinking about Miller’s meatloaf.

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Comment by Jeff

and the stewed tomatoes. and that stuffing – oh man.

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Comment by Lisa

I’d really love to see a larger version of the closed campsite with the Pepsi machine. I’m completely smitten with that photograph.

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Comment by greg

Aw, thanks, Greg – that means a lot coming from you! I’ll see about posting it to flickr. I haven’t shared many road trip photos there lately. All this social media is making me dizzy.

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Comment by Lisa

Happy 300th!

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Comment by swojdylak

Yay, thank you! And thank you for all your support over these years – it has kept me going with this thing, it means a lot.

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Comment by Lisa




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