The checklists were all found (eventually) and every item was checked off (finally) by 8 a.m. and we were on the road again! Since I am considered “hazardous material” (that is, Odysseus has a propane tank on board and is not permitted to travel through the harbor tunnel at Baltimore) we drove south on I-95, then south on the Baltimore beltway to cross over the Francis Scott Key Bridge, then back to I-95. As we crossed the bridge we listened (appropriately) to Lief Greenwood singing his version of the national anthem. Then, as we traveled the Washington beltway through Silver Springs I thought of the terrible apartment explosion there some days back. Driving around the nation’s capital I thought of the history of this great democracy, how far we have come as a people, and how far we still must go. My “Patriotic CD provided a musical background as we drove around the beltway, songs like: “This Land is Your Land” and “America.”
From the beltway we turned west on I-66 and then south onto I-81 into the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, passing by the Civil War battlefield of Bull Run, James Madison University, Luray Caverns, the Natural Bridge, on by Blacksburg and Virginia Tech (I thought of that terrible shooting event some years back—but also of one of my former parishioners who recently graduated and who father now teaches there). Wherever I travel, I am aware of the events that happened in the places we pass by and of the people I know who have lived there, past and present. This makes traveling the nation’s highways into a kind of special form of intercessory prayer. What a beautiful drive! Lunch at Kathy’s Home-Cooking Cafe in New Market provided a nice interlude.
By 5 p.m. we were situated for the night at the Two Rivers Campground in Abingdon, VA just a few miles from Bristol, TN. Tomorrow—we travel on to “Somewhere” in Tennessee. The expected rain showers will not dampen my spirit one iota!