I'm writing today's column from Florida. Wish I could say this was strictly a pleasure trip but, alas, it is not. Nonetheless, I had ample time to think on the trip down in this direction and, having nothing better to do, I thought I might share some observations on travel with the readers of this humble column.
For starters: If one were to have a criminal mind, might I suggest you consider traveling to Michigan. I know firsthand that there is not one person remaining in Michigan. They are all in Florida. And I am not exaggerating.
As I headed south, I promise you I passed (or was passed by) several million RVs from Michigan. Those fine northerners recognize the beauty of January in Michigan and thus they head south like a herd of buffalo in search of a watering hole.
I began noting the license plates of RVs as I started my trip on Tuesday. I counted a few from Canada and a couple from Minnesota. The remainder were from Michigan. And believe me, there is nothing more frightening than an elderly gentleman behind the wheel of a massive RV heading to the promised land.
Speaking of travel, we all need to collectively thank former President Dwight Eisenhower who pioneered the concept of the interstate system in this country. It truly is one of the proud accomplishments of our time. I cannot imagine the trip I took (some 1,000 miles) on anything other than the interstate system. Older readers will surely laugh having made that journey years ago before the interstates were completed.
I discovered it is miserable eating alone. Hunger brought me to a handful of chain restaurants along the route and as I sat there alone waiting for another routine meal, I was struck on how odd it felt to be alone in a place, knowing not one other soul. The food broke the silence. But conversation and food go hand-in-hand.
And did I mention Atlanta? Nice place to live but I wouldn't want to visit there. Apparently rush hour in Atlanta started when I entered the city limits. I spent most of the first day's travel in Atlanta. Also part of the second.
I am under the impression that no one actually lives in Atlanta. Apparently, everyone travels there during the day and then departs the city at the exact same time. Rush hour begins around 1 p.m. and lasts until well after dark. I believe in my heart that some people spend their entire lives lost in the traffic of Atlanta.
I've decided to venture back toward Sikeston on a different route than the one that brought me here. I'll see firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina in the next day or so. Should be a humbling experience but I doubt the damage can compare to the chaos of downtown Atlanta. Only time will tell.