I slept last night in Lamar, PA and got up around 2am. Usually I don't care for driving at night, but sometimes it just seems appealing. This was one of those nights. A fresh pack of cigarettes, the stereo blaring, and the open road at 4am. The twin cities of Wilkes-Barre and Scranton are nestled in a valley of the Poconos along I-81. I had been through there on two occasions, once at dawn and the other in broad daylight. I hit it this morning while it was still dark and saw the cities laid out below me as I came down off a mountain, their lights blanketing the valley floor. It reminded me of the first time I saw Reno, NV and the time I overlooked L.A. at night from Mulholland Drive. It was very pretty, for what is otherwise a very plain town.
I finally got to New Britain, CT around 7am this morning. I found out upon my arrival that it was just a trailer drop, which means, less work for me. I'm all about that. So I dropped the trailer and took the empty one that was there and trucked on down to Southington, CT where the closest truck stop was. I didn't know where I was heading next, plus I was feeling kinda hungry and sleepy from the all nighter. I had a nice hot breakfast and read the paper. When I got back to the truck, my new trip was waiting fo rme on the Qualcomm. I was loading out of Rotterdam, NY and taking it to Indianapolis. Great! I had never been to upstate NY. My trip to Rotterdam would take me up through central Connecticut and western Masschusetts, then back over into New York. Having been up all night, I took a nap until about 3pm then headed for Rotterdam.
Think of all the adverbs you've ever heard to describe New England: charming, quaint, rustic, colonial, scenic, pictureqsue, Norman Rockwellian. Okay I made that last one up but you get my drift. All of these are amazingly accurate descriptions and yet they do no justice. I got to travel about 60 miles of two lane through Connecticut and Massachusetts. The wide, black asphalt canopied with pines and oak twisted through the hills along a babbling, boulder filled brook. The villages were filled with sandwich shops and antique stores. Everywhere, colonial style architecture and, in some cases, actual colonial era buildings, their white paned windows glinting the sun off the wavy glass. I couldn't help but imagine what it looked like in the fall when the leaves are half on the ground and still half on the trees, all red, yellow, and orange. Maybe someday I'll have the opportunity to see it for myself.
Rotterdam, NY sits on the west side of Albany. After loading, I began heading west along I-90 toward Buffalo, where I planned to stop for the night. Along the way I got treated to one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen. I tried to take pictures of it, but as with the adverbs, they do no justice. The colors are not nearly as vivid and amazing as what I saw.
I talked to my friend Robin tonight and she relayed a really funny story. She has a five year old son and today was the first day of school. He had started going to pre-school back when her and I dated a couple of years ago, but this was to be his first year of "all day" school, from 7:30 in the morning until 2:30 in the afternoon. He has been rather anxious about it, not knowing what to expect of this. She told me she got up super early this morning and fixed him a special pancake breakfast and they watched some cartoons together before she took him to school. She said all morning, he kept coming up with reasons why he shouldn't go to school. His first line of 5 year old logic was "I don't need to go to school, mommy. My glasses make me a genius." When this didn't work, he tried the old suck-up approach. "If I don't go to school I can spend more time with you, mommy." She finally gets him there and while they are waiting in line, the boy behind them with his parent is one of his friends from school last year. They begin catching up as well as 5 year olds can I guess, then at some point he turned to Robin and asked "Are you going to leave?" not with anxiety, but with exasperation, like, "Are you not gone yet? Sheesh!"
Speaking of funny things. This morning I snapped a picture of a truck trailer that tickled me. The trucking company was apparently named after it's owner or founder. The name? A. Duie Pyle. Yes, I do have the mentality of a fifth grader, thank you very much.
As one might imagine, I keep a lot of music out here on the road with me. New stuff, old stuff. Stuff I've heard a zillion times and stuff I want to give a chance. For the past several months I've had the Velvet Undergournd box set Peel Slowly and See with me. I've never been a huge fan of VU and I really can't tell you why. But I decided that I had never really given it enough of a chance and owed it to myself to give them an honest listen. About a month ago I finally got around to giving it a try - and I barely made it out of the first disc before I turned it off in disgust. Then this week, I decided, ok, I'm gonna get through the whole thing. So on my trip across Pennsylvania the other day I loaded it up and come hell or highwater I was gonna listen to the whole thing. I'm glad I did. The first two discs are full of really horrible demos, some of which meander on for 10 or 15 minutes through multiple takes of the same song. This is the kind of stuff the hardcore fan is interested in I guess. But around Disc 3, it really starts to get good. I've been listening to discs 3 through 5 religiously now for the past three days. I guess I should get hold of some of their albums, now that I've been initiated. My favorite song at the moment you ask? Oh no brainer.... "Foggy Notion". It's the kinda song that makes you wish you were a go-go dancer because at least you wouldn't look nearly as silly as you do gyrating around while it plays.
I got my calamine lotion, baby... do it again... well I got a foggy notion... do it again