Monday, January 20, 2014

Easy Ridin'

 I tire quickly of The Interstate Highway System's mad rush. Concieved and built by Eisenhower to allow citizens to dodge the Soviet's atomic missiles, but I find myself instead dodging big-bellied transport junkies hopped up on white cross and greasy coffee, piloting diesel-belching juggernauts, hell bent for leather, taking perverse pleasure in pitching the little single axle tin can into a shimmying near-death wobble. They pass at seventy-five mph on a noxious, heavy metal hamster wheel, and I’m briefly sucked into the vortex for a few moments then spewed from its terrible, turbulent slipstream like the unwanted detritus of post-modern material hunger.
 Oh, woe is me, for I am but a simple traveler seeking only peace and the ice-free road less travelled. I jumped off of I-65, battered but not beaten, and headed southwest out of Nashville.

Found sanctuary this day, temperatures finally cracked the freezing mark and smooth sailing on dry pavement. Off the Superslab and on to The Historic Natchez Trace Parkway. Got on at the northern terminus. No commercial vehicles, no strip malls, no billboards hawking firecrackers, truckstop trinkets and Interstate XXX Adult Bookstores.
 Just 444 miles of rolling hills with panoramic vistas. The traffic in January is near nil, just me, with Sputnik as my chief navigator, always ever-vigilant for the occasional cyclist, or the few occasional like-minded soul seeking solitude. Small bands of crows, dark and raucous, flit across the sky scanning the road’s edge for fresh carrion and stale French fries. The salt-encrusted microtruck’s radio plays some forgotten song, Jimmy Morison riding on the storm.

Icicles hang from the rock walls like the beards of a hundred granite-faced sorcerers, peering down with a billion years of compressed sediment and infinite wisdom, passing judgment on the passing motorists, condemning them to a journey fraught with bloated bladders, jostling mini-vans and truck stops filled with aging lot lizards.


  1. Lord be praised, deliverance at last, perfect prose Herm, opening stanza is genius . . . White Cross and greasy coffee, nice fuel.

  2. Damn-Nation... Cheap Speed and Shetay Caffay! Rock-on my Good Man.
    God Speed to the Warmth of the South...

  3. Thanks Whitey, please though, no more lawn care selfies.
    Dunno, Paul I'm in the panhandle now and still in the 20's last night. Need to endeavor ever southward.

  4. Yep, need warmer air....Sputnik's probably tired of cold paws and poopsicles...and Dad would probably like to thaw out his 'icles...