My blog is shifting focus from breast cancer treatments to travel. “On the road” is one of my favorite ways to be. Driving long distances, seeing what’s between here and there, thinking, looking, feeling landscape and place – nothing’s better. Two weeks ago I finished radiation therapy, and since then I’ve had two oncology doctor appointments – medical oncology last week, radiation oncology yesterday – and today, I hit the road. I’m in Charleston, West Virginia right now, in a budget motel with a view of Appalachian ridges (beyond the parking lot and the Wendy’s next door). Most of my drive today was in mountains, and for the last several hours on Interstate 77, I felt as if the mountains were wrapped around my shoulders like a bright green shawl.
This was cold mining territory. Most of the drive was through isolated areas, though, and I didn’t see any mines. I did see a pile of coal not too far from here. Tomorrow I’ll drive through more mountains and into the Rust Belt and then to the Great Lakes. I’ll drive along Lake Erie to Buffalo, where I’ll pick my sister up at the airport tomorrow night. Starting where I got on I-77 today (from I-81), I’ve been in new places. I’ve passed that intersection several times on my trips to New England during the 20 years my sister has lived there, and I’ve wondered where it went in its northern span. Well, I find out today and tomorrow. Today my drive included lots of mountains, first in Tennessee, then Virginia, and finally here in West Virginia. Green, lush mountains with the interstate highways winding between them, over them, and literally through them. I passed through two tunnels today, the Big Walker Mountain Tunnel and the East River Mountain Tunnel, which goes between Virgina and West Virginia. The East River Mountain Tunnel starts in one state and comes out in the other. Pretty cool.
As for now, I’m tired and thinking of bed. Today’s drive was about seven hours, and tomorrow’s is about the same. I’d usually have driven quite a bit farther, but even though I have lots more energy than I did a month ago, I’m still not up to speed yet. So I chose not to push myself too hard. I’m grateful to have the energy to drive here today. I’m grateful to be on the road. I’m grateful not have have any treatments or doctor’s appointments and to have the freedom to drive and drive. Yes, I’m grateful, plain and simple. And happy to be a driving fool.
More from the road soon. . . .