1of 3 Parts
The first official XDA racing event managed to get underway last weekend July 23rd 24th 25th and 26th 2020 so this meant I now had some driving to do. (23rd was a testing day at the track)
I did not take my kayak this time because I figured I would need to get home quickly because of the situation there and wanted to maximize my gas milage. With that factored in I got loaded up leaving a bit early to get in a few side trips in along the way. This means taking some side roads to see what the countryside has hidden away for my camera. My trusty Sony A7iii was all charged ready in the seat next to me.
Now being a native Floridian, I don’t worry about too much about stops in Florida and Georgia when traveling this route, but once I hit South Carolina, the eyeballs started scanning around. Leaving early Wednesday morning was intentional because it gets me into South Carolina at sunrise. I had already passed the state welcome sign and the dawn was beginning to push away the night sky so I jumped off I-95 using a small town exit and did some explorative driving. There were a couple great views I had spotted from the highway but unfortunately could not get back to from where I exited.
I cruised up the main road for bit and found a small local road I spotted on the map early. The trick is to find a small roads off the main ones and the longer the better. I manage to find one that lead to yet another one that then turned into a dirt road which is the best kind! It would give a beautiful ride though the country and with the windows down the smell of South Carolina pine trees made it just that much better. It would lead to a couple of quick shots for the page.
After grabbing my South Carolina shots, I made a quick coffee stop, pee stop, gas top off , and moved on again. I wanted another shot when passing through North Carolina, with plans to grab one in Virginia as well.
The I-95 trek is long and boring because well it is a long boring ass road and that is what happens when you travel I-95 North. I have traveled this road so many times it has become incredibly dull. The drive up was smooth because of the COVID impact on travel, so the drive was an easy straight shot.
I got into North Carolina and began checking the GPS map for something new and found a target that looked like an excellent quick pit-stop. What I look for is not just the spot but the roads leading to it and it would indeed produced a few fresh shots. One spot was a beautiful still lake that really needs my kayak on it for my next trip up. On the way in, I saw a couple of potential subjects and made sure I snapped them up when heading back out to the interstate.
It was a quick North Carolina stop and then I was off down the highway once again. It was a sunny clear drive though every state UNTIL Virginia! Then at Port Royal before I had to cross that crazy ass out of date bridge, entering Maryland it became a different story. It opened up big time and started raining, like cats and dogs. I could not see 100 feet in front of me as I started up the south side of the Harry W Nice Bridge (Potomac River Bridge).
This thing was built in 1940 and they clearly do not believe in upgrading this charm of American history. It is not big or long by bridge standards but it is a really narrow two lane bridge will low concrete side “wall” rails. They are nothing more than concrete wall barriers you see on any highway. There is no space between the traffic lanes so you are really close when passing the oncoming traffic which does not be believe in slowing down even during a downpour like this one. I also have no idea what in the hell Maryland is doing with that six bucks a car they charging when we cross this pile of crap heading into Virginia.
Crossing this relic proved interesting because as the narrow roadway extended out in front of me it vanished in a wall of water. I topped the bridge and was coming down the North side and about half way down everything turned white and boom shook the bridge and my car as a lighting bolt struck the top of a crane top on the west side of the bridge. It was pretty damn cool and it’s a shame I was not recording.
The last twelve miles to my lodging location was just more and more water. A slow going trek but I made it safe and sound after stopping for some quick garbage food at a fast food joint. At this point I was so hungry I could eat dog poop. (Maybe) I could not unload for a couple of hours because I had to wait for the storms to pass. It was cool because I could unwind a bit and have a good conversation with my host, who happen to still be awake when I came in.
I good easy trip up … next story 2 of 3 the XDA Event …