Thanksgiving Road Trips

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

This post is going to be a little different. The following is an account of the road trip I took yesterday to get from my home in Texas to my grandfather's home in south Louisiana.

I really cannot think what possessed me to agree to waking up at this hour. There isn't so much as a speck of sunlight visible through the blinds and the last time I got up this early I was catching a flight from Florence to Texas.

Legitimate picture of me 5 minutes after waking up. Seriously questioning my life choices at this point.
Don't forget your phone. Don't forget your phone. Don't forget your phone.

And we're off. Only fourteen minutes behind schedule, a minor miracle.

It was dark when we left but as I look back across the lake towards home, the first banners of light creep over the horizon. The deep orange and blue remind me of all the reasons I love early morning road trips. There's something almost sacred about the cold quiet of the morning. It's perfect time for beginnings.

I can feel my eyes strain as they try to adjust to the newly risen sun. What is it about sunrises? One minute the light is dim, painting watercolors on the edge of the eastern sky and the next the curtain comes up, the light floods in, and the day has begun.

These are the moments when I fully appreciate Texas's beauty. Sometimes I think we look too much to far away places for inspiration. When we think of breathtaking sights we picture Swiss mountains or Norwegian fjords. And somehow in all of the dreaming and hunting the internet for pictures we forget about the quality the light takes when it shines through the trees in the backyard or the cardinal that sits on the fence every day. There's so much beauty around me that I take for granted.

We stop at the Louisiana state line mostly by habit. I run down to the lake to stretch my legs and take a few pictures of the lake. But not to swim. A bold yellow sign reminds me that alligators are waiting to bite off the foot of unsuspecting water-goers.

The swamps in south Louisiana stretch out for miles. The trees rise up from muddy water instead of soil, parting way only for streams and estuaries.

Water running through the swampland.

When we finally cross the Mississippi we know we're getting close to our destination. Only an hour remains and even though my butt is starting to get sore, I'm excited to see the river. The Mississippi is my favorite river. The mud it churns up over its 3,710 mile trip down North America is dumped onto our doorstep. The Mississippi is the reason the water I grew up playing in was murky brown instead of clear blue, but I can forgive that. I can't help feeling that this river carries America's history on her currents.

It's almost noon by the time we get there and we're immediately caught up into a full day of stories and laughter.

By the time I fall into bed at night I hardly remember that the day started in the dark early hours of a Texas morning.

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  1. Sounds like an awesome journey! I've always wanted to roadtrip around the southern US (I've never been!). Can't wait to read about your time in Louisiana!

    1. The south is a great place for roadtripping! I especially love Louisiana's old homes and oak trees.

  2. I love this little adventure narrative. It's interesting to think what goes on in our minds.

    :] // ▲ ▲

    1. Thanks, Carmen! Keeping track of my thoughts for a day was definitely a cool experiment for me.


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