. Every backroads escapade has a first stop. Usually identified prior to departure. It serves as a warp, a pivot away from city affairs, a liberation, a place and time for transformation to life on the road. This year, as in others, a little known spot in the headwaters of the French Broad River provided the phone booth for Clark Kent's inexorable metamorphosis. A spot always friendly to picture taking, soothing to stretched nerves, and portentous for the absorbing backroads ahead.
Giant heavy machines must maneuver at snail speed when parking. I recently watched the shuttle creep along at an inch per minute seeking a gentle trimmed docking with the space station. This working tug was backing and gliding cautiously to the left eventually tying for the night in a sheltered niche along the waterfront. "Hang around the docks at sunrise and sunset," I says to any who listen, " and you'll seldom come away emptyhanded."
As if in a spinning whirlwind, I find myself re-discovering my enormous (way too enormous) archive of recorded music. (Dammit iTunes, to Hell!) Yet, it's a fascinating voyage thru decades past and very pleasurable to boot. Not to forget, however, recent spins around the backroads of rural South Georgia; here's a fine patch of lily pads spinning also in their universe of peaceful tranquility.
Way down South in the land of Spanish moss and low-gradient streams, a place where I can see more of my most favorite road signs, 'PAVEMENT ENDS AHEAD', than any place else, the winter wetlands stitch a line of little bon-bons across my camera's heart.
Much can be said, and much has already been written about the Greenbrier River and Pocahontas County - its frontier history, the timber era, ridge to ridge natural beauty, and the hard life in these rugged mountains. Yet, the small, the seemingly insignificant, are worthy of notice. Like the crust of left over snow accenting exposed rocks near the scenic railroad station at Cass.
Temperature - 29 degrees F Wind - 25 miles per hour