Country Roads

I went by my favorite American road sign but in the opposite direction.

I went by my favorite American road sign but in the opposite direction.

[cb_profit_poster Travel1]Clinton, S.C., Monday, December 16, 2013, 9:47 a.m.

I’m back. I hope you enjoyed some of the old blogs I posted during the three days I was away and otherwise occupied. I can play a harmonica while driving – I never text – but I can’t write a blog.

It occurred to me that, having written more than 300 blogs this year, I could afford to re-release a few of my blasts from the past.

No, it was not I. I've never even driven a Lexus.

I sang my new song, “It’s Only Fiction,” in several locations.

I’m traveling as inexpensively as I can these days, the better to string myself along and ease the “cash-flow” problems. I’m turning the corner, but, like the roads I drove on for half of Saturday, it’s a hairpin.

I used some motel points for a room after my book signing at Barnhill’s in Winston-Salem, N.C. It went well. I enjoyed the audience. They seemed to enjoy my songs and impassioned readings of The Intangibles. I had enough points from one chain to get three free nights if I choose cheaply, so I looked for motels along the route and picked a doozy for the first freebie.

I’ve come down a few notches from the NASCAR road.

It was a really strange room. It was upstairs, even though there were only a few cars in th parking lot at 10 p.m. I guess there must be an informal policy to make the guy using the points suffer.

Weel poot im upstayers!

The room was frigid, which was understandable since the heat was off and it was 25 degrees outside. I turned the heat on and fled to the nearby Hardee’s, where I used a coupon for some chicken planks and a perusal of social media on my gadget. When I got back, it was nice and warm, but when I undressed, I discovered the carpet was damp. Then I discovered that both spigots on the faucet ran hot water.

I didn’t mind much, though. Who cares about a crummy room when you’re checking in at 10 o’clock and leaving the next morning at 8? All I was going to do was sleep. I had some concerns about the shower, but they were only minor. It had hot and cold, but they were in the wrong directions. Cautiously, I set the temperature in the middle, and then when I got under the nozzle, it was a mite cool, so I moved the lever to the hot side, which was the cold side. Momentarily, I thought, oh, no, the hot water is out, but then I turned it the opposite way – at this point, it couldn’t have gotten any colder — and it heated right up.

It rained all night the day I left, the weather it was dry

Sun so hot I froze to death, Susanna, don’t you cry?
Oh, what? Ah. I forgot to tell you about Susanna.

It did rain all day on Saturday, but I still enjoyed a long, winding drive through mountains. I listened to the last vestiges of quality small-town radio, emanating through various translater channels in Virginia and Kentucky. I heard Dave Van Ronk’s version of “In the Pines,” and that might have made the whole trip worth it.

That plus the church that had an RC Cola sign out front, the body of water called Fish Pond Lake (is there also a Fish Lake Pond?) and Kingdom Come State Park, where I was afraid to stop.

I also came up with a new idea for a novel and daydreamed about it for the rest of the trip. I might do a little writing on it this week.

Hardee’s coupons came in handy. (They all expired on Sunday.) So did coffee. I particularly enjoyed the Dunkin’ Donuts variety that got me home last night from Asheville, N.C., which is less than two hours from the house. Asheville is a lovely city, and I regret the fact that I almost always just drive by it.

Maybe one day I’ll catch on in those parts.

Hmm. I hadn’t been out of town for anything except a football game in, well, months. There was that one time, Ella, Alex, Anthony and I went to the movies in Columbia, but other than that, it was only to Clinton and Furman games in places like Abbeville, Boiling Springs, Six Mile and Orangeburg.

Roving through the mountains was fun, but I’m fairly content being back home now. Except for occasional jaunts, it appears my days as a nomad are over.

I sold books, read from them, spent time with great friends and played my guitar a whole lot. Now I’m home with good memories and a few mementoes from the road.

The Intangibles – it’s a novel for grown-ups, now – is available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, as well as from the publisher and (autographed) this web site (click on “merchandise”). Signed copies are also available at L&L Office Supply here in Clinton, Fiction Addiction in Greenville, S.C., and Barnhill’s in Winston-Salem, N.C. If you’re interested in me, my writing, and/or what the South was like in the late 1960s, I think you’ll enjoy my second novel.

[cb_profit_poster Storytelling]

About Monte

For 20 seasons, I mostly wrote about NASCAR. I'm still paying attention, but I'm spending more of my time these days writing novels and songs. I try to blog regularly on whatever happens to strike my fancy.
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2 Responses to Country Roads

  1. frank says:

    Tug, seems like an ideal road trip, edgy enough to share, the pleasant comfort of acceptance, and with joy at the end.

  2. Monte says:

    And cost-effective!

Comments are closed.