Commuting Muse

As I made the commute in to work this morning my thoughts turned to the physical differences between the place I am in and the place where I want to be.

The two words that came to mind were FLAT and STRAIGHT.

The flat is the nature of the place I call home. I don’t know that I can describe to anyone who hasn’t experienced it what flat really is on the coastal plain of Texas. If you can imagine what it is like to be floating on an ocean far from shore, you are getting close to what coastal Texas is like. The only difference is the trees and man-made structures tend to break up the total monotony. The main feature of the landscape, once you leave the towns and cities, is the sky. Most of the trees in this part of the state barely break 30’ in height, and they tend to be grouped along rivers and streams or bunched up around an old home site. So what that leaves is sky and clouds.

I read a factoid that I really found interesting last week. According to “Our State” magazine North Carolina has a state road system second only to Texas in the number of miles maintained. Now I haven’t traveled as extensively in North Carolina as I have in Texas (Texas has about a 50 year lead on my wandering the back roads), but the very concept leaves me amazed. I get the feeling there might be a difference in the way road systems are tallied…

But, back to where this missive was progressing…Straight, I am sure there are roads in North Carolina that run straight, but so far I don’t think I’ve ever been on one. I don’t think I can conceive of a flat, straight road in North Carolina. Now to be honest I have not traveled the coastal region of North Carolina and quite possibly it would match the area in which I now hang my hat. As I drove in to Houston this morning I travel about 12 miles on Highway 6 where it comes out of Galveston County and travels through Brazoria County. From the crossing of Highway 35 to Highway 288 is probably one of the straightest sections of road I have ever been on with an elevational relief of at most 5 feet. The road seems to go from vanishing point to vanishing point with very little in between.

After being back home for a week, I still long for the curves and elevation changes of driving in the mountains…

(Ok Fred, now I get it…)

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