This moment is all you own.
It’s yours and yours alone.
The rest is all illusion.
Welcome to Grant Carrington’s This Moment blog. (It’s called gcthismoment because apparently someone else is already using thismoment.) This blog is meant to chronicle my travels around the country from September 2015 to some time in 2016. For those of you who don’t know me, information about me and my life up to this point can be found at my website.
I moved to Springfield, Mass. in 2011 from the Baltimore-Washington area, where I had lived since 1980 because my sister wanted me up here. In 2012 I moved to Northampton. My sister died a couple of years ago and I realized that this area of the world (they call it “The Pioneer Valley” for some reason that escapes me) holds very little for me. But I didn’t know where else I wanted to be so I decided to drive around the country for a while, a fantasy I had harbored (like probably so many males) since I was in my early twenties.
First I’m going to Canada’s maritime provinces, which Burrie Jenkins tells me are beautiful, then back through Montreal and Toronto and back into the United States at Buffalo before heading south because after all winter is about to be a-comin’ in. I have set myself a few rules (all of which I’m sure will be broken but I hope not too often):
- Stay off the interstates as much as possible. (I know there are times when I’ll have to break this one.)
- Never drive more than five hours in one day. (This one will be difficult to keep because I’m the kind who likes to drive 10-12 hours a day on the interstate to get to wherever I’m going two days early. If I can establish it in Canada—it should take at least two days to get from the maritime provinces to Montreal—maybe I can do it.)
- Pull over whenever something looks interesting; if a road looks interesting, go down it. (Like 2, a difficult task for GC, but I know a road off US 29 in Virginia that I definitely plan to follow. I’ve passed it by too many times.)
If I can obey those rules regularly, my path around the United States should look like that of a drunken snake, although it will be vaguely U-shaped, heading south then through the Southeast and Southwest up the West Coast. Then back east.
I intend to hit Philadelphia (maybe), the open mike at The Wagon Shed, Baltimore-Washington (watch out, Dave, Ken, Ray, Daryl, and everybody else), the Shenandoah Valley (Den and Nancy), Asheville, Atlanta, Pine Mountain (look out, Mike and Jeri), Tallahassee (Al and Colleen), New Orleans, Austin, Albuquerque (Brian), the Sedona area (JR), Grand Canyon, Hovenweep, Denver (Francis and Wendy), Calico, one last trip to Caltech, Yosemite, the Sur coastline, San Francisco (Jenny), Muir Woods, Salem (Ray and Carol), Seattle, Vancouver, Madison. If all goes well, I’ll hit all of them and some incredible unexpected places as well.
1942: Mom and me, Uncle Bob, Marilyn, Dad
As I go through each section of the country, I will add a post, which will consist of links to various states (usually), so a new post will be added every couple of weeks but that post will be updated nearly every day. So, to read it in its proper order, you will have to go all the way down to the first post (New England) and work your upwards to the most recent one. Within a post, the links are in chronological order.
For example, New England is Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine. So each post is chronologically backwards while the links within each post are chronological. Sorry to be so confusing but I have to deal with the way blogs work within WordPress.
You might think that this is the greatest adventure of my life but, as I looked back, I realized it was probably only the seventh greatest adventure of my life, although it’s the greatest one since I turned 30. Here are the others:
A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 340 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.
There were 16 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 3 MB. That’s about a picture per month.
The busiest day of the year was November 2nd with 27 views. The most popular post that day was STAGE 4: THE SOUTHEAST (10/17-11/10/2015).