Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Off The Beaten Path

For 11 years I have been driving the same routes for work . . . From Knoxville 3 hours east to Nashville. On another day it's 1 and 1/2 hours south to Chattanooga, or 2 hours east to Kingsport and Johnson City. I travel the interstate, listen to my radio, talk business on my cell phone. For the last several years, because I live in one of the most beautiful places in Tennessee, I always have my camera so I can be prepared to capture that beauty.

As I fly down the intersate I pass many interesting places and historic places. I make mental notes that on some quiet weekend, we should come and investigate. I see unusual things. I take in the beautiful scenery. Why don't I stop?

Most of the time, I am not on a schedule. Usually people don't even know I am coming to visit. Why don't I stop?

For 11 years, on my way to Nashville early in the morning, I have seen fog hanging above the Caney Fork River. Caney Fork is a bendy river with many twists and turns. It crosses under the interstate 4 times. Early in the morning, the misty fog hangs just over the river. Sometimes it's heavy like a white cloud. Other times it's just a light mist. I pass by every time and think "Wow, I need to take a picture". For 11 years I've said that. Why don't I stop?

So last week I did stop. I pulled over on the side of the interstate, walked back to the bridge while 18 wheelers whizzed by, and took 6 quick shots, then scurried back to the car. And that day, I decided I would do that more often. When I see a sign for something interesting, I will investigate right then, time permitting of course. I will get off the interstate, turn on the GPS, and take a different route through the country. When I see something beautiful, I will stop.

So today, on my way to Johnson City and Kingsport, I stopped to get gas. As I was leaving I saw a sign I had seen many times for "Historic Dandridge, 2 miles" and I headed that way. Two miles wasn't going to delay me that much. Dandridge was a wonderful, sweet little town, the second oldest in Tennessee. I saw historic homes, city hall, an interesting drug store and hardware store. I didn't get out or stop. It was just a 15 minute diversion.

I headed back down the interstate calmer, happy, an oddly satisfied. It occured to me that sometimes you need to fill your soul and not your camera's memory card. I'm going to Chattanooga tomorrow. Maybe I can fill both.
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2 comments:

Wanda said...

Great post !!! I've said that several times as I'm driving in new territory since the move...I should stop and get that picture, but I don't!!

Thanks for the encouragement!!

Lots of Love
Wanda

Ruth D~ said...

Good for you! I do the same on my commute. Some of my best pix are taken on a day the early morning sun strikes my fancy. Late for work? Worth it.