Beautiful Virginia

We’re in Harrisonburg, Virginia overlooking the Shenandoah National Park from our hotel room on a brilliantly sunny day. This year we changed our driving plans by limiting the number of hours we’re on the road pointedly taking into consideration not only the estimated driving time between points A and B but also including in the calculation the estimated time spent at a restaurant, gas station and rest stops. The latter inclusions add easily 2 hours to the overall driving time. Thus a standard daily drive of 300 miles (5 hours @ 60 mph) plus 2 hours for stopovers will easily consume 7 – 8 hours.  That happens to be almost precisely what transpired today (including the car wash).

The further advantage we’ve had today by narrowing the length of our daily travel is not only the more casual overall bearing but also enabling the time for a swim and to refresh our wardrobe with a launder. Confessing the absurdity of being in a hurry is thus only one element of our agenda. The other reality of equally poignant significance is the acknowledgment that at our age the endurance of prolonged caging in an automobile and attention to the road is taxing.

What I mustn’t overlook in particular is that the swim assisted enormously to address the neurological issues affecting my legs. I was reminded of the hot springs we visited in Tuscany. As much as I adore the mobility afforded by cycling, a swim is far more relieving. Had I not an aversion to pools and rivers generally I would be inclined to swim more often. But my limiting preference has always been a saltwater sea, specifically the North Atlantic Ocean though I will succumb to the Pacific Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico if I must. The exception is an outdoor pool which I find to be more natural and traditionally smelling less antiseptic (probably because so many now rely on salt water for purification) thus making a pleasant addition to the nearby weeping willows and charming garden shed adjoining the meadow.

Now if you’ll excuse me we’re off to the rooftop terrace where we’ll watch the sunset and nibble on tapas.