I had a couple days off last week, and in the spirit of cramming every spare second before intern orientation starts with meaningful activity (and not being bored), I decided to take an impromptu road trip to see two of my besties one last time before I leave.
I also took my camera (naturally), and for the first time I did everything I could to stay off the interstate while traversing the (pretty much the entire) state. Turns out, The Adjacent State is really quite beautiful once you get off the interstate.
For the first time I was completely entranced with my surroundings instead of numbly following the dotted lines to my destination with only a succession books on CD to ease the boredom. (Though I did listen to a little of Amy Sedaris’ I Like You: Hospitality Under The Influence. Note: The only way I would ever be interested in an instructional book about ‘hospitality’ or ‘cooking’ is if it is written by a Sedaris. Hilar.)
Though I enjoyed my trip very much, even the misguided (literally) attempts at ignoring my GPS in favor of navigating from an 11 year old U.S. Atlas (Look at me! Eat your hearts out Lewis & Clark! Wait. Where the h*ll am I???), I can’t help but feel bad that any outsider who drives through The Adjacent State, stuck in interstate ruts, must think it is The Ugliest Place On Earth. But, as I theorized with one small town gas pump jockey (Yes, apparently there are still places that offer full service and pump before you pay. I know, what!?), I guess that means more for The Adjacent Staters. Or as the jockey said, “It keeps the riff raff out, dontcha know.”
Anyway, here’s just a little bit of what they’re (I’d been) missing……
Note: I am not a particularly religious person, but I seem to be (obviously) kind of obsessed with country churches. I can’t help it. When you’re driving for miles in the middle of nowhere and all of the sudden, out of nowhere, a gorgeous, perfectly preserved, early 19th century church just pops up in front of you, (often with an accompanying centuries-old graveyard and/or school house) reeking of history and incongruous architectural majesty, a person is pretty much obligated to take notice. (Right, well I am anyway.)
Note: The above angels were captured in a (very) rural country cemetery. When I told Nurse NICU this, she thought it was morbid. I just thought they were beautiful. *Shrugs*
Below are critters from a country garden. Once again, I love how wielding a (sort of) fancy camera makes you look at things differently. Not long ago, in my pre-(sort of) fancy camera days I would have passed this little garden by without a second thought. Now, I see possibilities. Magically, everywhere……
In addition to country churches, I kept noticing little town halls every so many miles along the rural highways, randomly appearing on corners of deserted sections. I’ve never seen these little buildings with such profusion and regularity in my own state and I’m assuming it must be an Adjacent State Thing. (Every state around here has a ‘thing.’ *More Shrugs*)
Anyway, after I’d passed at least a dozen of them, I realized I probably should have been stopping to take pictures so I could do a series or something. Because they were all different and unique, some brick, some white clapboard, some with bells attesting to their former uses as town hall/country school, all interesting and charming in their own way.
I had to share a few that I did get. The first one in particular caught my eye as the outhouses are still prominently preserved, attached, and (I’m guessing?) still in use (at the back of the building there). But you have to bring your own JC Penny catalog. Love it.
This week I am on a mini-Indie Rock tour of the Middle States, versus the big festival I had been planning on attending, having done the grown-up thing and relinquished the big festival tickets (with the big festival price) in the name of fiscal responsibility (i.e. Moving Funds. So I don’t have to resort to hitch hiking to residency. Not going to say I didn’t consider it. I really wanted to go to that festival.)
So far, the mini-tour is Totally Awesome.
Cats + Slammin’ Indie Gurl Rock? How could I not love Best Coast??