Thursday, March 16, 2017

Drive South on 441

Today, the next to the last day of my 2017 Spring Break, I went on a little drive. I wanted to revisit the drive I used to do regularly from 2004 to 2006 when Anna and I lived in Madison and I went to graduate school in Milledgeville; I wanted to see how much had changed in the last decade, and if it was as pleasant a drive as I remembered.

It wasn't.

It wasn't bad, really, but I love the drive north on 441 so much more--up into the mountains, into North Carolina and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Tennessee--that the drive south through Madison and Eatonton into Milledgeville just seemed like a commute rather than a drive.

I did stop at two different Wal Marts, which says something about what a mundane traveler I can be, but I also stopped at Rock Eagle, and managed to have lunch at a good local barbecue place in Milledgeville. I also went into the new GCSU bookstore in Milledgeville, which has as much floor space devoted to college T-shirts as to books (except for the textbook area downstairs), and debated trying to remember where the English department is but decided not to bother.

The pre-Socratic philosopher Heraclitus is said to have proclaimed that "no man ever steps in the same river twice, for it is not the same river and he is not the same man." Some old rivers, like Twain's Mississippi, are worth returning to because both they and we have grown in new and interesting ways. Some old rivers, however, like my former commute down 441, are perhaps best left in the fondly-remembered past.

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