Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thoughts on the road

I have been at home for only 8 of the last 46 days. While the pain of being away from my family sometimes manifests in physical symptoms, I cannot discount one benefit of my job. I am sometimes priveleged to visit some truly beautiful parts of the country, places I would otherwise never see. Sure, sometimes my trips lead me to Walnut Ridge, Arkansas (nothing personal, folks, but that town was noticeably lacking in scenic vistas), but this week's itinerary afforded more photo opportunities.

Monday started in Buckhannon, WV, a lovely berg with a college town feel. It is home to West Virginia Wesleyan College.

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After my day with the good teachers of Buckhannon I hit the road and drove my rental through the scenic hills to Roanoke Virginia. Breathtaking vistas, verdant valleys, and rampant poverty in startling juxtaposition.

I stayed in the Roanoke Valley, where everything is exploding in full bloom during the warm, late August days.

This morning I woke before the chickens to journey to one of my favorite parts of our country. I flew into Portland, Oregon and drove for three hours along the sparkly Columbia River. In the 180 miles the hills went from evergreen to tumbleweed. Along the gorge, complete with rocky cliffs and waterfalls, nature is putting on a fashion show. Arriving at my lodging, Boardman, Oregon's River Lodge and Grill, I was able to skip the treadmill and take advantage of the riverside running trail.

Would I trade the views for my family? Never. But sometimes I feel better when I look at the sun and know that the same rays that dance across the Columbia are spotlighting the peaceful Manatee grazing in our St. Johns. Surrounded by nature's beauty I'm closer to home, even 3,000 miles away.


Liz said...

So glad you posted. I have been missing you. I love the way you think...
Isn't it wonderful to be blessed with a wonderful family worth missing? Thanks for putting things into perspective once again.

Cora Spondence said...

Consider yourself lucky. Nothing but rain, wind and lots of overblown weather forecasting sensationalism here.

kz said...

It must be so difficult to be away from your family for such extended periods of time. Though I must admit to feeling some envy when I contemplate your travels. I LOVE to travel and have not done nearly enough of it since my family started growing 5+ years ago. I'm happy to hear that you take in all the beauty surrounding you on your many journeys.

BJNR said...

Beautiful post! Your descriptions really capture the beauty of this vast land. It's great that you make the most of your time away from your awesome family. Lemonade anyone?

MJ said...

It is weird that we're all under the same sky and looking at the same moon each night. Nice use of your pictures for inspiration.