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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Road-trip: the long green tunnel

In the last three weeks I have driven over 1000 miles, much of it in the long green tunnel of Interstate 95 through Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia. Nearly the entire route has been planted with a screening wall of evergreens, making every mile identical. In the plains states, boredom while driving is considered a danger. In Montana, unnecessary curves are added to the highway in an effort to keep drivers alert. In the east, lulling the driver to sleep seems to be the goal.

It's a shame, because when the road does open up at rivers, the country is beautiful. Sometimes when the trees are thin, I glimpse a bit of farmland behind them and think how nice it would be to drive through open land for a while.

About the only variation is the type of flowers along the verge and the median. Usually there are great swaths of one flower, one color. A green backdrop speckled with lavender or densely packed yellow blooms are, I guess, the south's version of curves in the road.

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