Driving Myself Un-Crazy on Blue Ridge Parkway

The stone-faced walls were still crying as the last droplets of liquid ice rained on Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia; and the bare branches of the trees resisted the howling winds and reached up into the bellies of the low dark clouds — as if to impatiently grab a vestige of their delayed spring yet to be heralded…

Driving Myself Un-Crazy on Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

…and the ribbon of grey asphalt was winding its way around mountain peaks; hugging the cliffs as if for dear life; and rolling along the hills as each mile unfolded and was consumed.

There was no announcement about the merging of frequent guest loyalty programs. There were no lines at airport security checkpoints. There were no devaluations; no canceled flights; no political gaffes; no credit card sales; no legal wrangling; no cyber incidents or attacks; no road rage; no grammatically-correct command of English.

Blue Ridge Parkway

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

It was just me and Blue Ridge Highway on that unusually cool and gusty April afternoon, with not another soul for miles — as if I had the highway all to myself, save for the occasional white-tailed deer — with John Denver unapologetically singing the praises with a teardrop in his eye of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah River in Take Me Home Country Roads.

Blue Ridge Parkway

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Yes, I was on my way home; but even Interstate 81 — arguably one of the most scenic Interstate highways in the United States — just would not do this time. I needed to decompress and release some stress — and what better way to do so than to lose myself in my thoughts as I meander down an empty country road, through forests and over rivers?

Blue Ridge Parkway

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

The freedom of the road is the elixir which melts away the artificial barriers of societal norms such as deadlines and honors. It is the catharsis to what would otherwise be the inevitable explosion of burgeoning tension, with pressure emanating from all directions…

Blue Ridge Parkway

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

…and yet, how a vehicle heading in one direction — a direction which is neither right nor wrong; bad nor good — can be such an effective cure could be rather baffling; yet accepted inexplicably.

Summary

Blue Ridge Parkway

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

And so it goes: what can only be described as me running to home instead of away from home; and the smile on my face and temporary clearing of my mind as my final destination.

There is nothing like the open road — even as narrow as two lanes relentlessly wrapping itself around the surrounding landscape — and the most appropriate music to create that ethereal utopian sanctuary which is eventually needed once in a while…

All photographs ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

3 thoughts on “Driving Myself Un-Crazy on Blue Ridge Parkway”

  1. r m a h says:

    speaking of the open road…but for bikes…can i invite you (and anyone in the ATL area!) to this :

    https://www.rei.com/event/three-wheels-around-the-world/atlanta/203330

    feel free to delete this self-advertisement, but i couldn’t find a way to contact you personally.

    i’m a faithful reader of your blog. also, NB, all oceans were not cycled upon…but rather, flown over…with points!!

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I recognize you, r m a h. Not a problem.

      In fact, I was about to get ready to do some editing to an article when I first saw that you commented.

      Thank you for reading The Gate. I appreciate you and your corrections!

  2. r m a h says:

    thanks man! would be super cool if you could come!

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