Florida Loop: Afterword

I am an advocate of the idea that the biggest criterion in road trip partner selection is tolerability.  This may not seem like an insight of any worth but please do not conflate friendship with amicability as, for instance, Kyle is a good friend of mine but after seeing each other two days in a row there is a good chance blood will be spilled on the 3rd.  In comparison, Joe Naylor and I have had weeks where we spent 120 or more hours within 50 feet of one another and only after weeks of this am I hit with shoes.  Chris, Suzie, Mike, and I don’t appear to get on one another’s nerves and in cases where there’s tension, it’s usually my fault, often coupled with some sesquipedalian failure where I’m too clever by half.

I think breaking sleep synchrony was a genius move on Mike’s behalf, in that the first driver for the next day would call it a day early, and this may be the only mechanism for recovering from entering a road trip pre-fatigued.  This time, he graciously chose to call early nights; next time I need to volunteer.  Having Chris as a 3rd driver proved to be a blessing and I look forward to Suzie eventually getting her license should road trips still occur then.

This trip also marked I-95 losing its magic for me.  My first trip to Florida where I drove gave the road a grandness as a unifying force of the east coast, it is not.  Spurs and bypasses go around and back to major cities and enough of life is on some other corridor that the road no longer has the mental dominance in my internal US map that it once did.  There were stretches where I knew without signage where I was despite being four or five hundred miles from home and caught myself going “oh, this again”.  The only other stretch of road as far and as familiar is probably the stretch of I-35 between Dallas and Austin.  Maybe there’s a region beyond Boston where I-95 has majesty, but now it, like the PA Turnpike is another road that is as freeing as a straight jacket.

I think we were more human this trip.