My friend Cecelia was right: we could NOT drive straight through from just east of Kansas City, MO to Northern Virginia in one stretch. My dear friend knows the drive well. Her texts of, “Oh no. No no no,” and the like were clear, but we really wanted to catch up to our babies, who flew unaccompanied minor to my in-laws a few days before. So, we decided to go for it. Heck, I stayed up for 43 hours straight just two days prior, how hard could 1/3 of the continent be compared to that?
Fast forward to I81 in West Virginia at about 1 or 2 in the morning. The fog I’d been driving through at 10 miles below the speed limit suddenly thickened to, well, it was terrifyingly foggy. I could only see two dashes on the freeway ahead of us, and I was going less than 20. For some reason (we’ll call it exhaustion) Paul decided that some trucker with fog penetrating vision was going to cream us from behind and started to… let’s call it voice his concern strenuously (“You’re going to kill us both! PULL OVER! NOW!”) I refused to do that, since, to my thinking, that sounded about 1000x more dangerous to be ON THE SHOULDER OF AN INTERSTATE IN THE FOG (Love you honey, but you freak out sometimes in the car because you are a backseat driver and also
a really, really crappy not a very good shotgun—we all have faults, it’s okay.) So I pulled off at some exit at some town and we rested until dawn. Then we rested another hour because: FOG.
Finally we did start driving again, fueled by terrible gas station coffee, and I was the passenger. After a truly awful night we were rewarded richly. I never appreciated the Shenandoah Valley when I could see it all the time. That morning, with the fog lifting, I was breathless. I was… home again. I felt it in my bones and my eyes began to tear.