...in the bottom drawer
I knew I'd lose it so I put it in a safe place, and now I can't remember where it is.

currently stashed in: Cheshire Street, London
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August 09, 2005 || 5:05 pm

I have not only finally crossed the Mason-Dixon Line but have arrived intact in the Big Apple!

Have (obviously) not had any internet for the last few days so will summarise briefly.

6th - Charlottesville, VA to Lewisburg, WV
Went to see Monticello (Jefferson's house) in the morning. It's wonderful and eccentric, as expected, but the most enviable thing was his vegetable patch - huge, incredibly well-tended, beautiful. I would love to have such a garden, and love the passion that Jefferson seemed to have for cultivating the earth and experimenting with new species and methods. Afterwards, drove through the incredibly beautiful mountains, intending to get to a festival at Clifftop but inevitably didn't make it that far. But it didn't matter - I was utterly jaw-dropped by the beauty of the mountains and happy just driving.

7th - Lewisburg, WV to Bedford, PA.
More beautiful mountain driving. Came literally face-to-face with a wind turbine - part of an array that stretches around the West Virginia/Maryland border, where the height of the road and the height of the turbines on the ridge coincide so as I felt that I could literally reach out and touch the blades. Incredibly beautiful and mysterious objects, strung out along the ridge - how anyone can object to them I don't know. To me they are as mysterious and seemingly symbolic as Stonehenge, marking some unknown ley line along the mountains, silently turning, facing the wind. Crossed the Mason-Dixon line and found that people really do talk differently up north. And it's also 'grim up north', the rain starting literally as I crossed the line. Bedford, PA is probably a pretty town but in the slate-grey rain it was pretty miserable. I watched CNN and MTV all evening in my motel.

8th - Bedford, PA to NY, NY.
Drove in misty drizzle through the Pennsylvania hills to Lancaster, Amish heartland. Ate a huge Germanic lunch. The Amish farms are really very beautiful - incredibly neat and tidy, rows of washing billowing from clothes-lines. The classic cliches come up again and again, and yet I can't help remarking on them - beautifully straight-backed children going about their tasks with a curious mixture of solemnity and playfulness, horse-drawn buggies next to SUVs at the Dollar General parking lot. Didn't mean to drive all the way into NYC but somehow did so anyway. Approaching Manhattan at night in the drizzle was, inevitably, incredibly beautiful and Gotham-like - more cliches, but on the freeway, seeing roof-top water tanks at eye-level silhouetted against the misty lights of the skyscrapers was shivery. But I couldn't stop and take a photo as I would have gotten killed by the crazy drivers...

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