Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Return of the Jack

I prepared for the bone-chilling temperatures!
It has taken a few weeks but I am finally back at work. It was a bittersweet return because I love my job but also loved being able to wake up at 9 a.m. and meander around the apartment.
 
I returned on Feb. 1. Since then, I have dealt with sleet, freezing rain, a 16-degree night, crazy rain and some horror movie type fog. This is the life of being a Lois Lane.

I have taken the privilege of being able to drive for granted. Until I had surgery and was restricted from driving for a few weeks did I learned just how important it is.
And when you love a good road trip or just want to go to the library, it is absolute torture.
Well in mid-January, the restrictions were taken off and I could hit the road.
So I planned a journey to test the road trip waters and my stamina.
Plus, I needed to see the best friend’s new home at Lake Gaston and get rid of a ton of magazines.
The goal, if it went well, was to make the return trip on Highway 301 as my trip topic for this month.
On Highway 301, there are a lot of little towns and eclectic motels to see.  I decided to do this on a whim while driving on I-95 to the Lake Gaston.

 
I broke my first rule of Daytripping—never be too spontaneous with the unknown. Especially, when I have only driven the route once.
It was a great weekend filled with lots of food, a trip to South Hill, Virginia to my favorite stores and snow.  I got to play a little in the snow.
The trip home on 301 started in Weldon. Its history is centered around the Roanoke River. My son loves River Falls Park there because it is one of the best parks that he has ever seen. There’s a beautiful playground, a picnic shelter, walking track and view of the River.
After leaving Weldon, I head through Halifax and Enfield. Once I passed through those two places, I was in unchartered territory.

 
I learned that Whitakers was more than a crossroads. It was a nice scenic drive.
The journey was going great until I reached Rocky Mount. I am a huge bookworm with a taste for good writing pens. My love of those things is what got me into trouble.
Anytime I have ever traveled to Rocky Mount, I have had a map. Maps are good friends for me because I can get lost anywhere. 

 
When I started working for The Duplin Times, I got lost trying to find Teachey. So I repeat—I can get lost anywhere.
The population of Rocky Mount is more than 57,000 people so there is a lot to do and see there.
As I headed into Rocky Mount, I made the fateful decision to leave 301 and go to the mall where the Books-A-Million was located.
After buying a book and having some Chinese food, I noticed the Office Depot across the street. I thought why not. Somewhere in the process, I got turned around and got lost. I couldn’t find 301 and ended up in Tarboro. I think it was Tarboro but honestly, I don’t know where I was.
The map on a phone doesn’t work to well, if you don’t know where you are. Long story short--I managed to find my way to I-95. I got on there and took my now happy self home to Mount Olive.
I was a little disappointed that I didn’t finish my trip on 301. So this summer, I plan to do the 301 road trip with a twist.

 
On June 17-18, the fourth annual 301 Endless Yard Sale will be held. The various communities along on a 100-mile stretch from Johnson to Halifax counties. Vendors occupy open fields, businesses, churches and schools along the route. I would probably start in Wilson County and make my way toward Halifax. For me it’s a win-win. It’s a road trip plus an endless supply of yard sales. This means a backseat and a trunk full of treasures.


It's good to be back in the saddle again. 

DAILY DOSE
1. Grape soda has become my coping mechanism.
2. I may be moving soon!!!
3. I have awesome and supportive friends and family!!! 

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