Joined: Jul 2007
Southside Virginia has a different look and feel once youíre only a matter of miles away from the river, the view open to larger farms, and in an evil weather twist, it was even colder as I worked my way southeast on secondary roads. The ditch water was solid, small pond water skimmed with ice, and ice in patches on the road where shadows had prevented the early sun from hitting it. I was in thermodynamic denial, could have stopped but didnít, ainít much adventure found with a parked moto.
If the market is right, I can sometimes find cotton north of the James, but thereís always cotton found in Southside where there are still local gins within a more reasonable trucking distance.
The roads crisscross the countryside, routed around the small creeks and rivers, also bays off the James, the network dating to the colonial era, and titles to the land noting grants from the King of England, itís that kind of place. The flavor of the Southside extends in various similar forms and textures all the way to Texas along the coastal waters, unique in the larger Country, the native residents, color not withstanding, seemingly more proud in their distilled heritage as any found elsewhere.
An old house on the edge of a clearcut field of maybe five hundred acres, frost on the roof, the land may be destined for row crops in the future.
The backroads route I had chosen was a fried pie route, canít find pie at 80mph on the I system, or the other four lane roads south, but it was comparative slow going, although interesting, and a quick run through the numbers meant I would need to average 119.5mph or I was going to miss the next scheduled ferry departure over on the Currituck Sound. Thatís a big number, jailhouse big, better not try it. Besides, I was thawing out a little as I wandered, plenty to see, hungry for pie.
South at the Dismal Swamp Canal, part of the Intercoastal that runs all the way to Florida, you used to be able to follow the canal way south until a new road was recently completed, now you get a look at the canal for only four miles, too bad.
When I first started coming down into the area 30 years ago, there wasnít much going on except for the big ag operations, now development has overtaken the area, sprawl from the Hampton Roads metro area, and it didnít thin out until the available land decreased along with the elevation. I knew I was in coastal Carolina when I found salt marshes reaching to the horizon.
My destination was the Knotts Island Ferry, I missed the 10AM sailing, now I had an hour before the next departure at noon. I had been on all the North Carolina Ferries over the years, except for this one, today was the day.
A dredge with pushboat was moored next to the landing, I could see that it had been cleaning out the shoaled channel in front, although not working today for some reason, a wintry sun on the water, it wasnít the weather. This was a North Carolina DOT operation and there were some guys on board, no work though, must be rules.
I was pleased to see that Janet Whatshername had the alert status posted, seemed like it would be important to know. Why any terrorist would try his luck sneaking through the Mid Atlantic is beyond me, heck, if he read up even a little, he would know that every man, woman, and child in the region owns a dozen guns and a truck load of ammo to match. Down here, a child gets a Glock and a Benelli when its baptized, by age three, it can land rounds in the X ring, spin silhouettes like a whirl-a-gig. Bad terrorist choice here, the locals would make Red Dawn look like a freakiní tea partyÖjust for fun, use up the ball ammo thatís been on the shelf a little too long, blow lots of holes in things, fires, explosions. Better fire up pig cooker, feed the troops, theyíll be hungry, home by 5.
They were heavy on the signs, I couldnít think of anything important the DOT or HS people had forgotten.
They could have saved themselves a lot of bother and condensed it all to one big signÖ
DONíT DO ANYTHING STUPID
YOU WILL DIE, BY ACCIDENT OR GUNFIRE
Iím bettiní that plenty of people would think that the sign was speaking directly to them, and the number of people using the ferry would drop by about a third, some a little nervous of the gunfire part, especially with their deranged sociopathic tendencies.
By the time the ferry showed up, I realized that I was going to be the only passenger. I eased the rat up the ramp, didnít want any stupid moves, and I barely had the sidestand down before the ferry ride got real interesting.
(to be continuedÖ)