The trip cross country is well underway.
I’ve been through the (by now familiar) emotional flux of packing up everything I own into boxes (again), whittling down my bare essentials into a couple of cases, and leaving behind an area and people I have come to know and love.
So be it, that’s often the cost of adventure, but damn if it isn’t tiring.
We’re currently in San Antonio for the night, but we’ll be in Washinton by the end of the month, which is a heck of a drive, a heck of a lot of environments to venture through… and a heck of a lot of inspiration.
Time to Think
Thankfully, my other half loves to drive and is handling that for the entire trip. I’m on navigation and photography duty, as well as snack distribution. This gives me plenty of time to take in the stunning scenery the USA has to offer as we travel across it, and think about what I’ve seen.
So far, we are still in the deep south. This is the area I am most familiar with since I emigrated, so there hasn’t been a huge amount different to normal. Not a huge amount, but a little.
Inspiration and experiences are where you find them, and despite having been to New Orleans many times, I had never been to visit the cemetery. That might sound like a weird thing to bring up or to choose to do, but Louisiana has a very unique flavor to its treatment of the dead, based in both practicality and culture.
When one lives in a swamp, burying the dead in the soil isn’t easy and the amazing combination of cultures in the State has very much turned the dead into a celebration of their lives. My time in England and visiting Europe ever had anything quite like the above-ground tombs of New Orleans.
I found it incredibly interesting, enlightening, humbling and peaceful to walk through Lafayette Cemetary Number 1, especially as there were plants and lizards everywhere. Bram Stoker copied down names and stories from cemeteries and found comfort there, so it’s certainly good enough for me too.
Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana have a lot in common. Texas, however, has been the first place I have begun to see some of the changes I can expect as we drive on.
Even just 20 miles over the border, and the scenery was noticeably different. This came in both the kinds of trees and their density along the highway, as well as how the highways themselves were laid out (or under construction, as seems to be the case for the state as a whole so far…)
The biggest reminder from this for me has been that the needs of the local populace can have a huge effect on how the land is parcelled out and managed, even when the environment at large hasn’t changed that much.
Of course, by the time we had left all the swampland behind and really gotten into the much drier areas of Texas, the environment had changed as much as the needs of the people, and the area no longer felt at all like the area I’ve been living in lately.
And this is before I get to talking about cities… (I am 1000% not a city girl).
I’m taking photos all over the place to keep the feelings of this trip with us even after it is done, and I have lots of new ideas and tweaks to put into Hevna based on what I’ve seen.
Tomorrow, we’re hitting up the Natural Bridge Caverns, which should be awesome as I haven’t been to caverns in years.
Tired, but I do love adventures.