Coast to Coast: A Road Trip
* New Site
* Sunshine and spare change
* In the city
* City people
* Dragon's Lair
* Fun and Fake
* First Impressions
* New Blog
March 28, 2005
After escaping the hippy camp drove to Savannah, a town of 'sultry charms' as described by the guidebook. The weather though was unpleasant - it was cold and gloomy. The lovely squares with their fountains and benches draped all around in Spanish moss were destined not to be sat in by me on some lovely sunny day.
One of the primary reasons that many people visit Savannah is for its well preserved antebellum style architecture. While the town was rich in the 18th and 19th Century, the 20th Century with its consequent 'development' passed it by.
As well as the weather problems we were also staying in a bizarrely restrictive hostel. It seemed in many ways to be a bit of a relic. I've stayed in a lot fo hostels throughout the world and never have I come up against a daily seven hour lock out and a complete ban on alcohol. This type of '70s' attitude is much more prevalent in the US than anywhere else I've been. It annoys me really because these hostels often have age restrictions as well so the people in them aren't that young. Better I think to give people a bit of trust and then discipline them if they misbehave rather than put blanket restrictions and rules on everybody.
We also stayed in Savannah for the St Patrick's day parade which is reputedly the second biggest in the US (after NYC). It was undoubtedly long at about 3-4hours in length. However, the weather again let it down. It was too cold which meant no one was drinking outside and the pubs were rammed full. It was a shame really. I thought I might really have enjoyed Savannah if circumstances had been different, but such is the nature of luck.
Kitty Hawk, North Carolina
So it came about that one day we had to drive the 450 miles from Charleston in South Carolina to Kitty Hawk in North Carolina in one day. As if it hasn't been said before the distances in the US are huge. We drove a distance that is probably similar to driving from London to the border of Northern Italy. In that time one would pass through South-Eastern England, cross the English channel, travel through the varied landscapes of France, clip Switzerland and approach the Alps. Along that section of the coast in the US the scenery doesn't change a lot and the roadside services not at all... it is motel after fast food restaurant after petrol station over and over again. The amount of these things are staggering. In the UK you have to know where a McDonalds is to get to one. Here all you have to do is know where a road is and there's one there.
Kitty Hawk was very pleasant and gave a lot of opportunity to get out and do some walking. Howard and I did this at Kill Devil Hills (where the Wright Brothers flew the first aeroplane) and on a sand dune at Jockey's ridge state park. The story of the Wright Brothers I found to be extremely inspiring. The thing I like so much about their story is that it was them that totally pioneered powered flight. It wasn't like they made a final adjustment or modification. The plane was their invention through and through. A project which they carried out in their spare time with persistence and innvoation. A lot of the principles they pioneered are still used today (in terms of wing aerodynamics). With all we hear about multinational corporations I'm not sure if private individuals could come up with such a groundbreakng piece of technology as that today but I like to think it could happen.
Richard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 29th March
Posted by Richard on March 28, 2005 11:26 AM
Category: East Coast USA
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