Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Smalltown U.S.A.

So, Google Maps is a wonderful thing. You put in your destination and it tells you how to get there. It even tells you the shortest way to get there.

Unfortunately, the shortest route is often on winding, 1-lane back roads, which is bloody irritating after dark, when you've been driving for 7 hours already. Add to that the fact that many drivers don't have the bloody courtesy to dim their brights when they see cars oncoming. (I may have acquired a newfound hatred for the blue-white halogen lights found in many luxury cars).

In hindsight, though, I rather like that Google takes you along the back roads. I mean, think of it, who wants to drive along four lanes of concrete-lined traffic, with nary a sight aside from grassy earthworks, a small scree of trees, and billboard signs. Instead, you can drive along windy paths of forest, see some farmland, and, perhaps, pass through the occasional small town.

Now, since it was already darkening, I didn't really get to see much of the landscapes aside from shadows of trees, but what was cool, was driving through a couple of small towns. Like, you know that stereotypical 50s small town, with its shop-lined main street (complete with street-be-lighted traffic median), or that town with the main square (complete with statue/memorial and green space, town hall, and some shops)? Well, I happened to drive through two of those - Madison, GA, and Monticello, GA (main street and main square, respectively) - just as it was getting dark and It was enjoyable. Props to you, small towns of America for being just plain charming, with your peaceful atmosphere and picturesque Christmas lighting on display (especially Madison. Very well done). It was precisely the calming I needed (seriously. I was about ready to say some things to some of those drivers...).

So, the take aways:
Take a drive through the back roads and enjoy the scenery.
Please, please dim your brights for oncoming traffic.