A beautiful scene you might see if you’re not too scared to drive around here.

The topic of yesterday’s post came to mind a few weeks ago, when a funny thing happened.

To recap, I wrote yesterday about the country roads of Franklin County and how they have caused me a surprising amount of anxiety. For instance, driving to the pool in Rocky Mount is a half-hour trek south on the relatively roomy Booker T. Washington Highway (the BTW) , where I’ve got the route down:

  • A tailgater on Burnt Chimney Road — the major-ish road close to our house — is likely to head north once we reach the BTW, so that they can jump on the Jubal Early Highway (Rt. 116, the most direct route to Roanoke);
  • A tailgater who turns south on the BTW like me will likely turn onto Wirtz Road after a mile or so, because that’s the shortcut to Route 220, aka the Virgil Goode Highway, aka the less mountainous route into Roanoke;
  • From there, it’s smooth sailing, except for the 18-wheeler trucks that roar along Booker T. Washington as you cross the narrow bridges over the Blackwater River and Maggodee Creek.

But here’s the funny thing that happened. On my way home one day, all hyped up with swim endorphins, I found myself flying along the BTW and thought to myself, “Wheeeeeee!” It was fun. It was exciting and freeing and a hoot. Up and down the hills and around the curves, not even tapping the brakes when passing a car coming in the other direction.

Well, that’s different, I thought. And nope, I’m still no astronaut, but I feel like I’ve come a long way (you know, in a small kind of way).

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