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Word Count: 651
We always said we would leave early at the crack of dawn just as the sun rose above the mountains in the distance Yet this idea seemed as nebulous as the misty backdrop of clouds strewn across the sky blurry in the morning dew It would be four oclock in the afternoon before we were piled in the van some folkcountry artist whose tape you could find at the local truck stop playing on the radio and the U-Haul humming behind us on the highway We roared straight into the sunset straight into our impatient adventure on 270 West I couldnt sleep This was tradition I had to stay awake to see the scenery or at least what I could make out under the blanket of gray that had draped down The headlights smooth and hypnotic flashed by us in the opposite lane growing thinner as the clock ticked away each increment of time seemingly extending beyond itself yet somehow retaining its synchronicity The stereo had long since been turned off My father was silent and I watched my mothers head bob as she passed in and out of conciousness I leaned forward and rested my chin against the front seat staring into the black foggy curves of the Smoky Mountains and waiting for the bridge the halfway mark providing a snap back to reality When I woke up the sun was pink and cool and flat I looked out the windows and tried to imagine how far we had come The Carolinas were cool and flat in the morning like the sun The tobacco farms had changed to ranches and the sky had spread itself far into the corners of the horizon but I couldnt escape the feeling that I could walk home that there was no distance This is how every trip to the South begana blind passionate drive into the Tennessee Mountains and the Carolina ranches We planned for
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