New York – Southern Tier

We left Detroit to follow Route 90 past Cleveland and Erie, Pa., where we connected up with I-86. For the past two days we have followed this meandering highway as it winds between the Allegheneys, skirting Pennsylvania, then dipping back up through lower New York State. The behavior of this roadway directly corresponds with our mood. We don’t want to commit to “going back” – both of us would like to stay on the road indefinitely. Last night we sat in a restaurant in Binghampton looking through the photographs and marveling at how much we have seen and done in the past month, and at the uneven passage of time that has marked this trip. Nashville seems so long ago – OKC – was that last summer? Asheville, like the beginning of the summer, while Gary bookends the end.

The last two days, across Ohio, Pa and NY, it has rained relentlessly. I’ve taken very few photographs. After driving ahead of or behind the weather for the whole five weeks, it finally caught up with us. But last night it cleared, revealing that rare and perfect light that emerges after a rainstorm, when color is saturated by the angled light of 7pm and the watery sheen covering the landscape. You can shoot anything; it’s all about the light.

So this is the last morning. We’re eager to get out, looking forward to the drive along Route 17 through the Catskills and the Borscht Belt. I would like to stay off the interstate alltogether. To blast in over the Tappan Zee seems a disappointing ending to the trip. We’ll cross at the Bear Mountain Bridge and roll home down Route 9.

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