To be honest, the two or three days after Memphis were a bit rough around the edges. We really didn't work out a harmony between the two of us, and that was wearing us down.
But! Before all that we really did start out on a good note. Our breakfast on the way out of Memphis consisted of donuts. That's right, those lovely fried rings of culinary pleasure. In New York, they're all the rage and you wait in line for your cronuts. In Memphis, you just head on over to Gibson's Donuts shop (FB link!), waltz right in the door and order!
Anyway, we set out on the road towards Chattanooga. A lot of the time spent en route we tried to fit our experiences in Memphis and Nashville in words. Both of us agreed that we walked away from those couple of days musically enriched and inspired to look outside to find the unusual as it pertained to us personally.
We stopped for gas once and another time for me to get a break from the monotony of driving over flat land going 80 miles and hour. I made an ink drawing of the view from the parking lot of a small Baptist church somewhere at the end of the world Alabama. Turned out alright, I guess.
Back on the road.
It had always been the plan to get to Chattanooga and see Rock City. Problem was the weather (low cloud ceiling) as well as a lousy forecast kept us from going and put a damper on our camping plans. Overall, we found ourselves juggling a number of decisions.
We decided to sleep in a hostel/hotel and eventually went for the Crash Pad, a very cool rock climber-oriented hostel. We nixed the Rock City visit for the evening as well, and instead opted for a quieter evening on the town and then filled the night putting down our experiences in the two musical cities. It turned into a late exhausting night of haggling with technology and balancing the content of our posts (blogging is a real occupation after all!).
All along we also knew that we had to be conscious of our next stop: Columbia, SC. There we were due to visit three old friends from northern Virginia. Getting to Columbia during the week meant that we were asking them to make time for us in their schedule to accommodate our visit. To make the most of our time there, we planned to head out as early as possible.
Discussing the road ahead, we also encountered another difficulty: Whitney was getting frustrated. The past year she'd been tirelessly planning and researching the trip. As far as the prep work went, she'd been doing the lion's share of it. Now that we were on the road, it started to become burdensome, that keeping the schedule and paying attention to the budget continued to fall to her.
The problem became: Whitney wasn't having any fun.
When you want to be on a road trip, and you want to be on it for three months, you wanna do something about that. No time did this become clearer to me, then when we set out on Wednesday to find a place to do some drawings of Chattanooga before leaving town. While I'd had an, in my mind, pretty uncomplicated idea of driving up and down a street or two to find a spot to draw, Whitney felt left out. Sharing the experience of creating art together had been an integral part of planning the trip and by organizing the things I needed to do my art, without considering what Whitney needed to participate, obviously caused friction. That's friction neither of us wanted, but we had to deal with it, that much was clear.
After some discussion, neither of us drew a thing, and that's about the worst outcome for me. We got in the car and left Chattanooga. To me, it's about creating something together, and when I end up in the way of that, that's when I'm really starting to pay attention.
Thusly, we've got no pictures or drawings to show for from Chattanooga. That's not to talk any shit about it. I actually thought, it was quite a nice town. In the end we just basically treated it as a rest stop on our way. Sorry!
The road didn't have anything in particular to offer. The flat landscape had turned more hilly and the ground was noticeably sandy and we started to see more pine trees and tall grasses as we approached Columbia. I'll mention that we passed through Atlanta and that we stopped in a town called Greensboro (Georgia, not North Carolina) for lunch at Yesterday Cafe.
All in all, after a few turbulent days, we were both happy to be on the road to see some good old friends. Here, have a few road pictures: