Where I’ve been, in less than 140 characters at a time

I may not know where I’m going (especially careerwise, and I’m eager to find out), but I can tell you where I’ve been.

You may have noticed I haven’t blogged the last couple of days — at least, not in this format. That’s because I drove to Pennsylvania on Sunday, and drove back Monday. I was pretty tired Monday night, but on the whole it was a good, enjoyable trip. I was driving, man! I knew time! I knew it! I was humming down the Shenandoah Valley in a stiff, jumpy Corolla — held the road like a prehistoric bird, you understand, ahem yes! (Apologies to Dean Moriarty, Neal Cassady, Jack Kerouac, Ken Kesey and Tom Wolfe).

I didn’t have a laptop with me, but I had my Blackberry, so yesterday I set myself the task of blogging (if you count Twitter, and it is indeed a truncated form of blogging) across six states. And NO, I didn’t type these while driving, but pulled off the road and came to a complete stop in a safe place each time. (In some places I posted two or three tweets before moving on.) The day started with breakfast with my daughter at my favorite PA spot, then she and I picked up the rental, then had a nice time walking around town in that beautiful weather until almost 10. Then I started the drive back alone. Looking and listening for things to pull over and post about helped keep me alert:

Just ate at the Middlesex Diner, my favorite spot in central PA. Those great fat sausages I can’t get at home…6:57 AM Aug 3rd from web

Just rented Toyota Corolla. Steering wheel awkwardly placed. Nowhere to put elbows. Nice car, though. Beautiful day in central PA…9:15 AM Aug 3rd from web

Twittering across 6 states. Just crossed Mason Dixon Line, our North-South Checkpoint Charlie…10:42 AM Aug 3rd from web

I’m briefly in Maryland, where the 1st Warthen to come to America settled in the 1630s… 10:44 AM Aug 3rd from web

West Va. provides a short stretch of speed between tighter limits of Md and Va…10:56 AM Aug 3rd from web

Picked up free map at W. Va. welcome center. Good intel to have, just in case…10:59 AM Aug 3rd from web

Hint for writer of country song I just heard; “Move” & “love” don’t rhyme, no matter how they look…about 24 hours ago from web

Passed an aging biker who thought he was showing muscles — loose arm skin rippling in wind…about 24 hours ago from web

Another country song, this one an oldie, tries to rhyme “New Mexico” and “loved her so.” Ow, my ears…about 23 hours ago from web

Shenandoah Valley unspeakably beautiful as always. In Virginia, today’s 4th state…about 23 hours ago from web

I’m at the Barnes & Noble in Harrisonburg, Va., getting Starbucks. My kind of rest stop…about 22 hours ago from web

Gimme a break! Just heard Jim DeMint on radio in Virginia!!! Argghhh! There’s no escape…about 22 hours ago from web

I’m pausing in North Carolina just long enough to figure out that I’m only 132 miles from home…about 17 hours ago from web

Back home to SC, 6th state of the day. Just turned in Corolla. It gave me a nice ride — 30 mpg…about 15 hours ago from web

Yes, I realize — kind of a silly and trivial accomplishment, Twittering in six states in one day. But that’s how I get through a long drive on the rare occasions that I have to make a long drive alone: I set myself little goals. Drive so much farther, and I’ll get something to eat. Drive this much farther, and I’m exactly one-third of the way. Get coffee, then see how far I can go (without speeding) before it’s just the right temperature.

And so forth. Twittering served this purpose fairly well. Although you’ll notice that most of the posts are in the first third of the distance. After Harrisonburg, I decided I had to stop stopping if I were to get home before I got too tired. Besides, after Virginia there were only two states left — one stop for gas, and another one at home…

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