Gas prices have risen almost every day since our trip began on May 12. National average hits, according to AAA trackers $ 5 a gallon on Saturday.. I had to adapt to the high price, but looking back, I think that was the best. Instead of hitting museums, cool restaurants, and big cities in the southeast, inflation made everything too expensive, so we leaned on the road itself and unexpectedly revealed ourselves to America. .. It costs a small amount to get out on the road, so why not make it the focus of our trip?
We have a business route designed to go through downtown rather than around downtown, and the original “Blue highwaySlowly cross over and place us at eye level in swamps, sweet-scented honeysuckle hedges, and local ice cream shops. Taking advantage of these less worn roads meant moving slower than we had planned, but it also meant that we were able to see a rare slice of America. Did. In addition, if you stay below 50 mph, AAA states: You get better mileage..
The pictures I took didn’t show many people because there weren’t many people. For fun and work, I saw truck drivers, construction workers, and a few nurses as I drove through small, medium, and large cities in almost every state on the central Atlantic coast and southeast. It seems that few people were traveling.
At the Alcoa Hotel in Tennessee, south of Knoxville, on the edge of the industrial zone, people set up grills, darts boards, and chairs in the parking lot to cook and hang out at the restaurant without spending money. I made it possible. Or a bar.
No matter where you drive, whether it’s downtown Mobile, Alabama, the countryside of Townsend, Tennessee, or the suburbs dotted with Atlanta strip malls, there’s usually a way to ourselves. I don’t know if it’s inflation, gas prices, or the calm before the summer travel storm, but things felt sleepy, if not completely desolate.There was also a parking lot right next to the waterfall Great Smoky Mountains National Park..
I also noticed a shortage of gas stations and restaurants. There were signs everywhere that “I wanted help”. Many restaurants have abolished or significantly reduced indoor seating. Also, many “open” signs were seen for closed businesses.
More people have emerged in places that are cheap and apparently aimed at locals rather than tourists, such as the skatepark near Atlanta’s huge Beltline Walking Pass. In New Orleans, people participated in a $ 10 comedy show and a $ 25 car race. Local speedway.. (And Dollar General, who was everywhere on our trip, had no problem filling the parking lot.)
In New Orleans, I also went to a $ 10 music show in the back room of the famous Maple Leaf Bar. It’s usually full, but the night was less crowded, so the bartenders thanked each one for coming and urged them to come back every week.
I drove across the country during the peak of the pre-vaccination pandemic in late 2020, and in a way this trip felt the same. At that time, there were even fewer people going out, and everything was much cheaper than it is now, but I was having a hard time on both trips. Many of my decisions were forced by what I couldn’t handle, but each brought unexpected happiness. You can probably chalk it down to the magic of public roads.