It was totally an accident because I frankly am not a morning person (and God help me if I should ever become that way), and Martinsville is about a two hour plus drive from here (and that's before the regular race day traffic). So when it was strongly encouraged that all race fans try and be at the race about 9am (for an approximate 1pm start time), I took them serious and drove up there on some unhappy equivalent of three hours' sleep (couldn't really get to sleep the night before, don't you know). Unfortunately, that meant leaving here before dawn and before 6am. Thank God some disgruntled disk jockey on the radio was having an AC/DC party thrall and so song after song of great Aussie metal thunder roared through the little truck, as I rolled through countless sleeping rural neighbourhoods in and around the Greensboro area and further north. Angus Young does wonders to stave off sleepiness, let me tell ya.
Despite having atrocious service at the Maccas in Burlington (complete with an incredibly weak cup of 'regular' coffee), I sped on but was still hungry and desperately needing caffeine and some hot food when I rolled along US 220 North up to the Virginia line. So I stopped in for some standard gas station breakfast 'fare': OJ, milk, and overpriced sweets. Unfortunately, I also decided to undo my orange juice as dawn was breaking on the horizon, carefully driving with one pinky on the wheel and using my knees for balance.
Bad, bad idea.
Damn near took out a Mama Duck and her Feathered Offspring waddling across the road for a morning dip. I luckily saved the duck population, but lost the orange juice, chocolate milk, and some of the precious powdered doughnuts in the process to the quite dirty floorboard. There went the second attempt at breakfast on the road.
By the time I crossed over a bridge to the nearest road where I could attempt a cleanup, the sun had risen and was gently shaking all to life on such a glorious but dewy Sunday morning. It was still chilly...to my deep chagrin, Fall's been comin' on here in a hurry...so the cold orange juice splattered everywhere didn't set me in the best of moods at that moment. I bothered to stop cussing myself to stop mopping up the truck's bench seat, though, at some point to listen to the birds chirping away overhead. I stopped long enough take it all in and appreciate the beauty before me in all of its splendour...the birds spreading the news, the pine trees swaying in a light breeze, the nip in the air that made me thankful I'd brought along the heavier, quilted jacket.
And suddenly I turned around and looked to my left, back to the road and from whence I came before the Duck family appeared. I was immediately enraptured with Mother Nature all over again, especially as the new day's sun hit the water...and was quite thankful that Mama Duck & Company were enjoying this sight, too.