Have old wheels, will travel

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 20, 2007

My job at this newspaper includes a lot of traveling to exotic places where the vistas are life-changing the effects are ever-lasting.

Well, OK, not really. But there has been some mileage put on my 13-year-old set of wheels.

In the short time I’ve been here I’ve experienced an industrial complex in Suffolk and a neighborhood in Virginia Beach, been to Smithfield and Boykins, from Wakefield to Drewryville.

During those trips, there have been grand openings, football games, outdoor barbecues, an old-time festival, football games, county fair queen contests and football games.

You know how business travelers complain about being “on the road” and how every airport looks the same after awhile?

They’ve got nothing on those of us who cover communities for community newspapers.

I think the most remote trip I’ve taken since I’ve been here was last week. I somehow found my way to Blackstone for the Isle of Wight Academy/Kenston Forest football game.

A drive to Blackstone probably doesn’t seen like a big deal to longtime residents here, but throw in a steady rain storn at dusk on a two-lane road I’ve never traveled and it seems like quite the trip tome.

IWA has played three games so far this season: The first in the searing heat of an August afternoon in Virginia Beach. The second on a warm, breezy evening at home, and the last one on a wet field a long way from home.

To a newcomer, Blackstone is a piece of work. There are signs advising drivers of several “tank crossings” across Route 40 not far from town. (What are drivers supposed to do in that situation?)

Part of town is being renovated and there are detours throughout town, which makes it hard to get directions. “Go to Rubin’s house and take a right, then a left once to cross a little hill.” I got lost and was late.

But what another glamorous adventure in the fast-paced world of travel.

Paul McFarlane is the Editor of The Tidewater News. His e-mail is paul.mcfarlane@tidewaternews.com.