April 20, 2012, Ocala, Fl. 8:00pm.
Monday I left LA for Las Vegas - no not to make a deposit with the locals but to spend a day at NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) - looking at the new toys and spending time with son Steven - exhibiting their video truck.
Tuesday over the hill to meet I40 - my selected route to the east coast. As I crossed the new bridge over the Colorado I reflected on THE dam and the tole it inflicted on those who built it. On to Williams (there is a Starbucks at the local supermarket). Some snow still on the ground from the weekend storm. A beautiful desert day concluding in Albuquerque.
On the road at 4:30 am - miles to make. Another beauty! Crossing the continental divide - I felt the car surge forward as we raced down hill to the Mississippi. The panhandle was soon behind and Oklahoma loomed in the windshield. Ahhh the wind whipping over the plain kept me awake all afternoon. I made a short stop to visit historic Ft. Reno in eastern OK. There were signs of spring with wild flowers peeking out in the center dividers. As the sun set in the west I checked into an abode in Ft Smith, AK. Boy I was surprised by the size of the Arkansas River.
Thursday was another sparkling day - the further east the more the trees reflected their summer fare. Mid way across Arkansas the rolling hills began to flatten soon disappearing into the huge delta. Before noon I finally coasted across the mighty Mississippi - I learned to water ski in her muddy waters above St. Louis a year or so ago. ;-) By the time I reached Atlanta for the night I had crossed Arkansas, spent a few miles in Tennessee, crossed Mississippi as well as Alabama and a touch of Georgia.
On the road at 6:30 headed south to Ocala. This was the first day that did not sparkle - it was overcast until I reached south Georgia and Florida. I took a side trip to visit the site of the Civil War prison at Andersonville, GA. A national cemetery and the Prisoner of War Museum are also on the grounds. A sobering place to say the least. Finally the beautiful weather changed - temps at 91 and humidity nearly the same shouted out - YOU are in Florida as I opened the door in Ocala. Tomorrow morning the Don Garlits' museum of drag racing and then on to Tampa. After dinner I'll join fellow Conference Lay Leaders in worship for the start of our annual meeting.
I love the diversity and the beauty of our land as it flows past me on the road. Always changing, always different. I hope and pray that the General Conference session will be just as beautiful and changing as my tour.