I made another trip to Stow to visit Brandi last night, and thus another trip back to Toledo this morning. This, of course, meant another $9.60 in tolls ($4.80 each way, for 128 miles) and another four hours spent on the Ohio Turnpike.
I've paid a pretty significant amount of money in tolls since Brandi moved to Stow, but I find that I don't mind so much. I think the tolls help to keep the traffic down, as people find alternate routes to avoid paying if possible. That makes for a more pleasant drive. They also take really good care of the turnpike, which has been a definite plus this winter. There was never much fear of being unable to make the drive due to snow or ice, because the road crews are always out in force whenever there's a threat of adverse conditions. Also--and I have no idea if this is toll-related or not, although I tend to think it is, at least to a point--there generally aren't too many state troopers checking your speed on the turnpike. Besides being able to worry a little less about being pulled over myself, this is another factor that helps traffic flow much more quickly.
One thing that is clear on these frequent trips is that spring is definitely approaching. As we get closer to the Spring Equinox (one month from this coming Friday), I'm doing less and less driving in the dark. The days are getting longer: the sun is setting later and rising earlier, and I have a chance to mark the changes since I make this drive in the evenings and mornings.
I'm glad to be doing more of the drive under the sunlight. Driving in the dark doesn't bother me per se, but in the daylight there's more to see. Some may not consider the plains of northern Ohio to be all that scenic, but I happen to enjoy it quite a bit.
One thing I saw yesterday--something else that indicates the coming of spring--was birds. A lot of birds. At one point, I saw two flocks of Canadian geese flying next to each other. Canadian geese always fly in a V-formation, which fascinates me. These two flocks were next to each other, and some individual birds on the fringes of each flock kept switching back and forth, and the formations kept re-forming to accommodate them. It was quite a sight.
To me, there's just something cool about being able to look out over the flatlands when the sun is rising or setting. You can see pretty far, and the horizon is filled with color. In Ohio, you look out over a lot of farmland and small towns--plenty of country roads and water towers. I like that; it's peaceful.
Of course, I have a thing for the sky, especially during dusk or dawn. The layers of color just blow me away. The setting sun was glowing a fierce red in my rearview mirror as I drove east last night. The swirls of cloud running through everything just put on the finishing touches. This is the sort of thing I would love to be able to take photographs of. Unfortunately, driving along at 70 mph (this number has been changed to protect the innocent) barely offers me enough time to look around, let alone take pictures.
For more thoughts inspired by the Ohio Turnpike, check out this post.