Secretly, I have always wanted to be a Southerner, one who is born from the South. Sadly, I was born above the Mason-Dixon line and don’t get to have such an honor but I figure I can always visit. Or live there as my stupid hopeful plans go for the next year or so. When I set out last Thursday for a 8 hour drive to Winston-Salem North Carolina, the sun was bright and the weather forecast was promising for the trip: 85 degree weather with clear skies. Car packed, lunch waiting for 1pm, plenty of liquids and music, I headed west on I-78 over dry asphalt and then south on I-81.
The camera I brought with me was a rental from a work, a Nikon D3 with a massive 14-24mm lens. It is a bulky and heavy set-up and though I was tempted to shoot on the way down through my car window, careening into the side of one of the many tractor trailers that I was traveling with wasn’t exactly appealing. Which is why there are no photographs until I actually got to North Carolina.
That said, crossing the Mason-Dixon line was strange and anti-climatic. It is marked mostly by the Mason-Dixon Auto Auction, the Mason-Dixon Road and a rectangular green sign, posted on either sides of the highway. While I have been south before in my life, I was less cognizant of the impact of that line and when I did finally cross it for the first time in my adult life, the impact was underwhelming. The changes in the land didn’t come until I was well into West Virigina and even then they were subtle; from the change in land use by the sides of the highway (rolling, wide fields versus rocky, steep pastures) to the blue highway signs advertising fast food (Wendys’ versus Bo’jangles) were the only indicators that I was below the line of demarcation between North and South.