The Long and Winding Road: MFA Road Trip Day 1

Posted: July 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

Hey all! Since I’m embarking upon the journey towards my second master’s degree starting this weekend, I felt it was the right move to be writing about the process. I’ll be starting at Ashland University this summer, which features a low-residency MFA program. I’ll be focusing on poetry writing, and I’m super excited to announce that by the end of all this (July 2015), I’ll have complete a full-length book of poetry, which is really cool. In any respect, my goal is to blog as much as I can through this process, but especially as close to daily as possible during the residencies, which take place during a two-week period of each summer (the final one, in the aforementioned July 2015, will mostly be about me defending my thesis project). As this is the first, I decided to kick things off tonight.

I decided to cut the trip into two days because the check-in for tomorrow is between 12-6 and I figured the drive was just long enough that if anything went wrong I’d be late. So I booked a hotel just outside of Columbus, OH, which is about an hour’s drive from Ashland, and left about 10:40 this morning from my apartment in Charlotte. I got through North Carolina  just fine, arriving in Virginia at around 12:30, but this is when things started to go bad.

A sign warned me that there was an accident at mile marker 22, so I expected a bit of a delay; however, traffic stopped moving around mile marker 14 and proceeded to slink along for the next 8-10 miles at a ridiculous pace. An hour or so later, I got out of the jam, now almost three hours into a supposedly 7-hour trip. After moving along for a little while, I saw another warning on a sign for yet another accident, this time at mile marker 66. Once again, the traffic started several miles before the posted marker. In all, it was almost 3-o-clock by the time I got to West Virginia, a trip that shouldn’t have taken more than an hour and a half tops. So here I am, 4 hours into the trip, and I’ve still got 4 hours left.

After a quick stop for a late lunch (there aren’t a whole lot of food options while stuck in traffic), I finally make it into Ohio about 5:30, the original time my Google Maps app told me I’d arrive in Columbus. Two hours to go. 33 West turns out to be an odd road through the southern part of Ohio, changing from a 55-mile-per-hour two lane highway, to a 55-mile-per-hour 4 lane highway, to a 35-mile-per-hour trip through a little town.

Finally, I arrived in Dublin, just north of Columbus, checked into my hotel and kicked back. I’m excited to get up tomorrow and complete the drive to Ashland and start to meet the people that will help to shape the next two years of my life.

God bless,

Robert

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