love & strife in times of coronavirus 2 – northbound

We are truly at a crossroads: freedom or slavery, New Oxford, PAAmerica has descended into some of the darkest days of its history.

It is not due to the bug, but rather the purposes to which the bug was used.

Long drives into the unknown clearly evidence two Americas: one we all know and love, and another characterized by unrecognizable states of fear, coercion, and repression.

Feminist and life-long Democrat Naomi Wolf has noticed the same in travels through the western U.S. The coastal states have become fear-based and authoritarian, where parents no longer have jurisdiction over their children (when it comes to shots, masks, schooling), and dictatorial emergency powers are forever.  Crossing into Western red states, she immediately feels the old freedom – in places she until recently thought of as the enemy camp.  Wolf, who supported the Biden takeover, now recognizes her massive mistake.

Here my fearless Border Patrol dog, Zeno, and I ascend into the cooling reaches of the Blue Ridge Mountains, long our favorite retreat, and continue north well inland (along the upper Appalachian spine) to avoid the terrorized coastal Northeast for a bit longer.  [Please hover over images for captions.]

About ben

Ben Batchelder has traveled some of the world's most remote roads. Nothing in his background, from a degree in Visual & Environmental Studies at Harvard to an MBA from Wharton, adequately prepared him for the experiences. Yet he persists, for through such journeys life unfolds. Having published four books that map the inner and exterior geographies of meaningful travel, he is a mountain man in Minas Gerais, Brazil who comes down to the sea at Miami Beach, Florida. His second travel yarn, To Belém & Back, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. For more, visit

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