Alexandria, Va., to Oldwick, N.J.

Most of the middle of the continent is empty enough that driving can be a pleasure: you can actually look at the scenery without having to worry about looking out for other cars. But today, we drove through the northeastern U.S. megalopolis: one big city after another, the roads always full of cars, I had to concentrate all my attention on driving. But when we pulled in to one rest area along the New Jersey Turnpike, my friend E and I both pulled out our cameras to take a photo of the rest area building painted bright red and vivid green, with a tall greenish water tower behind it, and fluffy white clouds floating in a bright blue sky above.