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There are days when no matter my disdain for the big highways, I dutifully climb the ramp and take my place between a pair of deafening 18-wheelers. Because people are awaiting me, and no tale of back road intrigue will excuse my being two hours late for supper.

Even still, right around 6 p.m., I often find one hand tugging instinctively at the wheel, pulling me onto the spider roads where magic can be found on every small town corner. It's a golden hour, and a blessed reprieve, from the concrete river where the big boats sail impassively into the setting sun.

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The Greatest Hour
September 2009