Monday, December 10, 2007

Travelin' North pt1

On this past Thursday evening, Maggie and I were discussing the possibilities of Meself traveling north to RI to see my friends and family. She would be unable to go because of work commitments. I shrugged and said "I 'spose". Don't mistake this response for a lack of interest in seeing my family. The lack of uummpph in my reply is a direct link to my feelings on driving for four plus hours. It is an easy enough ride. The NJ Turnpike to 95 north to exit 10 in RI and from there Mims house is just about 20 minutes towards the shore.

I got on the NJTP about 1030 and found the roads were dry and relatively traffic-free. Now the problem with this drive is New York City, which I pass through. Actually it's the 'George'. The George Washington Bridge. The bridge is an impressive span of concrete and steel and I feel it is very safe, as it was built by mostly Irish. The problem is that about 346 lanes of traffic from throughout New Jersey and New York merge into about eight, and then down to four lanes to cross the bridge. If you do not get there at precisely the correct time, you. are. fucked. We sat for an hour once coming back from RI at the exit to the bridge. It took us an hour to get to the freakin bridge! Last time we came up same thing. So I'm always wary. This day however, I was lucky to catch one of the large flashing highway traffic advisory signs. The sign read as follows. 'MASSIVE GRIDLOCK. NYC.USE MASS TRANSIT DUMMIES. Okay, the word dummies wasn't there but whoa be thee who did not heed that sign. I was, lucky enough, approaching exit 10. I jumped of the NJTP and got onto rte 287. Route 287 is about 45 minutes longer but it is pleasing visually and traffically (I just made that word up. feel free to use it). I cruised along at about 80 the whole way to RI and given that I added about 56 miles to my trip, I still arrived in an impressive 4 hours and 20 minutes. ZoomZooom.Zoom.

I make my ritual pitstop at the large service area at about exit 15 or so. Its got a McDonalds and a few other things. I make the bladder gladder and grab a wormburger from the Golden Arches and hit the road.

The worse part of this trip is the trip through Connecticut. It's pretty enough but it is a loooong ride and there is always construction going on somewhere. Giving headaches to motorists year-round. I notice soon enough the flashing highway sign warning of construction and a slow down between exits 21 and 18. im guessing that this is about a nine mile stretch of road. Sure enough the right lane is closed and we all crawl along. I see no sign of contruction vehicles for miles. I curse and curse and curse some more. Finally after 7 miles I spot the signs of construction. A backhoe in the road ahead. Many anger is amplified when I pass the "construction site". A backhoe, sitting idling. Three guys drinknig coffee staring at a hole in the fucking road. Honest. Me and the 80 year old woman in the Caddy next to me are shaking our heads. We exchange a look that says 'Come on, you and me, we'll fix that shit in ten minutes.' She nods understanding and creeps ahead.

Another bad thing about Connecticut is the lack of radio stations. I did get lucky and find a college radio station ( I love college radio btw) and they were playing, apporpriately enough, some good blues. Blues make you feel good. Like your shit you got goin' on aint so bad. Plus yo baby still at home wif your dog. anyways.

I cruise along in the rain, listening to Howlin' Wolf and Amos Milburn, who's just beggin' whiskey to let him go home.
The miles click by and soon I spot the sign that welcomes travelers to Rhode Island, and as I do, the rain changes to snow and a feeling of familiarity comes over me.

No comments: