Sunday, January 11, 2009

Road Trip: Boston to Baltimore

So, again, like a dumbass, I have to get out of bed at oh-dark-thirty, leaving behind a perfectly warm and sleepy wife, and drive off into the incredibly poorly-plowed snow. The worst part of road tripping through a decidedly decent snowfall is the dread. Actually driving through it... well...

0600: start the truck, brush off snow from truck and wife's car.
0610: return to kitchen, grab sea bag and laptop bag
0615: return to kitchen, grab case of diet pepsi and lunch box (Thanks honey!)
0620: return to kitchen, kiss wife and boy goodbye. Also, grab trash on the way out.
0625: we're off! All lights green, the truck tracking nicely despite the iffy secondary road conditions. Roads improve considerably once we're on the state roads.
0635: MA highway rt. 24 looks pretty good. Bump truck up to 40. It's quiet.
0650: I-95, the aorta of the Eastern seaboard, is a living hell. It's fairly quiet, and the plows obviously haven't had the blades down all the way. There's a skin of ice. Thanks, MassHighway!
0651: say a quick prayer, smile at the thought of the half ton of sand bagged up in the bed of the truck. Truck is fishtailing mildly at 35 mph. So far so good. I get paid to mitigate, so this is my compromise speed.
0730: Foxboro, MA. Idiot in a shitbox subaru cuts me off. Bad. Rear end drifts, controlled skidding, and I narrowly avoid rear-ending the idiot. Why does every idiot with 50 bumper stickers always drive a shitbox Subaru? It must be nice to be super liberal. Their thoughts are so perfectly identical that they can buy bumper stickers that perfectly express their opinions to the world. Why don't we ever see a conservative driving a hooptie with 50 bumper stickers advocating death to the opposite political party?

0745: cross into RI. Road conditions improve. I see my first plow of the day, then dozens in the next few minutes. Where are the Mass guys?

0755: pass a spun-out Isuzu SUV. Should have thought about that before you cancelled Christmas for an American family! When you build a truck with a compact car frame...

0800: seriously, why is the ride through Providence a series of turns? First one way, then the other, and the odd 90-degree turn... white knuckle time.

0830: rural RI is pretty and pristine. Slush in road now. This is good. Accelerate to 50 along with traffic.

0900: Ah, Connecticut! The very first time I'm happy to see that place. Proof that I'm making my southing.
1000: Fuck, this is a long ride through CT. The roads are now wet with no slush. Accelerate to highway speed. Note to self: Those expensive Rain-X windshield wipers are a total waste. Friggin' things are smearing the mung on my windshield, rather than removing it. Oh, and 1.99 gas on the highway. 30 cent difference if one can wait 45 minutes and get it in NJ. 35 gallon tank and you start to think like that.
1100: An observation: When you get within commuting distance to NYC, you start to see people in luxery sedans driving in the fast lane at 55mph on a 65 road. And they won't give you a courtesy pass, either. I already know that there's no way they're moving out of the lane. It's their lane. Only one thing to do. Get in front of them, and slow down to 35mph. Uh Oh! Somebody's mad! They had to turn off the cruise control! Now they stomp the gas, but Oh, noes, it doesn't worx like that. 2 ton truck needs an engine with a little boom in the room. No passing this cowboy until 20 cars have passed. Start counting. One, two, three... 5 minutes later and I can see the driver foaming at the mouth. I flash the "One minute" finger, but since it's sore, I use the one next to it, and accelerate away. I do this twice in CT. The time passes nicely. I am the male version of Miss Manners today.
1200: The fastest ride through NY ever. Never even went under 35 on the GW bridge approches! NJ Turnpike and cheap gas, along with a much needed pee. 48 OZ of diet pepsi and 2 cans of Monster energy drink, and I'm sloshing when I walk. I am also tweaking like a mad bastard.
1415: $9.05 for driving through New Jersey? They should be paying ME to be here! Christ. On the upside, I passed 20 miles of stopped traffic on the northbound lane at one point. At least my side is moving.
1430: $4 to cross a bridge and traverse 5 miles of Delaware. Then another $2 before you can get into Maryland 5 miles down the road. Need to pee again, and at $1 a mile toll, you think the fuckers could spring for a damn steamroller on this road. It's like the Mogul trail at Sunday River.

1500: I spent about 20 minutes fixing my printer yesterday to download a nice route map for myself, and I realize now that I don't need it at all. I know the whole voyage. MD has some odd interchanges. At one point I'm getting off 95 towards 695, then I'm on 95 again. Sometimes when I take this road I take one tunnel, and sometimes another. Strange. Yet I've never been lost, and I've never been able to figure out what I'm doing to take 2 differint routes at the Baltimore/Annapolis interchanges.
1530: I'm here! And no one else is apparently. I don't see another guest for almost an hour. It's sunny and much warmer. Light sweather weather. Amazing what a drive can do.

1 comment:

Bill Elms said...

don't make fun of the crazy turns in providence! seriously it's makes for fun rides home at night bombing through the pawtucket 's' curves! just how the interstate should be! glad at least there were some plows out to greet you. man i miss road trippin'. 59 days and i'll be doing on down the left coast! YEAH BABY!!!