Friday, October 16, 2009

Greetings from... Maryland!

It was about 3:30 Thursday afternoon (October 8th) when I put Leominster behind me, picking up I190 a bit to the south. I think I've mentioned this before, but I really do not enjoy driving on the Interstate highways! But I said I'd be at my aunt's place in Maryland (just north of Washington D.C.) by Friday evening. I wanted to avoid the New York City area so the projected route (I190, I90, I84, I81, I83) would take me through Massachusetts, western Connecticut, the southern tip of New York state, central Pennsylvania, and into Maryland.

My timing couldn't have been worse. I got into Worcester at the beginning of rush hour! And got to Hartford, Connecticut a bit later but still during rush hour. Nearing Danbury, Connecticut at 7 pm I was thankful that I wasn't heading east on I84 – there had been an accident and traffic was backed up for miles! Four hours driving on the Interstate was enough for me and I stopped for the night.

Friday morning saw a thick layer of clouds totally blocking out the sun and sky. About an hour after heading out, the rain started falling. A steady drizzle that lasted all morning. It didn't take long to get through the southern tip of New York but I was glad when I did. Gasoline in New York was $2.79 a gallon and though the tank was getting low I was hoping it would be less expensive in Pennsylvania. I made it to Matamoras PA with two gallons to spare where gas was only $2.45 a gallon.

Road construction and heavy traffic near Wilkes Barre created a delay of more than an hour. I've been pretty lucky thus far and this was the first really long traffic delay I'd had. Then going through Harrisburg was just awful. Stop and go traffic for about half an hour. But by then it had stopped raining and the sun came out once again. All in all the rain and traffic made for a long and horrendous drive through Pennsylvania. The delays meant that I arrived in Baltimore at about 5 o'clock – the height of the rush hour. Ugh!

About five miles north of the I695 interchange, traffic came to a screeching halt. It was essentially a very, very slow moving parking lot. It took about an hour and a half to travel the few miles to I95. Eventually though I did make it to my aunt's place – at about 7:30 Friday evening. And I must say, I was quite relieved and happy to get here!


GrannyPam said...

Any time I've been anywhere near I-95 in any state is has been a parking lot. Glad you are there safe and sound.

Greta Koehl said...

Welcome to the DC area! The jam you hit in Pennsylvania sounds like the one we got caught in returning from Philadelphia last Monday - a tractor trailer overturned on 495 and no traffic could get through. They closed off the highway behind us and after about an hour the police started having the cars and trucks turn around and go back to where they could shunt us off to Route 13. Crazy!

Thomas MacEntee said...

Ugh - so sorry to hear about the rough trip! Matamoras PA is not far from where I grew up in New York - in fact Port Jervis NY is nearby and is where NY NJ and PA converge.

And it isn't surprising that gas was much cheaper in PA - we always used to "cross the border" into PA for cheap gas.

Abba-Dad said...

I have a couple of quick tips for your roadtrip:

1. Always buy premium gasoline, no matter the price - you will get much better gas mileage and it will work out to be a huge savings in the end.

2. The Interstate system has some easy rules. I5-I95 are North-South routes that start on the west coast and end in the east. I10-I90 are East-West routes that start in the south and go north. Three digit routes: If the start with an odd number are one directional and will end in a city or main route (thing I575 will merge into I75). If even number it will go around a city (think I285 going around Atlanta, starting and ending at I85).

Safe travels! I am really enjoying following along this amazing road trip.

Becky said...

Thanks everyone. I think I'm done with Interstates for a while ;-) at least I hope so!

Abba-Dad, thanks for the tips regarding the Interstates, though it doesn't help me like them any better! As far as I'm concerned, they are only good for getting from point A to point B. I've tried to avoid them as much as possible.