On traffic

Well, I didn't find any time to write anything while in North Carolina. Instead, I read 2.5 books (more on that to come), took a couple of mid-afternoon naps, lazed on the beach, swam in the ocean, and ate yummy seafood and BBQ.

However, I am now back in the centre of Pennsylvania. Time to wash the sand out of the clothes, catch the cats up from their attention deficit, and then head back to the office.

The trip back was crazy. Shan and I stopped off in Williamsburg, VA to visit Johnny & Tricia, so we drove about 3 hours from Corolla to their place, had dinner, stayed overnight, then left their place around 2pm. We had about 350 miles ahead of us, so we figured 6 - 7 hours. Unfortunately, we immediately hit stop & go traffic on I-95 north of Richmond. After realizing it wasn't going to abate, we got on route 1 and took it to Fredericksburg to route 17. Then, we took 17 to Winchester and I-81, and figured the slowdown was past. Unfortunately, just past Martinsburg in WV, I-81 came to a complete stop. This was partially caused by one of my major pet peeves -- we were merging from 3 lanes to 2 lanes, and everyone in the lane that was ending was racing up to the front of the line, bringing everyone else to a crawl or a stop when they eventually were forced to merge. I was in this lane, and tried to merge in as soon as I realized my lane was ending, but it seemed like the semis were doing their best to prevent this, they were keeping on each other's bumper, not letting anyone over. Eventually, I squeezed in, and Shannon and I got off on route 11 in WV, and spent an hour wending our way back to I-81 in Hagerstown. I think we went all of about 10-12 miles in that hour.

We picked up I-81 just before the PA state line, and again, just because of the volume of cars (why was everyone going North on Sunday the 27th, anyway?) it was difficult to maintain the speed limit. We oscillated between about 50 and 65. Finally, when we hit Harrisburg and picked up route 322, did the traffic abate and we were able to just drive without interference back to State College. Just to put a bow on the frustration of this particular road trip, someone was going 30 mph on 322 for the last 5 miles before Boalsburg. There were about 10 of us stuck behind this particular person, and they didn't pull over or otherwise try to let the people interested in doing the speed limit by, so we were delayed an additional 10 minutes or so at the very end of this trip.

All in all, it took just under 8 hours to go 350 miles, mostly on interstates. The traffic was ridiculous, and needless to say, I'm finally happy to be home and happy I didn't get run off the road or rear-ended during the trip.


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