Monday, January 09, 2012

Maybe a New "Exit 55" Sign Will Be Found

Photo by my sister, taken in 1985 on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway near BWI Airport.  That's my dad in the driver's seat.  I think this was actually a test shot, but who am I to complain?

I'm excited to say that, for the first time in a long time, I'm hitting the road for a good old-fashioned road trip very soon!

My love of the road is pretty well-documented (I'll go out on a limb and say you knew that already). But of recent times, road trips were generally to places like Reading, PA (within three hours driving time of Mahopac or Brooklyn) and Albany, NY (about two hours from me). Even Boston and Philadelphia are only about three hours or so.

Don't get me wrong, that's not a complaint. Yet I haven't done the longer trip - along the lines of Richmond (seven hours - six if conditions are perfect) since 2009. But that ends this week when I head for Charleston, SC, where Carrie will be attending a conference.

I haven't driven beyond Richmond since 1991. Driving between New York and Florida was an Adams Family (SNAP! SNAP!) tradition, first between 1969 and 1975, then between 1980 and 1986, with one last drive in 1989 (when my mother, brother and I drove nonstop...ugh). So parts of this trip will be like a stroll down memory expressway.

For the road enthusiast in me, I will look forward to seeing the rebuilt service area in Delaware, the tunnels of Baltimore, skirting DC on the Beltway and checking up on the constant construction south of DC (which I'll likely get suck in). I'll enjoy seeing Main Street Station in Richmond, and the myriad South of the Border billboards (and yes, I'll stop at SOB). It's hard to describe the other things. Some of them will be new to the eye, while others will be just...things. Road folks know what I mean.

I will stop will be the aforementioned R-VA for a possible lunch or visit with the webmaster of Vintage Richmond himself, Mr. Jon (who just posted a picture of Elvis in the coffee shop at the Jefferson Hotel in 1956). That will be nice.

I intend to make Charleston that night, so moving along will be important. I'll need nice weather, decent traffic, a good set of wheels, and minimal breaks (other than Richmond).

I'll meet up with Carrie in Charleston and will enjoy the sites of the South before we begin our trip back north. Carrie is a great traveling companion because we share the same kind of interest in the culture and intrigue of unique sites on the road.

As for finding a new "Exit 55" sign, yes, it's very likely. I know there are a few between here and there. Now I just need my camera!

It's quite possible that I will use Twitter or the blog or Facebook or all of the above during the trip...or NONE of the above. So stay tuned...or not.

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