Monday, October 22, 2012

Early Departure

Tappan Zee Bridge, January 11, 2012, 4:54 AM
I decided to get an early start on my day this morning, and was on the road around 5:30.

And I loved it.

This is one of the ways I love to travel.  I have a system (patent pending) for my trips to the south, for instance.  I know that if I'm on the road by 5:30 AM, I can pretty much avoid the New York rush hour.  I'll be around Philadelphia (either on I-295 or the NJ Turnpike) between, say, 7:30-8:00.  Dicey, to be sure, but if I take the right roads then there is no problem.  The right road is the Turnpike, but I've grown annoyed at paying tolls.  After that, I'm into Delaware by 8:30...Baltimore by 9:30...and crossing the Wilson Bridge into Virginia at 10:30.  My only traffic concern is construction (of which there is much in the Washington area on I-95), but if I'm heading towards Richmond or beyond, I'm strolling into town by 12:30 (and that's WITH stops).

That was a huge digression, but it felt oh-so-good to type.

Plus, and let me be clear about this, I love it when it is dark.  I want to watch the sun come up, not leave as it's coming up.  Big difference.  One more thing about traveling far south is, back in the day of the family trip to Florida, we could be getting into the car wearing winter coats, and getting out without them.

Early morning travel is not great for a road enthusiast who loves to take pictures (exhibit A is above).  Here's another one...
Approaching the Pennsylvania/Delaware border at approximately 7:00 AM.  Cool effect, I guess.
And as the sun comes up, well, I guess it's visually interesting but not quite right.
Glasgow, DE.  Approximately 7:45 AM.  We road enthusiasts are kind of fond of this intersection.
Yet, I'll take this over anything.  I've told Lisa, and I'll stand by it, that my favorite part of the trip I took to Charleston back in January, was the drive (which these pictures are from).  That's no offense to anyone, or anyplace.  I just loved getting out and on the road at four in the morning.  Loved keeping little notes for mileage and time (I found that if I had made no stops that day, I would have made it to Charleston in about 13 and a half hours).  Loved visiting Richmond - not long enough.  Loved the freedom, and only wanted company with the right person.  Sean is a very good companion, for the most part.  I'm looking forward to a big drive with Lisa one day.

Anyway, there's something wonderful about the early morning road.  Especially when it is quiet.  A Sunday morning can be so serene.  I really enjoy that.  Just me - and the opportunity to count the number of other cars that I see.  Plus that little ol' wireless device.  You might have heard of it: a radio.  Specifically, an AM radio.

Back in the days when I used to fill-in doing the news on WGCH, my early morning drive to Greenwich could have me spinning the dial to listen to WSB in Atlanta, or KMOX in St. Louis.  Perhaps Chicago, Charlotte, Montreal, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, or other far off points.  Of course, there's also Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, and Boston.  They're quite easy to pick up.  This morning, it was Cincinnati on "The Big One", WLW (700).  Why them?  They were talking about their Bengals, who lost Steelers last night.

So yeah, that made for happy listening.

This morning was a tease, just as it was in the recent times that I've been on the road early.  The road isn't long enough on these early trips.  The promise of heading out for...who knows tantalizing.  That feeling of a clean car (clean windows!), having things set just right, and setting off with very few others on the road is a warm thought.

It will happen.

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