Thursday, August 16, 2012

Diamonds in the rough day on the 95 corridor

10 hours to make the 470 odd miles from Princeton to Chapel Hill, though we admittedly had lovely Banh Mi (Vietnamese sandwiches -- I didn't know the term earlier in the day either -- luckily Mary did) in Newark Delaware. The story of how we ended up there is key.

I have long hated the stretch of 95 between Baltimore and the Delaware Memorial Bridge.  It's one of just a few places on the East Coast 95 corridor through the heavily populated portion of the US, roughly Richmond to Boston, where 95 is the only major road, with no redundant alternate routes:  the others are between Richmond and Alexandria and between New Haven, CT and Providence, RI.  All three of these places suck for traffic, because people are just stuck on them.

But today we got caught in traffic near Newark, DE, and I could see on the traffic layer of the navigation app on my phone (Android, I understand iPhones are weaker in this regard) that the traffic extended for miles out, and the Maryland highway radio confirmed that it was on account of an accident. So I decided to get off the highway for gas and lunch.  Then I dug into my trunk for my 1995 Rand/McNally atlas, complete with duct tape on the spine, and saw that route 273 ran through rural Maryland parallel to 95, some 5-7 miles north of the road of dread. So we took it, then found the Banh Mi.  And while people on 95 sat in traffic in heat, we went 50-55 through beautiful countryside eating roast pork with spicy mayo, cucumber, and cilantro.  Killer. And as a topper we went over the Conowingo Dam over the Susquehanna River, complete with a hydroelectric plant, not an everyday site.

Later, in Virginia, I used route 1 to get around traffic on 95.  Some of that went well, other parts, less well.

And at the end we went to Bullock's in Durham and got even more pig.  All told, a good day.

And, in the future, I have an alternate route for 95 in Maryland, which is a great blessing indeed.

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