We began the first leg of our annual summer trek up to Maine withe a drive from our house in northern Virginia to Saratoga Springs. We’ve generally been very lucky with this drive. We’ve made it to just across the New York border in Rockland County in just over 4 hours in the past. Yesterday, was not our lucky day as far as traffic was concerned.
We decided to leave at 11 am to try to push through Newark, NJ before rush hour. I think everyone else in the D.C. area had the same idea. As soon as we slid onto the Beltway, we were mired in traffic. That didn’t last too long. The next batch of traffic we hit was in Delaware, not uncommon, but we usually miss it. We hit the really whopper of traffic somewhere around Exit 7 or Exit 8 on the New Jersey Turnpike. Over the course of an hour, I think we made it 17 miles. When we turned onto the Garden State Parkway, things were clear for a while, and then, right around Newark, rush hour was in full force and slowed us down once again.
We stopped for dinner near my old stomping ground in Spring Valley, NY. The last leg of the drive, to Saratoga Springs, was traffic-free. That said, we didn’t arrive at our hotel until almost 9:30 pm. Considering that we left at 11 am, that was a lot of traffic. Without traffic, that trip can be done 3 hours faster.
We spent today with old friends in Saratoga Springs, walking around Congress Park, eating lunch at the Circus Cafe, visiting the Children’s Museum, and finally capping things off with some hard-earned Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. I’ve known my friend for 27 years. We went to high school together, and it was fun to watch our own kids play together.
Tomorrow, we leave early (as in between 6 and 7 am) for Maine, where we will be staying though the Fourth of July. The GPS wants to take us down to the Mass Pike, but I managed to wrangle it into taking us through some smaller roads in southern Vermont and New Hampshire so that we can cover territory the kids have never been through before. I can’t imagine the traffic on those roads will be anything like we encountered yesterday on the interstates.