This is the followup to the previous part.
I like road trips so much that I like to think that had I been born in the US, as a kid I would have thought that I would be a truck driver when I grew up. Some kids in the US dream of becoming garbage truck drivers or train drivers. Not me. But thank goodness, I get to drive a lot for fun.
The latest road trip was required. I drove from Newark, DE, to Dallas, TX, via Atlanta, GA. The journey was in three parts. First, the shortest of the three was from Newark, DE, to Ashburn, VA. I met a huge amount of traffic and ended up doing a 3 hour journey in 4 and a half hour.
I have been visiting friends in Ashburn VA for years. I know the road like the back of my hands. Take I-95 South for a bit, then turn right on to I-695 for a bit, and then I-70 West for a bit, then head south on US-15. Here’s the route.
Here I should pause to explain another feature of the interstate numbering method. Generally, the major bits have single- or two-digit numbers. Such as I-5, I-10, I-95 etc. A road that forks off of a major road gets an additional digit at the front. So I-695, I-595, etc., means that they are off-shoots of 95. Another standard is that if the added number is even, it means the off-shoot road rejoins the main road after a bit. Therefore, if take I-695, you will get back to I-95 eventually. But if you take, say, I-580 (which is a spur off of I-80), then you will not rejoin I-80.
I should tell you that this is a personal journey log, and therefore it may be tiresome to some readers. I apologize for that.
My favorite road in the US has to be I-95. Growing up, I was a Simon & Garfunkel fan. I still am. One of the songs struck a cord with me: America. I will post that at the end of this piece. It has the words, “Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike / They’ve all come to look for America.”
I wanted so much to take the New Jersey Turnpike. And when I landed at JFK so many years ago, we took the NJT to New Brunswick where the Rutgers University campus is. In New Jersey, I-95 is the NJ turnpike. From NJ, I-95 enters Delaware, and it is called the Delaware Turnpike.
I have traveled nearly 90 percent of the total length of I-95 which goes from Maine (the northern most state of the contiguous US) to the state of Florida, a distance of over 3,000 kms.
OK, back to my journey. I reached Ashburn a bit tired because of the delays. Getting around Baltimore, MD, is always a bit of a pain as it is always busy. The Baltimore-Washington D.C. area is really densely populated.
That was last week Thursday. Friday was a rest day. Saturday I got back on the road quite early around 8 AM. My destination was Atlanta, GA. Distance: a bit short of 1,000 kms. Here’s the map.
The first part was on US-29 South, and then I-85 South at Greensboro, NC. That drive took me nearly 12 hours. Part of the reason was a bit of traffic delays, but the major part was that I was indeed driving a bit below the speed limit. I had a bag on top of the car, and that induced drag. That really depressed my gas mileage by around 20 percent. So I drove around 100 kmph, instead of 120 kmph.
A quick note here. In the US, we use the British System, not the SI system that the rest of the world follows. So we have pounds, miles, and gallons; not kilos, meters and liters. Go figure. But since most of my readers are non-US people, I figured I’d use SI measures.
I use a simple thumb rule to convert between miles and kilometers. Approximately, 6 miles is 10 kms, and 10 miles is 16 kms. And a gallon, to a first approximation, is 4 liters (closer to 3.8 liters.)
I reached Atlanta GA around 8 PM on Saturday the 17th. Then, Sunday, I rested (like you know who.) The next part of the journey began really early on Monday. But that bit I will do tomorrow.
Now, here’s the S&G song, America. Enjoy.