Thursday, May 18, 2017

Was Driving Ever Fun?

Cocooning at home avoids lots of the hassles of modern life - crowds and traffic high on the list. Hub and I spent the past few weeks cocooning, but now begin another travel adventure. And it starts with car travel. Driving. 

Driving almost anywhere anytime nowadays can be anything but a pleasant experience.

Decades ago a Sunday drive was a family adventure, a time to explore nature, enjoy a picnic, visit friends and relatives. Enjoyable, bucolic, fun...but was it really?

Looking back I realize it was not, at least for my family, all fun. My sister and I fought a lot in the car, and I am sure we drove my parents crazy. Luxury cars, or at least comfortable cruising vehicles, were not in my family's budget. Our cars were purchased for the lowest price, travel amenities not a priority. 

Too many people discovered the joys of escaping home. Roads clogged with eager vacationers anxious to reach their destination. Cities and states could not keep up with the demand for roads and sometimes new ones were jam-packed immediately upon opening.

Fast forward to the 21st century. The driving situation in many parts of the country has not improved. 

Hub and I took a short road trip a couple of days ago. Our saga of road obstruction is a sad one:

Ten minutes from home and before getting on the highway we were rerouted because of road construction. Creeping forward between orange triangles and flags, we lost time before finally entering the highway miles away at a different entrance.

Approaching the bridge into the city, moving trafffic slowed to a crawl. On the bridge I said to hub, "It's weird. I don't see any cars going in the other direction."

"Maybe nobody wants to go to Jersey today," was his response.

"Wait, I see a couple of cars..." and then spied the problem - an accident. Cars on our side of the bridge slowed to ogle the scene. Once past the accident, we were up to speed once again.

Stop and go traffic through the city is to be expected. Finally a sign appeared, 'Lancaster County,' and we breathed a sigh of relief. Almost at our destination. No more traffic.

I was wrong.  Like much of the country, Lancaster County PA is growing. More houses, more people, more cars, more commercial development, more retail stores, but no more roads. Suddenly an orange sign in the middle of the road announces: Incident Ahead. Then another sign: Detour Ahead. Road closed.

What the...?

Two accidents on a beautiful sunny day. No rain, no wet roads.

We inched our way through the countryside, although we could not see much because of the BFTs (trucks) in front of us. So much for pristine countryside.

And so our travels begin. 


  1. The roads around me are being worked on and when I am not trying to get out into the traffic, I am at home listening to the noise. Well, I wanted to be closer to town.

  2. Our trip anywhere around town right now is very frustrating, with all the construction and whatnot going on. I haven't been delayed because accidents (yet, knock wood). :-)

  3. I think a lot depends on where you're driving. Certainly where I am in L. A. County with freeways all around, they're much more congested -- seems always construction as they try to expand them to accommodate increased traffic. My drives into Orange County definitely are more impacted when I visit friends near the beach.

  4. I LOVE to drive above all else, and choose to do so on most vacations. But I dont live the getting out of the city part admittedy. And I usually choose back road.

  5. Just completed year one in a new family car. We put a grand total of 7,000 miles on it. We definitely are in cocoon mode as far as road trips go.