To New Jersey and Beyond

It has been said, and I certainly can't argue the point that interstate highways have made driving nothing but a chore with each interstate looking the same. We are so wrapped up in getting to where we are going, we don't see where we are.

Throughout the years I have been driving for a living, I have always tried to see what the road is going through. Even at night you can pick out little things here and there which can make each road it's own place. 

After crossing the Tappan Zee, we headed down I-287 then headed west on I-78. While I was headed along at a brisk pace, I couldn't remember if I have ever driven on this particular interstate. I I had i couldn't remember where I was going or from where I had been, andt,  as it was dark there wasn't much to see. No landmarks I could pick out which would have jarred my memory, no unique buildings I could make out, nothing but the red dots in front of me and the white, sometimes blue orbs, headed towards me. The closer I came to Pennsylvania, the hills were higher and soon I could make out silhouettes of mountains in the distance. Black mounds rising to the sky, not the Rockies, or even the Blue Ridge Mountains which I would see later in the day, but smooth, rounded top hills. Perusing the map today, the one I saw on the left was probably Musconetcong Mountain and Pohatcong Mountain on the right. I will have to try to come through here in the day sometime, to see what they look like in the light. Evidently there are some old railroad tunnels in the area which might be worth a road trip.

Another river crossing, this time the Delaware. River crossing, makes it sound like an arduous undertaking. Honestly I hardly even noticed this one being that it was dark. Isn't life a lot liking crossing rivers? There is always another bridge to cross. 

In Pennsylvania, although still dark it was a clear night, with the lights of Bethlehem, Allentown
and Reading, twinkling in the valleys. Unlike when i used to travel in jets and cities and large town had an eerie yellow glow  emanating from them at 30,000 feet, it is completely different from the ground. I have always loved mountains. There is something which makes you realize how small you truly are in this world. As the night progresses to morning and you see a dot signifying another person waking up, somewhere out there on an unnamed street in an unnamed town, another you is getting ready to make his small contribution to the world.   And somehow when we put all these dots together and it all works, sometimes.

Yup, you can
order a radio
from Amazon here.

During this whole trip, but especially through this part I began to long for the good old days of AM radio. There was a time when you could drive at night and pick up stations from all over the country. Each had it's own local flavor, talk shows with local hosts and topics. The stations are still there but have been replaced with national, syndicated shows, and not much there as well. (Note to self: If I am going to get back into long distance driving again I need to invest in a satellite radio again) Like local restaurants  local radio is going the way of the dinosaur.

In Harrisburg, the capitol o Pennsylvania, we merged with I-81 in time to see the break of dawn. I don't think "break" is a good word. This dawn slowly came, a red sky to the east, first a few lines, then wide patches. Old sailors say a red sky in the morning is a sailor's warning, but there wasn't a cloud in the sky and no rain forecast. Then the sun appeared orange at first a bright orange, then yellow, surrounded by a blue sky, the blue from which the term "blue sky" was coined. I can't explain it any other way. I love the dawn. There is something about seeing the sun come up which brings a new hope, no matter how bad things are. Right now, my life kind of sucks, and yes, through my own doing, but watching the sun rise always gives me hope. I look at it like God is saying, "Here I am, let's get at it."

Random Thoughts:

  • Driving a vehicle which is comfortable makes all the difference in the world. This was a brand new truck, but even after six hours I wasn't tired or sore. Damn these utility people have it easy. 
  • I still love to drive, even though this trip is going to be long, too long, I still love it. But, like all the other jobs I had, except for the very end of my Loss Prevention job, I have never had time to stop and smell the Chimichangas (or the bacon and eggs) as I have always had to be somewhere. Someday I am going to find a way to be able to stop along the way and check out what is around where I am. 
  • You can always tell what state a driver is from by the way he (or she) drives. Drivers from Connecticut never use turn signals. Drivers from Maine always travel 55 in the high speed lane (usually pulling a trailer loaded to the gills with household goods). 

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