The following whinging is not intended to imply that we did not have a lovely Thanksgiving. The trip was absolutely worth it and we look forward to doing it again.
I thought I'd had a good idea: Leave late Saturday and do half the trip that night. Continue Sunday early and be home by 4!
Saturday worked fine, in fact we got to my half-way point an hour earlier than I'd planned. We got a hotel north of Harrisburg, PA at 1 AM. We got up at 9:30 and had some breakfast and continued on our way. Unfortunately, it was raining. And there was fog. OK, not a huge deal, it took us only a little longer to get to NY than I'd planned. NY was a breeze and we shot across on 84 in no time. And now CT. Lovely CT. Bumper to Bumper CT.
We hit the stop and go traffic just after we'd crossed Rt. 7. I have the magical-car-navigation-thingie, so we used it to detour 15 miles. We crossed 84 again around 10 miles later and it looked fine, so we got back on. That went well for around 10 miles and stop and go started again.
We were 1 exit before Rt. 8, so I tried the detour feature again and it told us to go south and take 95 all the way. Yeah, no. So I did something that would have delighted ioianthe, I took the exit and went north until it met up with 8 and continued north on 8 into MA. She'd have been delighted because I let the map program keep telling me to turn around. It didn't recalculate until we got to MA.
emilytheslayer had looked at the paper map while I was driving and said if we took 23 it'd lead us to the Pike. When the computer recalculated, it had a faster way. I figured, how bad could it be? This is where the navigation system got its revenge. Remember, it was raining. In addition, out west in the more mountainous areas, it had snowed enough to accumulate a little and create slush. The computer told me to take 57. Never take 57 unless it is a sunny summer day.
57 is mountainous, curvy, steep and unlit. For 20 miles. I did between 20 and 30 the entire way because going up the first stretch, the car started fishtailing a little at 32. 20 miles of 2 hands on the wheel, try not to wake up emilytheslayer, holy crap that's a steep hill, really? another "steep grade, trucks use lower gear" sign, and why won't this car stop tailgaiting me and once I've let it go around why is there another 2 minutes later?!
But we made it, 4:00 had come and gone, but we made it to the flat part and non-snowy part of 57. Now we just get on 91 and 291 and get on the Pike and we'll be home by 7. 91: we're flying. 291: we're flying. 90: we're flyi... Stopped. 4 seconds after we pass the "Take this exit for UMass Amherst" exit traffic simply stops. It takes us another hour to get to 84 and it doesn't look good ahead so we get off and take 20. 84 N still looks bumper to bumper, so I'm pleased we didn't try to wait it out or we'd still be in Hartford.
From 20 I can see 90 and for awhile it looks like we made the right choice. I tell the computer to take us the fastest non-90 way home from there and soon enough we're on traffic on 20 'cause of a light and a 2-1 lane merge. I probably could have left the car and walked over and said hello to inochinoakari's family without disrupting traffic much. The joy here is that I can see 90 and it looks fine.
Finally we get through that and I have a choice, continue on 20, go up 12 to 90 or go up 12 and follow the computer's directions. I choose the last. 90 looks ok as I cross over, but if it stops again later, we're stuck. The computer has decided I should take 290 to 495S to 20. This is what I do, it takes a while, but there's no traffic and there are places to stop for peeing, beverages and stretching.
I'd taken aspirin earlier, but it has worn off now. I can't recall the last time I've been this exhausted. It took us 12 hours to get home today and 57 was particularly harrowing. I'm in physical pain, I was stressed about Copper (thanks so very much mebib for keeping that worry to a minimum for me) and I really, really don't want to go to work tomorrow.
Once I've recovered, I'll post about how wonderful the visit was, but I needed to vent.