Never the Twine Shall Meet

You know, twine.  Heavier than string, lighter than rope.  Twine.  No fewer than three different workers at the Oceanside Walgreen’s had no idea what twine was.  Maybe they thought I was doing my Eliza Doolittle impersonation, and knew that they didn’t carry Tom Sawyer or Huck Finn.

I hate to say this, but flying United last time reminded me of what a class experience Jet Blue is.  Last night, though, the TV stations worked fine, but the music stations had no sound, which is a problem for radio.  What I wanted to do was go to sleep for a few hours.  What I did was work on the new County Party website.  So I arrived in NY in the midst of my own personal, if significantly more low-key and low-stakes, version of 24.

Do you know long it takes to pack a 26-foot truck?  I mean, pack it so that ants couldn’t find space in there?  About 7 hours, is how long.   Which means that the beagle is 7 hours closer to a nervous breakdown, and I was yet another 7 hours further away from sleep.  I wish I could report that a truck packed the gills dampened the reverb from the beautifully maintained Pennsylvania Interstate system, but there’s absolutely nothing about that statement that’s correct.

Now the last time I did the first portion of this trip, I-80 through Pennslvania and New Jersey, and I-95 from Jersey through the gloriously-named Throgs Neck Bridge, it was in the reverse direction, at about midnight, and I had no idea where I was, or really where I was headed, only that I really didn’t have any good options for changing routes.  This time, I got to see what I missed.  If I ever saw the view of  Manhattan from the GW Bridge, I had certainly forgotten it.  And the sheer complexity of the New York highway system is awe-inspiring, although even that’s not quite enough to let you forgive Robert Moses for what he did to the place with his roads.

What’s interesting is how even the Interstates need to bow to the dictates of geology.  Pennsylvania has these great folds of mountains that cut from southwest to northeast, and the only roads that try to cross against them are the Turnpike, and to a lesser extent, US-322 to State College.  Even I-80 skirts the top of them without really challenging, and US-30, the old Lincoln Highway, mostly follows them until they curve south near Pittsburgh.

Tomorrow, I’m hoping to try US-11 and US-322.  Until then, that’s all from Hazleton, PA.

  1. #1 by Ben DeGrow on August 2nd, 2009

    If you’re headed that direction, say hello to my old stomping grounds in and around State College, PA.

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