Sunday, April 02, 2006

Road trip

I had a plane ticket to fly from New Orleans to JFK (NYC), but I figured that I've flown a lot before, and I know what flying is like, so I'd rather do something I've never done before: namely, drive across the country nonstop. There were some transportation issues anyway -- we were going to have to fit nine people and tons of luggage into a seven-passenger van for a couple of hours -- and this guy named Mike, a senior at Williams, was driving back, so I figured I'd drive back with him and see the country and whatnot. Here is a picture of where we went:

(I saved it as a gif but Blogger wouldn't upload it, so here we are with a jpeg. Too bad.)

It was really great. I'm glad I did it. I missed out on two days of volunteering work in Mississippi, but I saw a lot of the country, got experience driving on the highway in traffic, at night, at night in the rain, at night in the fog, and at night with no other traffic. So it was a good experience. Here is what I learned.
The south is flat. The north is hilly. The middle of the country is dark.
I also learned that people in Georgia drive alone. There was one "high-occupancy vehicle" (HOV) lane that required two people to be in the car and five that were regular lanes, and the HOV lane was not very popular. And all the cars in the other lanes had only one person in them, for real.

We neglected to avoid Atlanta, and thereby got caught in, you know, the 3 pm rush hour. Obviously. So we decided to take 84 and 81 instead of 95, so as to avoid Philadelphia, New York, and Boston.

We drove in shifts. When I agreed to go, I told Mike I didn't like driving. He said I wouldn't have to drive very much. But then I did anyway. It worked like this, in case you wondered:

9 am - 5 pm: Mike
5 pm - 11 pm: Me
11 pm - 3 am: Mike
3 am - 6 am: Me
6 am - 9 am: Mike

There was a time change over the course of this drive, in which we lost an hour. Then we got home and Daylight Savings Time happened, or ceased to happen, or whatever, so we lost another hour. The injustice of it all.

Plus, I got a whole day to sleep (yesterday -- because I only got about two hours of sleep in the car) and a whole day to do my homework (today). The kids who took the plane are just getting back now. And me? I'm all moved in, and almost all done with my homework. How awesome.

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