This is part 4 in a series about my Epic Road Trip 2011. If you have not yet seen the teaser, or read the background behind my love for the open road, then it would be a good idea to start reading Part 3: The Long Haul and Part 4: Uncharted Waters. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
All done? Up to speed? Good. Let’s do this.
Friday, March 11
After a much needed rest, our time to hit the road has come. 2700 miles of road behind us, just around 900 in front of us, and 700+ of those miles are ones we have covered in previous trips. With that in mind, this segment is dubbed, “The Victory Lap”. One more time through some familiar territory, some time ahead with some good friends and the completion to this Epic Road Trip on the horizon line.
It is with hesitation that we bid goodbye to the Atlanta area and our good friends, for we have some highway to tackle.
Some gas for the beast and it is on the road, north on I-85 towards North Carolina.
80 miles into today, we cross into our 9th state of the trip.
With 100 miles in the drivers seat today and the previous 2 days of driving, it is time to turn over the driving duties to Mike. A quick pit stop and driver change just outside of Anderson, SC proved to offer a little more than just a rest stop.
I have heard in the past how beautiful South Carolina is, however, if this is what their rest stops look like, I am sold.
A little more exploration, and 100 yards or so away is one of the fingers off of Hartwell Lake.
The lake and surrounding areas are so quiet and peaceful, we decide to linger for a bit to take some photos and enjoy the peace, quiet and serenity of the area. With I-85 not 200 yards behind us, we cannot even hear the noise of the road.
Back to the road we head, less than 100 miles to Charlotte and Virginia just a few miles past that. Our destination for tonight is Charlottesville, VA.
Back into old stomping grounds for Mike, we are a few hundred miles from Virginia, basically a straight shot around Charlotte and Greensboro, then into VA, but not without a quick stop for some food. Hush puppies and shakes to go!
160 miles to go until we get to Bryan and Alisa’s, this might be the most grueling drive of the trip, as we are in the mindset of pushing through to our destination, off the interstate and onto rural state routes, we will be averaging around 45-50mph as we go in and out of small, rural towns.
Dinner time with some great friends at a small restaurant in Ruckersville, VA before heading back to the hotel.
Back to the hotel we head. Tomorrow is another 400 miles. 8 days down, 1 to go.
Saturday, March 12
The end of the road is near. At this point, the trip is no longer about having fun, enjoying the open road, it is about covering ground and getting back to New York. Sad to say, but that is how every road trip ends.
Today is 400 miles, playing cross-country courier and getting home.
Skirting around the outside of DC, we cross into our 12th state of the trip.
Not long after that, chalk up number 13.
Making quick work of these states on I-85, the interstate does not provide for a lot of photographic opportunities other than ones like this of the Wilmington skyline.
Around noon, we have already covered over half of our distance for the day. Lunch with Morgan is planned for 1:30pm in North Trenton, NJ. Plenty of time to cover 65 miles.
Just need to run through Philadelphia and we will be in New Jersey in no time.
Yes, we have driven 3200+ miles without hitting traffic since leaving California. That is, until now. Construction on the Delaware Expressway (I-95) on the bridge between the Philadelphia Airport and the Naval yard is causing this.
Finally around the traffic, we hit New Jersey and headed for lunch.
Lunch at Panera Bread in Northwest Trenton, we meet up with Morgan to deliver some mail (long story) and catch up over some food. Nothing like being a 3450 mile courier service. (and to think, I didn’t even charge him)
After a much-too-short lunch, the road is calling us again.
A few short miles down the road, we click off the last state line crossing of the trip.
A turn up I-87 Thruway and we meet up with Juliet in Newburgh, NY at 5:15pm. Just 8 miles home to unload the beast and off to a victory dinner at The Depot in Cold Spring, NY.
Until Next time my brother
72 hours of driving
EPIC ROAD TRIP 2011