On the Road: Breathtaking Views & Endless Exits

imageWoodbury Commons was once a project: mom and I would make a day of it, going to specific outlet stores and coming home with shopping bags full after a successful day. Same for a trip to Stew Leonard’s (Norwalk): we thought nothing of tackling I-95 and timed it perfectly so we’d get back before dinner time. Except when we got stuck in holiday traffic. That’s another story.

Until recently I was able to estimate my trips to Rockland County — friend’s houses, meetings, my editor’s office, the Palisades Mall — with near-perfect accuracy so I was never late. Then. Came. Bridge and Bridge-Related. Work.

* * * * *

Yesterday’s visit with a friend included a driving adventure (“How soon will I get there?” versus “Do I want to stop now or wait?”), a math equation (“If I’m at this exit number, then I have X number of exits to go.”) and magnificent views (the Catskill Mountains are spectacular).

Because there was no westbound bridge traffic at 10:30 a.m. the three-plus miles to Rockland from Tarrytown were quick. Bumpers didn’t start meeting until a little before Exit 12; driving back around 5 p.m. the congestion began near Exit 14B.

The view changed at that point from going to the country to being in the country. It always happened: mountains loomed lush and green, and the road opened.

upstateHow long I’m in the car seems relative to other destinations: the drive to Suffern or to Exit 16 is a hop, skip and jump unlike Route 17 from Harriman to Sullivan County. It doesn’t count years-ago trips to Exit 18 (New Paltz) when I was a reporter for an Ulster County newspaper.

Who decided to make the exits so far apart? Why not have more exits closer together? It was tease to see signs for several exits one or two miles apart and then see a sign telling me the next exit is seven miles away.

Why does the ride back seem so much quicker? In less than two hours I was nearing home, reminded again of New York State’s amazing natural beauty.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

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