01 March 2012


Yesterday, as I drove to work, I thought about all the construction in Northern Virginia and the progress they're making on it near where I work. I thought, "I wonder what this will look like when this is done." Then I realized something.

It'll never be done.

Source: Cracked
It's not that that particular construction zone is like the construction on the Baltimore Beltway that no one ever seems to see taking place. I've seen them working on it. They're almost done by the looks of it.

With the part they're working on right now.

It was as I was driving along yesterday that I noticed my side of the road, i.e. the fixed side, is very bumpy. That tells me they'll probably just move to working on that side once they've fixed the other side, and so the circle continues.

I've had similar thoughts back in January when the exit for the newly built ICC (MD-200) on US-29 was closed for construction. It just opened in November, so how'd they break it so fast?

This was originally to be a post about our trip from Beaufort, SC, to Lynchburg, VA. But that was when I was going to post it on Saturday or Sunday (or Monday...). Now, I've got new grievances.

Like people who drive at twilight in the rain without their headlights on.

As to our trip down to Beaufort, I believe that has been covered. One thing I failed to mention on Thursday is that the biggest problem with our engine problem ended up being my discomfort with the thought of using the cruise control on our car. The result was a thoroughly chafed back of my right foot long before we got to our destination.

On the way down I did see probably a score of deer grazing on the side of the road. In case you haven't guessed it, I hate deer. Ever since one ran out in front of my month-old car during the morning twilight of August 1999, I've become an avid supporter of hunters' rights.

I mean, spiritually, y'know. I don't have money to be throwing around or anything.

I don't even like venison.

Happily, the only deer that ran across the road in our experience were two deer on Parris Island that ran past the line of cars approaching the gate and then cut in front of a minivan some way ahead of me. Amusingly, one of them at the least wiped out in front of the minivan, which probably gave that driver a small stain in the seatal region. Since traffic approaching military base gates is, by nature, not in a hurry, there was no need for alarm.

As to the ride back, our biggest problems were torrential rain in South Carolina, and convoluted directions in North Carolina.

I should've gotten the hint from Google.
The former was much more frustrating than the latter. If you click on that image, you'll see a bigger version that makes it easier to make out that the rain-soaked section began after we got off of the wide and relatively straight I-95 and on to the narrower and curvier US-52. By the time we picked up US-220/I-73 in Rockingham, NC, the rain, while still with us, was much lighter.

The Space Monkey was discomfited.

Click the image to see the two route overlays. The left route up US-29 is what we were supposed to take. But because we thought we were supposed to be on I-85, the right route from Mebane, NC, up through the wilderness to US-29 in Danville, VA, is what we ended up taking.

This didn't end up being a major delay, just an annoying one because those roads up from Mebane were narrow, dark, and winding. I'm not saying that US-29 isn't fairly terrifying in its own right, but it is more heavily trafficked and generally wider.

Once we finally got to US-29, I found a blocker (car you follow at a reasonable distance who can hit the deer for you) and followed him all the way to Lynchburg (64+ miles). When I say all the way, I mean all the way. He got off one exit before our final exit.

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