New Jersey Turnpike. By flickr user MPD01605.
14 hours for a drive that should have been 5. That’s my record.
It was Thanksgiving weekend, 1992. I was 11 years old. My sister was a freshman attending college on Long Island, and my father and I were picking her up for her first holiday back home in suburban Maryland. The New Jersey Turnpike was a traffic jam.
No, not part of the New Jersey Turnpike. All of the New Jersey Turnpike.
We were bumper to bumper for the entire stretch, from the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge turn-off south all the way to Delaware. For more than 100 miles, we averaged about 10 mph. It was truly awful.
I’m thankful that I’m not doing that again. I’m thankful about the alternatives I’ve learned to use since then, and thankful I wasn’t driving during the 2011 snowstorm that resulted in nighmarishly long suburban commutes.
And for those of you on the turnpike: Godspeed.