US 30 traffic was already getting a bit crazy as we made our way to I-83 north. Anyone looking at the map will wonder why I picked such a circuitous route to New Hampshire. I was trying to avoid the New York City area and got things a little twisted around. One drawback of using a GPS instead of a map is that you tend to miss the big picture.
I-83 started out well but jammed up quite quickly. Traffic was stop and go until we reached I-81 on the other side of Harrisburg. My sympathies to anyone who has to do this on a daily basis.
We followed I-81 northeast toward Wilkes-Barre.
Before Wilkes-Barre, we spent almost an hour in stop and go traffic moving at about 2 MPH. The left lane was closed so the left lane traffic moved faster as people changed lanes early. All this so a couple of survey crews could take measurements.
We made a tricky stop at a McDonald's in Wilkes-Barre and then continued to Scranton, humming 30,000 Pounds Of Bananas. There we switched to I-84 which took us east to New York State. The pavement was rough but the traffic was a lot lighter.
We exited I-84 and started north on I-87. This was a toll road but the E-ZPass took care of that. No sooner than we got moving, we ground to a halt. Once we saw the left lane was closed, I managed to get into that lane and stayed beside a big rig from Iowa all the way to the merge. There was a Ford van driver behind me who wasn't happy with this, if the sound of his horn was anything to go by. But we got the the merge at the same time.
The cause this time was what appeared to be a hazardous spill cleanup on the left side of the road.
Decision time. Go to Albany and take 100 miles of two-lane NY 7 and Vermont 9 through Bennington and Brattleboro. Or go 30 miles further but stay on super slab for all but the last 14 miles. Elapsed time would be the same according to Garmin, but it knows little of two lane traffic and resulting delays. I opted for the slab and left I-87 for I-90 East, another toll road.
That was how we found ourselves heading southeast across the Hudson River into Massachusetts.
From I-90, we went north again on I-91 into Vermont.
We arrived at the Days Inn in Keene, New Hampshire at about 5:15. We had lost over 2 1/2 hours to traffic backups, way more than I could ever remember in a single day before. After a quick trip into town to fuel up, we parked and brought the luggage in. Sandy reorganized the contents so we would not have to take any suitcases up the two narrow flights of stairs to our room at the Sudbury Inn.
After walking across the street to the Texas Longhorn restaurant, Sandy had a strawberry/pecan salad while I had Parmesan crusted chicken breast with salad, broccoli and sauteed mushrooms. I ordered the small plate which was good, because I would have tried to finish all of the large one (it was that good) and this amount filled me up
Back at the room, I worked to finish the blog so we could start fresh tomorrow. It looked like less than 90 miles to Bethel, so we should be there before noon. Boomer and Shannon were already there in a campground with their RV, and others were on their way. The weather forecast looked great for Friday and Saturday.
Today's Route (453 Equinox/trailer miles):