I just completed what should have been a 3.5-4 hour drive in 10-10.5 hours. Our friend Irene flooded the Mohawk Valley in such a way that many of the westward roads were impassible. The detour for the NYS Thruway became a parking lot. I went fewer than ten miles in two hours, at which point I decided to forge my own path, ignoring the incessant "recalculating" that the GPS kept scolding me with.
As I endured this adventure, I tried to keep myself positive by thinking of things that I liked about the trip that I would write about on this here blog.
1) I talked to way more strangers than I ever do on car trips. At rest stops and gas stations, everyone was empathizing with each others' pathetic quest for a westward route. Some advice was given, but mostly there were a lot of gripe sessions that ended with "good luck." One woman chased me down to offer me a map (I already had one, but it was the thought that counted).
2) At a Subway, I talked to a mother and father who were driving to Utah. With two kids around the 7-11 age range. And I was so glad I wasn't them.
3) I got to see parts of NY that I've never seen before. And really, if you're going to take an involuntary four hour detour, there are worse places to do it than the Adirondacks.
4) While the GPS was plugged in, I couldn't listen to my ipod, so I dug some old cds out of the glove compartment. A "Sing-a-Long" mix by my friend Meghan was particularly enjoyable. It included surprises such as the Backstreet Boys, Madonna, and Kermit the Frog.
5) I arrived at my destination, my new home in Ithaca, at sunset. I'm completely moved, although not at all unpacked. But the most excited thing is that my backyard is a waterfall. Pictures forthcoming.