Saturday, August 23, 2008

Blogging from I-95

Carol and I left Rosemont this morning about 10AM, after 5 great days with Mary there. I have become accustomed to Mary fixing my oatmeal in the morning, and this week she moved me over from American coffee to a Kenya-like [CORRECTION: Spain-like] expresso. She, Carol and I started off some busy days in Philadelphia with our morning meal, and I will miss her.

Our plans were to drive about 3 hours south from Philadelphia to Lorman, VA, and catch the Auto-Train to Florida. We had a sleeping compartment reserved, and dinner and breakfast were going to be in the dining car. We would wake up Sunday morning pulling into the destination just above Orlando, and drive the 4 hours home refreshed, with the rest of Sunday to relax.

Instead, we received a call from Amtrak on Carol’s cell phone as we were crossing the MD line, advising us that the Auto-Train trip had been cancelled because of “weather in North Florida.” Later we learned after talking on the phone with Mary Ann that a number of bridges around Jacksonville are out. Ugh!

(We are now about 40 miles from Rocky Mount, hoping to get to around Florence before too late.)

So what we hoped would be a pleasant and relaxed coda at the end of some very, even intense (if you are 62 years old) weeks has turned into a sort of marathon, as we try to get home at a fairly decent hour Sunday night so we can be ready for work on Monday morning. Oh, well.

Adding insult to injury is the traffic on I-95 that we ran into as we approached Washington DC. It became much worse between DC and Richmond, bringing us to a halt several times and cutting our average speed on that leg of the trip to about 35 mph. On the other hand, that experience showed how wise we were on the way up, to drive from GSO to Philadelphia through Roanoke and Harrisburg, bypassing the Richmond/DC mess entirely. A second, “Oh, well.”

However, I am with my true love, and that certainly makes all the difference.

(LATER: We reached Lumberton, NC, at 8:45 PM. It's about 20 miles N of the SC line, and we are staying at a Hampton Inn. It has lightning fast WiFi.)


Kellsey said...


I am so sorry that you were unable to enjoy the relaxed experience of the train on your way home. What a disappointment. I hope that you are able to get through Jacksonville or some other way so that you guys can get home by Sunday evening.

Sleep well!

Paul Stokes said...

Thanks, Kellsey. We did sleep well, and I expect we'll be on the road by 7:30AM.

Sean Meade said...

yep, DC/Richmond is a mess. sorry for the contingencies :-(