Jul. 12th, 2016

jbvb: (pic#51664908 hiking)
Or, 'A Lot More Time in the 16 Y.O. Car' (when not politicking protocol design or taking pictures). Indy is ~960 mi. and there were detours, excursions and exploration, so ~2200 mi. total since July 2. Driving efficiently requires many, many little throttle adjustments, sometimes several per minute. I first noticed the blister Monday evening, after ~670 mi. that day.

I used up my Seneca gas driving to layouts west and south of Indy, so bought more when setting out for W. Lafayette to see some of the best HO scale scenery I've ever encountered. (NTS: IN gas tax varies by county, up to ~$.30/gal.). 7 gal. of that were used at 83.8 MPG, getting to Ashtabula, OH. I had decided to try the Southern Tier (I-86/88), so wasn't going to pass the reservation again, but I saw a good price and filled up mid-day Monday. That got me home, at 80.1 MPG despite all the climbing in and out of river valleys. And I paid no tolls whatsoever to NY on the return trip.

I had never known that the Allegheny River watershed comes within 4-5 mi. of the open water of Lake Erie above Chautauqua Lake. Neither had I known that the Susquehanna watershed extends to within 30 mi. of Albany, NY. Now I need to read about the geological history that produced this.

IN, OH, PA, NY and MA all had multiple lane closures due to bridge repair or repaving. The worst jam was a multi-mile backup on I-70 beginning at Richmond, IN. That was the root of my National Road experience. I-86/88 had as many single-lane segments as the NYS Thruway, but with much less traffic, no delays.

One plus for New England: West of the Berkshires, it seems the Official Plan leaves deer, racoon, possum etc. carcasses where they were flung until Nature Does Its Thing (or December comes and they're plowed off the pavement). We still have the funds to cart them elsewhere, where Nature Will Work Faster. I can't tell if it's less truck traffic or more aggressive cleanup, but there were a lot fewer retread pelts East of the Berkshires too. But someone should tell the Turnpike Authority that I-90 reaches ~6,300 ft. crossing the Rockies, and their sign in Blandford or Otis needs adjustment.

I find that I don't feel much need to eat when driving. No exercise. While the car was cold starting out each day, by 9 AM I was wishing I was wearing less (which wouldn't have been legal). So when I felt the need, I ate a handful of trail mix, a banana or the like. This morning the Red Carpet Inn's signs (Richmondville, NY) made it clear I shouldn't expect breakfast till 0800. Lacking working Wifi, I hit the road at 0715. Then I got home and started running around the house, doing laundry etc. Lunch was very welcome after that, and my blood sugar is mostly back to normal as I type this.

Sweet corn for dinner, bills etc. to deal with, meeting tomorrow, all back to Summer Normal. Except I haven't swam in salt water yet this year. NTS: Fix that, soonest.

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