Thursday, July 19 – Friday, July 20

Unmitigated disaster

Friday is one of those days that was so catastrophically horrible that it pains me to write about it even though it’s two days later.  Now Thursday, that was fine.  I had an easy ride into West Haven as usual, with the 112-mile trip taking under two hours even with a stop for gas.  As it was yet another late departure from the customer’s workplace, and because I had some things to do back home, I somewhat reluctantly decided to shell out $54 for the ferry.  Which almost didn’t happen, even though I got to the Bridgeport dock a little before 4 pm, over 30 minutes before the next departure, I got one of the last car spots.  In fact mine was the very last car off the ship in Port Jefferson.  As usual, I spent the trip on the open top deck, because today was much cooler than the previous several days it was almost cold once we got underway.

Friday began easily enough with the typical quick trip to West Haven.  Yes, I know that’s relative, most people would consider an almost 2-hour trip to their workplace anything but quick!  All during the day I was hoping that I’d be able to get out a bit early and avoid the worst of the Friday afternoon traffic.  Indeed, around noon it was looking very much as if I’d be done in around an hour.  Cool.  But then, oh so predictably, other things came up, and despite working as fast as I could I wasn’t able to leave until three.

Maybe it was the fairly heavy rain, maybe it was because it was Friday, but westbound/southbound traffic on I-95 through much of Connecticut was crawling, seldom exceeding 25 mph.  By 4:30 I had made it only as far as Darien, still at least ten miles from the New York line and 20+ miles from the Throgs Neck Bridge.  Why I thought this would be a smart idea I do not know, it might’ve been just a sudden case of masochism, but I got off the highway and – yes! – went into a Panera, which I knew to be right in downtown Darien.  I waited about an hour, until 5:30, having a (very good, I must add) salad with roasted chicken and avocado, not to mention nearly bankrupting the joint with endless free refills of Diet Pepsi.

Today’s Panera Bread Strategy worked no better than it had the other day.  When I got back on I-95 it was still a near-crawl, though it improved somewhat right at the New York line and the junction with I-287.  About the only good thing is that the Throgs Neck Bridge was fine.  As I drove on the slow-but-moving Cross Island Parkway I saw to my extreme dismay that the electronic sign was reporting delays on the Long Island Expressway all the way to Exit 61.  That would be almost my entire 30+ mile journey on the Expressway.

I got on the Northern State Parkway, which after an initial few miles of reasonable traffic flow slowed down to a crawl until almost the Suffolk County line.  I rejoined the Expressway at Exit 53 using the Sunken Meadow/Sagtikos Parkway, figuring by this time – it was almost 7:30 – that the delays were no longer stretching as far as Exit 61.  While I was correct in this assumption, it was nearly eight by the time I got home.  That was five hours after I had left West Haven, four hours of driving time if I don’t count the Panera stop.  About the only good things are (1) it was a Friday, and (2) I would be getting almost $75 in travel-time pay.

Published in: on July 23, 2012 at 1:49 am  Leave a Comment  

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