Tuesday, October 9 – Wednesday, October 10

Thankfully, a short day

I got up Tuesday morning (at my usual-for-North Haven 4:35 am!) feeling somewhat more than half-dead.  What had been a mildly annoying sore throat on Monday had turned overnight into something much worse.  For a few minutes I debated whether to stay home for the day.  I decided to tough it out, for a variety of reasons: (a) my unexpected absence could be a burden on my co-workers; (b) I’m not the sort of person who thinks it’s okay to miss work unless one is in really bad shape; and (c) the nature of my job is such that if I don’t work, I don’t get paid for the day.  As you might imagine (c) was by some margin the most significant of these …

It all turned out quite well.  The trip into work was decent enough, just over two hours, but the nicest part is that due to the day’s workload requirements I was done and back on the road just a little after noon. I get the full day’s pay in circumstances like that, were that not the case I wouldn’t have said that things turned out quite well (duh).  Just as I was leaving I heard a radio traffic report of a crash on I-95, so I decided to be prudent and took the Wilbur Cross/Merritt Parkway instead.  Not too far from North Haven the parkway, known as the Wilbur Cross at that point, goes through the only vehicular tunnel in Connecticut,* as it goes under the West Rock ridgeline.  In fact I believe it’s the only land vehicular tunnel in all of New England, the “land” proviso being because there are underwater tunnels in Boston.

Despite my early departure I thought it was going to be a lengthy trip home, as I ran into some stop-and-go traffic on the Hutchinson River Parkway (itself an extension of the Merritt/Wilbur Cross) just over the New York line.  Fortunately it cleared up after just a few minutes, giving no trace of what might have caused it in the first place.  The rest of the way was fairly clear sailing, and my return journey totaled about 2:20.

While I was physically in much better shape, Wednesday morning’s trip to North Haven was distinctly less than pleasant.  For the first half of so of the trip there was an almost constant drizzling rain, the sort where you keep having to adjust the interval setting on your windshield wipers.  Just about when I crossed into Connecticut on I-95, however, the rain became much heavier.  Traffic seemed unusually heavy too, and combined with the rain made for a most hair-raising drive.

I decided to take the ferry home.  With only two days left in North Haven I’m not going to be faced with the ferry-or-drive choice for a while.  One thing I found was that a schedule change meant that the 4:30 departure is now 4:45, not that 15 minutes makes much of a difference.  It was rather cold on the top deck, but I stuck it out for much of the journey.  As it was now a clear day, I decided to take inventory of what things on land one can see from the water.  Even when the ferry is close to the Connecticut shore, 15 miles from Long Island, several landmarks are visible: the three smokestacks of the power station in Port Jefferson (the ferry’s destination), the four smokestacks of another power station in Northport, Stony Brook University Hospital, a soon-to-be-demolished highrise building at the abandoned Kings Park mental hospital (fertile territory for urban explorers), and most infamously, the multi-billion-dollar-but-never-opened Shoreham nuclear power plant.  That ridiculous boondoggle is part of the reason why Long Island’s electric rates are among the highest in the country.

When near the Long Island shore, some of the buildings in downtown Bridgeport are visible, along with the enormous smokestack of a power station located right next to the Bridgeport ferry dock.  The “Sleeping Giant” range of hills north of New Haven can be seen, though the lay of the land prevents the taller buildings in downtown New Haven from being visible.  Off to the west one can see some of the buildings in Stamford and (just barely) New Rochelle.  Manhattan is over the horizon.

Occupying myself thusly, the ferry ride was over almost before I knew it.  Best of all, my car was one of the very first off.

* = the Whitehead Highway in Hartford, a short spur off of I-91, goes through what may seem like a tunnel but is really just a very long underpass.

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Published in: on October 12, 2012 at 11:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

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