Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Foiled again!

Wilkes-Barre, PA – Our drive today was carefully planned out last night, aided by our Road Atlas, Google Maps and a scratchy photocopy of a map we picked up in Virginia on our way south in January. The main objective was to avoid heading in to Washington, DC. Our southbound trip brought us to the ring road around the capitol city where we spent a long, boring afternoon creeping through dense traffic, so on the return journey we wanted to avoid that route at all costs. I took copious notes on what exits to take after reaching Fredericksburg so that we headed northwest rather than north, making a nice detour around the snarl of highways, byways and interstates that converged on Washington.

Armed with this helpful information, we headed out this morning under a brisk wind and sunny sky. Again, I got to enjoy the evidence of Spring’s arrival with yellow sprays of forsythia next to farmhouses, apple blossoms on hillsides, and the white froth of dogwoods in passing forests. I even saw jonquils and daffodils in bloom, plus a couple of clumps of tulips.
Once we departed from the Interstate 95, with its whizzing transport trucks and motorhomes, and turned onto Highway 15, our blood pressure decreased measurably. Rolling hills, farm fields striped with the first green sprouts of new crops, and sleepy towns had a wonderfully calming effect. It was quite lovely to look at!

By the time our stomachs began to growl for lunch, we were close to Leesburg, VA, so instead of taking the bypass, we followed the business route into town. It was great to see some of the historic buildings in the centre of town, and we did pass a few boutique-type restaurants with no sign of a parking place anywhere, so we carried on. Just when we thought we’d run out of possibilities, we spotted the Roots Café and Market – just the thing! A nice tasty menu with wholesome ingredients, plus some neat products on sale to check out afterwards.

We were making good time when we got going again, and before long the GPS told us there was less than an hour to go. By this time the skies had darkened quite a bit and to our dismay, white flakes of snow starting drifting down! Well, it was better than rain, and we figured this far north, in April, snow is almost inevitable. Besides, we’d be home free in no time…..

WRONG. As the road became more hilly in the Appalachian foothills, we suddenly saw ahead of us a long string of traffic with red brake lights aglow. Traffic slowed to a crawl and then stopped altogether. Our careful efforts to avoid traffic tie-ups were in vain! “Traffic congestion has added 60 minutes to your arrival time,” the GPS announced in what I was sure was a very snarky tone of voice. Well, maybe that was my imagination. At least I had a crossword puzzle to do and access to our cooler bag where we found some crackers to munch on – and clever me, I picked up a couple of oranges when we’d stopped to fill up with gas! So we were OK, if a little irritated and bored.

When we did finally reach our hotel, it was a welcome sight! And there was 24-hour tea and coffee in the lobby to refresh us after we got settled. Only one more day till we get home! Yay.

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