- I like to drive.
- I would much rather drive than fly.
- I am much less afraid to drive than to fly.
With that in mind, it’s not much of a choice but to pack up my new Subaru Outback and head from Fort Pierce, Florida to North Conway, New Hampshire. This is a journey of approximately 3,000 miles round trip. The perfect trip for me and my Outback to get to know each other a little better.
It’s not long before
The pre-collision system proves its worth.
Here’s what happened
I started out to beat the traffic by leaving at 4:30 am. It’s pitch black outside and I a in the far left-hand lane on Route 95 North with the cruise control set at 67 mph. All of a sudden I feel the cruise control snap off and the car breaks HARD. I thought there was something wrong with the car. As I stared into the darkness, I realized that there was nothing wrong with the Outback, but that the tow truck in front of me had NO LIGHTS ON and I couldn’t see it. I don’t know if the Subaru saved my life, but it at least saved one heck of an argument with the tow truck driver.
I like to drive
To me, it does not get much better than having my Sirius XM radio churning out the music of the ’60s, ’70s, Beatles, Tom Petty, Classic Vinyl, ESPN, MSBC…the soundtrack of my life at 75 mph.
If I didn’t drive, I’d never know that there is a Horse Stomp, South Carolina, home to the Little Pee Dee River and its big brother, Greater Pee Dee. How would you know that Pedro at South of the Border has all new signs (a breath of fresh air compared to years past).
How would you know that you can stop at Peach World in Georgia or appreciate the same billboards that advertize pecan rolls, pecan pie, pecan candy and peanut brittle? Can you go wrong making a pit stop to see live baby alligators?
Forget McDonald’s. You can go to one back home, it’s Stuckey’s , Shoneys, andthe Waffle House that make up the dining destinations on the road.
The quality of the highway differs from state to state
The roads can go from just okay to okay depending upon the route, road, and state. By far, the best (and most improved after years of doing this trip is The New Jersey Turnpike. Three crisp lanes, crisp white lines, and smooth pavement make driving much more of a pleasure.
The worst and not even CLOSE has to be the George Washington Bridge. Sixteen dollars worth of shaking your dental work and jarring of your bones. I felt terrible putting my little Outback through this torture. Couple that with perhaps the worst, life-threatening drivers you could ever encounter. I am always shocked when I make it through New York without having an accident.
But, all of that is worth it when you turn the corner onto the Spalding Turnpike in New Hampshire and come face to face with the White Mountains as your guide. It feels like a total decompression.
I’ve been coming to New Hampshire or the better part of 50 years…mostly to North Conway…mostly in the winter to ski. But it’s just as beautiful in the summer as it is seeing those white-capped mountains with a chill in the air.
Yes, I like to drive
Most people (like my wife) think I’m crazy, but what I’m going to do is pack my car, place my coffee in the cup holder, set my radio to my favorite tunes, place the key in the ignition and head home.
P.S. In fifty years I have skied at Mt. Cranmore, Attitash, Wildcat, and Loon Mountain, but the best of the best has always been Bretton Woods with its friendly staff, beautiful and friendly lodge, and friendly and forgiving trails. The BEST!
P.P.S. I could tell about all of the different places that I have stayed in North Conway, but after all of these years, there is only ONE that I go back to time after time because it is simply beautiful. Tucked in the woods and overlooking Mount Washington with the BEST food in the area you’ll find the Stonehurst Manor (and yes, it’s dog friendly as well). If you go, tell Heidi I said hello and give Samantha the Rottie a pat on the head for me.