Road to Amelia

March 13, 2014 Comments (0)

The road to hell may be paved with good intentions but even if the destination is not attractive, at least it is paved. Long time readers remember that every March we drive the WASRED 308 Ferrari from its Boston area home to Amelia Island in Northern Florida, a trip of about 1,200 miles that takes us through eleven states and a short distance in Florida. Most of the drive is on I-95. On the way down I stopped in Philadelphia which, of course, necessitated going thru Pennsylvania. On the way back I used the NJ Turnpike and avoided I-95 in Pennsylvania entirely.

WASRED on her way south

We look for three important things in our trip review: Good roads, good bathrooms and good food. Obviously we didn’t stop in every state to eat and use the facilities but we did use their roads. This is our report of best and worse.

Roads: a caveat here. A Maryland trooper explained that the northern states have had a brutal winter and the freeze-thaw-freeze aspect of it has affected the roads terribly this winter. Having said that, each state appears to have dealt with it differently and this is all we can assess.

WASRED in the rain

Best roads were in Georgia. Three lanes in areas and no potholes.

Worst roads: By a country mile were in Pennsylvania. We did less than one hundred miles in the state but each mile threatened to damage a wheel or the suspension at least once. Rumor has it that some of the holes are deep enough to be designated tourist attractions. NY is second worst but is tops in missing or misleading signage.

Bathrooms: Because of the storm, we flew last year. I was quite pleasantly surprised by the improvement over our last road trip two years ago. None were bad and Maryland House which straddles 95 North and South was the best by far. Maryland, which only has 105 miles of 95, also had excellent roads.

Maryland House

Food: Many states see I-95 as a cash cow for local small town economies and therefore provide few state services. Maryland House is the exception and is the Taj Mahal of I-95. I stopped there both ways. Food, fuel and facilities are superb. The food court is a huge high-ceilinged hall and has tables in three configurations. Many have electrical outlets for re-charging computers and cell phones.

Stopping along the way

The issue with off-highway independents is that there is little fresh food and late at night there is none. I bought a chocolate bar at a gas-station/convenience store in Fayetteville NC. Fifty miles down the road I opened the package and found the chocolate to be frosted over white with age. Carbon dating would have proved it to be from the last century. Bring food and liquids from home.

Next week we will talk about the drive itself.

Peter

How to pack the WASRED

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