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On the Road - Days 1-2

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

On the Road - Days 1-2

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
May 24, 2008


Traveling across the eastern USA mid-week on State roads was a delight. I left Woodstock last Wednesday morning and headed east on I-90, right through the Loop. There was a massive traffic jam on the outbound Kennedy, thanks to a tractor-trailer and two cars that tangled about 6:15AM. For once, drivers were pretty sane on I-90 and the Kennedy and even on the Dan Ryan.

At Schererville, Ind., I headed east on U.S. 30 and found traffic quite light. Continuing southeast in Ohio on State highways was also enjoyable, and again traffic was light. I stop about every 100 miles for gas for the motorcycle, and getting 45-50MPH at cruising speed certainly helped at the gas pump.

Night 1 was in Parkersburg, West Virginia, just across the Ohio-West Virginia state line. On Thursday morning I headed due east through the mountains. Route planning on my 1996 AAA Southeastern USA map, except all those roads that looked straight actually were full of 20-30MPH curves. Curve-warning signs were adequate in West Virginia and almost non-existent in Virginia. At Staunton I picked up I-64 and made good time to Richmond.

I lived in Richmond in 1993-1996 and it almost felt like coming home. Philpott is a pretty well-known name in Virginia politics, but that's a different branch of the family. This trip I probably won't visit the town of Philpott, which is northwest of Martinsville and near Philpott Dam & Lake. Last time I was through there was in 1992, and a retired professor of French and Spanish literature filled me in on considerable Philpott family history in Henry County.

Perhaps the light traffic on highways had something to do with the price of gas hovering around the $4.00 mark. I passed up one gas station in the mountains with regular gas at $4.19/gal. Ten miles up the road I paid $3.89/gal. Haven't had to pay $4.00 yet, but the day can't be far off.

© 2008 GUS PHILPOTT

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