Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Sorry for the lack of posting. I've been busy traveling. I started the week in Ohio, now I'm in Pennsylvania and I'll finish up in New York before heading home to Massachusetts on Friday.

It's been a long week and it's only Wednesday.

What's made it long is the fact that I've been driving. Yup - I drove out to Ohio. Call me crazy but I had my reasons. It was a long drive out but it will be a short ride home when all is said and done.

What's been nice is the opportunity to take some of the backroads. I drove for a long stretch on both Route 20 in New York and on Route 22 in Ohio. That's what I'd like to touch on this morning.

Most people by-pass Route 20 for long trips for the more traveled Route 90 (aka The Mass Pike in MA). Why go 30-50 MPH with stoplights when you can buzz along at high speeds on Route 90? Sunday was a nice day and I wasn't really in a rush - so I thought it was a perfect opportunity to drive Route 20 for a while.

Route 20 is actually the longest road in the US (over 5,400 meandering miles). It goes from Massachusetts to Oregon. It starts at Kenmore Square in Boston (walking distance to Fenway Park) but I picked it up in Auburn, MA (which as it turns out is strangely symmetrical since I got off the route in Auburn, NY).

The change of seasons if definitely underway. The sun was shining, the leaves on the trees are turning colors, I had all the NFL games available to me via satellite radio and I had a nice Macanudo Hampton Court cigar along with a large Dunkin Donuts coffee.

In New York, once you get past Albany, Route 20 winds through farm country. You have long stretches of farms, then a church, then an antique store, more farms, more churches, and more antique stores. Add in some gas stations and some small town main streets and you get the picture.

I picked up Route 22 in Ohio where it intersects Route 40 and took it all the way into Pittsburgh. That route also took me through the tip of West Virginia. It was the farm country of Ohio that interested me though. The contrast with the farm country in New York in particular.

On Route 22 you had the familiar winding roads, changing colors of the trees and the farms with old barns and old farm equipment. However, you had more churches along the route than on Route 20 in New York and the antique store were replaced with gun shops.

I missed the debate last night but I know that Ohio is a key state. Judging by the anecdotal evidence I saw on Route 22 - guns and religion are things that are clung to by rural Ohioans. That spells bad news for Barack Obama.

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