The Midnight Run

I have not felt this way in a long, long time. I vaguely remember all-nighters from decades ago, but I forgot the specific feelings of disorientation and other ill effects of sleep deprivation. It has all come back to me now.

After tying up several loose ends at work Saturday morning, I headed home to pack. But first the carwash, the swing by the ATM and finally the gas station. Crap, the air machine at the Shell station was broken. I’ll deal with that later. Maybe it isn’t so important to have the tire pressure exactly 40 psi. At home, I hadn’t even started packing yet. The RainX needed to be applied on the windshield, music chosen for long hours on the road, and the wondering about what I’ve forgotten to think of since it’s now the last minutes before leaving town. Hopefully the wife and daughters were done packing and ready to squeeze what could be squeezed into the Camaro for the ride straight through to Maine.

Ok, almost everything is in the car, except enough room for all the passengers to be comfy. So the first stop is Caledonia to drop off garment and travel bags for Roger & Lisa to haul out for us. Thanks guys! Phew, breathing room now. Then Roger offered his compressed air to top off the tire pressure. That should pay off handsomely in miles per gallon. Off toward Port Huron for the Bluewater Bridge passage to Canada, and then on to Niagara Falls. Finding absolutely NO WAIT at either border was a pleasant surprise. We thought dinner in Niagara Falls would be a good idea. After wandering a bit with the benefit of Breanne’s GPS, carefully avoiding a really drunk driver who plowed down a stop sign in front of us, we decided to give up on Niagara Falls.

We hit I-90 shortly after a dinner stop in Tonawanda. The toll road traffic was light to start with and gradually became almost non-existent after midnight. By 2 AM Sunday, it was rare to see another vehicle either in front or behind us. Breanne took a shift at the wheel until the sleepies hit her. At some point I piloted again.

Mass Pike. I made the decision not to take the I-495 bypass around Boston. Instead, with Britni navigating, we headed straight in toward Boston and made the cut north closer to the coast. We had all kinds of time and found ourselves driving through Cambridge & Arlington on surface streets at 4:30 AM looking for a way to connect on Route 1 north. Zero traffic in metro Boston. New experience! I also learned that GPS isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Heading north (eventually on I-95, not Route 1), we decided to attempt a breakfast stop in Portsmouth, NH. Too early I guess. Nothing seemed open before 6 AM. Got back on I-95 and broke our fasting at the first service area in Maine with some BK fast food delicacies.

Breanne drove the rest of the way to  BH. Arrival was sometime around 10:30 AM I guess. I don’t remember clearly. My brain was quite feeble, sick and weary at this point.


3 thoughts on “The Midnight Run

  1. rogerkiwi says:

    Now I know why we’re making the trip in 2 and 2 parts stages – 2 part days to Delaware for a couple of nights and a day, and then a longer day up I-95 from Delaware to Bar Harbor. See you tomorrow night!!!!

  2. Skip Bryant says:

    Hi Wooster,
    This reply is to learn more about the perils of a Michigan to Maine Genealogy trip, I’d like some advice for myself. I’m descended from Major Joseph Bryant 1779-1855. We’re heading for Biddeford, Saco and Standish by car. Is there a best month ot go (of the three off school months J.J,A). How much preplanning did you do on specific places to visit vs. winging it? Lastly does preset appointments with library researchers and museum clerks help or do you really need flexibility?

  3. Don says:

    I’ve made the trip to Maine in April, May, June, August, September and October. For various reasons my preference is last week of May and first couple weeks in June. We do a lot of hiking & rock climbing and the weather is usually nice and it is before the high tourist season. July and August are the busiest if you are near the tourist destinations.

    My pre-planning is to check out online what libraries or research rooms are available in the areas I’m interested in. I make sure I have detailed maps of the areas and printouts of the pertinent web pages for hours phone numbers. It’s always a good idea to call ahead and make sure the web site information is current. I also call to ask about the collections and let them know what families I’m researching. I have never made an appointment for a specific time however.

    My research interests are scattered through Canada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and all the New England states, so I plan to visit cemeteries, ancestral towns and areas along the trip.

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