How are the skeeters?

The freeways that surround The Planet Ann Arbor hail from the WWII era (if I have it right). There are some areas where the “design” was never intended to be permanent. Unfortunately, those “designs” have never been updated. Enter a bazillion more automotive vee-hickles than existed in the 1940s.

In particular, if I am going north, the first couple of miles of freeway involve merging with cars entering from very short ramps, even including an entrance ramp that ends with a STOP SIGN! Yes, really. And then a left exit to leave the eastbound freeway to the northbound freeway, with a left merge onto the northbound freeway. Does any of this make sense? No, I’m sure it doesn’t. Don’t worry. All you need to know is that it’s a tangled MESS, one I have hated FOREVER, every single dad-blasted time I have to drive it, both north and south. AND NOW THERE IS CONSTRUCTION! But not to correct the terrible design. That’ll probably never change.

But hey! I can easily avoid all of this crapola. Because… I know the back roads around here like the back of my hand. So I took N. Maple up to the Huron River and across it. I continued up to Stein Rd., over to Whitmore Lake Rd., up to North Territorial Rd., and on to the freeway at a MUCH MORE SANE entrance (even after navigating two roundabouts to get there). I was on dirt roads for a bit there and the whole thing was probably slower than taking the freeway from the beginning. EXCEPT. That the freeway is almost always RED on Google Maps these days. Traveling slowly along beautiful dirt roads with very little traffic is much more pleasant than sitting in a traffic jam on a freeway. (This is all within about 10 miles or less.)

So I had a nice little zen start to my trip and it continued to be smooth. Until. The Mackinac Bridge. Construction has it down to two lanes, one in each direction, no passing (of course). The contractor had “promised” that they would have the first phase of this construction done to the point that all lanes would be open by today. That did not happen. So for all of the holiday weekend, the only way in and out of the yooperland without traveling around Lake Michigan or Lake Huron (loooooong way around in either case) is one lane on the bridge. Think that one through a bit. The only alternate routes involve going through either Chicago or Canananada. My trip across the bridge was a steady 20 mph slog. It was fine (I knew about the issue beforehand) but it will only get worse. I am so glad my beach urchins aren’t trying to travel here this weekend and I wish for patience (and a safe passage) for those who are.

So, I am here, “home”, again. It was 54 degrees when I got here but at least it was not SLEETING! like it was two years ago (also 54 degrees). This arrival featured a strong northwest wind. A facebook/high school friend asked how the skeeters were. Well, non-existent due to the wind. But I’m sure they are hunkering down lying in wait.

Love y’all, KW.

2 Responses to “How are the skeeters?”

  1. Margaret Says:

    Road work starts up earlier and earlier–or does it go ALL year now? The promises made by contractors, don’t get me started. I know back roads too although sometimes there just aren’t any. (the military base is in the way going south) I’m terrified of short entrance ramps onto freeways. California had some awful ones although I never drove there. They are better here although there is one on the way to SeaTac airport where you’re coming around a curve on a virtually non-existent ramp, trying to merge into traffic from the left. HATE IT!

  2. Pam J. Says:

    I hear ya. And I’m glad you’ve arrived safely. On my frequent trips between NYC from DC on the heavily traveled Atlantic Coast I-95 and the NJ Turnpike I’m always dodging construction crews and I’m not at my happiest. But! In my dotage I’ve come to a whole new place about road construction. I love road construction. I throw imaginary kisses to the workers. I’m oh so grateful that we (for now) live in a time and place where the powers that be can afford to spend money on the roads, desire to repair roads, and can find people willing to take on those hot, dangerous, scary jobs. If things change just a little more, and the anti-government folks get their way, we won’t have any taxes left to do road repairs.