Any Suggestions for a long drive ?

On Wednesday I will be driving down from NYC to Columbus, Ohio for a family wedding. Its nearly 600 miles from door to door and Google Maps tells me that it will take me 10 hours to do the same. That is a fair estimate. However it may take longer because getting out of Manhattan at the time I will, is a nightmare.

I love driving and especially long drives, but this is the first time I will be doing it alone. Not that it really mattres. The last time I did such a long drive was also to Columbus in 2000 to see an exhibition. An ex-roommate of mine, who did not drive and I did it in one shot both ways.

Driving in the US especially on the interstates, is a boring, mind numbing exercise. Especially if the drive is not scenic, as is the case with most interstate drives. If I take local routes then yes the drive can be scenic, but with speed limits much lower on local routes, it will stretch the travel time a lot, and I don’t have a lot of time. Initially I was to leave around 1 pm and reach Columbus by 10 pm or so. However a meeting in office at 3 pm throws a spanner in the works and I wont be able to leave till 6 pm.

That will inadvertantly leave me with two options. One is to leave by around 7 pm and drive thru the nite so I reach the destination around 7 am in the monring with a good break for dinner. Other option is to drive till midnight and then shack up at a cheap motel somewhere and continue in the morning and reach by a targeted time of 10:30 pm.

It does not help matters that I have a very short attention span and hence get bored very easily doing the same task. Therefore I either land up speeding and getting a ticket or …lets not get there.

This would be so different if it was in India. Driving in India, is more engaging. More so because we have do not have the same organized road system as here. That keeps you more alert and on your toes, so to say. Also there is a lot that happens on the way that keeps you attentive. Here the scenery is drab, the rest stops and travel stations, drab and boring and uniform as ever. Nothing exciting. On the other hand, in India, there are the dhabas and the different roadside “hotels” and restaurants which each have a character and spirit of their own.

So my question to you dear reader is….what are your suggestions for this drive. What would you do. I will surely try out the suggestions, if feasible and report back on their success, or lack thereof.

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