How to make a road trip longer – drive near DC

In 2014 the drive to Ellicottville, NY was a breeze. It was actually enjoyable. This year, the drive was a trip from a horror that could have been created by Stephen King or Dean Koontz.

Granted, the drive was going to take a couple of more hours. In 2014 it was an eight-hour drive. Today’s drive was mapped out and searched with a resultant estimation of ten hours.

When MapQuest drew the route it skimmed the western side if Washington, DC. An alternative would be driving further west and avoiding any encroachment on DC. But, that alternative was an hour longer.

Since there was no urgency to reach Olean, NY (17 miles from Ellicottville where I am staying)  on Wednesday I selected the nearer approach with DC. In the past, living in Baltimore, DC was never an easy city to drive near or through. However, during recent years I’d made numerous trips to DC without delay or complication. I felt confident this trip would be no different.

I was wrong. At 41 miles out from DC traffic became heavy. Ninety minutes later, still 21 miles or so south from Washington I gave up and headed west on US-66. If the traffic had been better in the reverse direction I think I would have turned around and headed home. As it panned out this 10-hour or so trip ended up taking 13 hours.

Rest assured I’ll drive a longer route home based on mileage, avoid getting anywhere near DC and will most likely get back faster.