(There might have already been a thread like this, but oh well! I’m starting another.)
I discovered the other day that I have a strong attachment towards the New Jersey Turnpike! I didn’t actually drive on it — I went to see my friend in Philadelphia, so I got off the road right before I would have gotten onto the New Jersey Turnpike if I’d been going farther north. But the act of denying myself a ride on the Turnpike made me feel so suddenly sad. It’s weird how strong the feeling was!
I’ve made a whole bunch of trips through New Jersey over the course of my life either to go to New York to do the things one needs to go to New York to do, or as a leg on the much longer journey to visit my dad in Boston. The last few times I drove through I stopped at the Vince Lombardi Service Plaza, so now that feels like it’s turned into a tradition. Another time I had tried waxing all the hair off my body the night before, but being a failure at waxing, I ended up with a big ol’ rash over my entire body. I didn’t want to wear long sleeves, because it was hot, and also the feeling of the textiles against the rash bothered me. I stopped at a Burger King off the Jersey Turnpike at some point to get a veggie burger (whenever traveling I always feel the need to consume all the trash I wouldn’t normally eat). While there everyone in line stood the now-customary 6 feet away from me, though this of course was long before Covid-19, so I felt like a big freak as I walked away with my burger and sat alone on the far side of the restaurant away from everyone else. I wanted to scream the whole time “It’s not contagious!” but that would just make me an even bigger freak. I could definitely sympathize with how people who have very visible chronic skin conditions and other illnesses might feel.
There were a few trips my dad and I took back and forth from Boston. Those are always nice, since they’re my one chance to sit down with him for a prolonged period and have an actual conversation. One time we were going to Maryland from Boston past midnight (“there’ll be less traffic!” my dad said). By the time we reached the New Jersey Turnpike he was on the verge of falling asleep. Without warning he pulled over onto the side of the road and said “your turn,” and I was like “ok?” and got out to switch with him. Though one of us must of have knocked into the high beam controls and put them on accidentally, so for the next five minutes I drove on the highway with the high beams on like an idiot, confused why on earth all the other cars were doing strange things like suddenly slowing down, getting behind me and flashing their lights.
On those Boston trips the Jersey Turnpike always felt nice because on the way there it felt like the point where the journey was really starting, after about an hour and a half of driving through Maryland and Delaware, and on the way back it felt like the sign that I was almost home. I liked approaching New York and seeing massive expanses of industrialization surrounding the city. It always felt like the harbinger of something big and ominous.
Anyways, I’m sad I was so close to it without a chance to actually get on it! But I figured I’d make this thread and see if other people have any roads that they feel some sentiments for. I have a few others that I could talk about too later on.