Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Driving on Interstate 95.

"Ever notice that anyone who drives faster than you is a maniac, and anyone who drives slower than you is an idiot?"
-George Carlin (I'm sure I don't have it word perfect, but it's his sentiment, for sure)

So I drove home today. Most of the trip (four hours of a five hour trip) is on I-95 from Flagler Beach in Florida to Walterboro in South Carolina. For those living outside the US, on the West Coast, or under a rock, allow me to explain a bit about I-95.

I-95 runs from the Canadian/US border in Maine to Miami, Florida. It runs through, or near, most of the large cities on the East Coast (Boston, New York, Baltimore, Washington DC, Richmond, Jacksonville, Miami) and is three or more lanes wide for most of the trip, with speed limits set from 55 to 70 miles per hour (70 in the south; they don't fool around). Notice the gap between Richmond VA and Jacksonville FLA. There's two and a half states of nothing in there, nothing but empty space full of people trying to get from Somewhere North to The Beaches In Florida. So, needless to say, the speed limits aren't terribly well respected, or enforced, or paid attention to. (When the husbeast drove down last weekend I asked him how fast he drove. He said "I couldn't tell. The speedometer only goes to 85." but he was going the speed of traffic. To go slower means getting rear-ended.)

Ah, but that's not the interesting part. I-95 dead-ends in Miami, dumping out the few travelers left onto State Route One down into the Florida Keys. Miami and the Keys are the #1 drug importation route of the East Coast; small boats run in all sorts of things from the Caribbean (in Key West, you are in fact closer to Cuba than you are to the mainland USA). From there the illegal drugs are transferred to cars and, you guessed it, driven up I-95 to all points north, including all those drug-hungry cities. So to say this interstate is heavily patrolled is a great understatement.

I have heard tell, FROM ONE OF THE COPS INVOLVED, that an alert once went out to pick up a drug-runner of a certain description driving a certain car. So they saw a car driven by a person meeting all the criteria, pulled it over, jerked him out and flung him face down on the ground and handcuffed him. (The poor driver was going "What? WHAT??" the entire time.) After drug dogs went over the car, they realized THEY HAD THE WRONG GUY. So the cops pulled him up, brushed him off and uncuffed him and said basically "Dude, we're soooo sorry." The cop who told me this was still marveling that the guy hadn't sued.

So it's strange, to me, to go winging past cops at 85 mph - the same speed everyone else is going - and not have them bat an eye, while all the time I know if an alert goes out for a white Jeep driven by a dark-haired chick, I'm doomed no matter what speed I'm going. (The odds are slim, but still.)

At any rate, I made it home in one piece. So did The Baby. I'll be posting photos as soon as I find the camera.

The cat's been laying on me for three hours now; when I move she just follows me and jumps back up.

Oh, and whoever came up with the idea of cops using unmarked mini-vans in Florida? That was REALLY mean.


Bells said...

hey, I'm reading Janet Evanovich's Metro Girl at the moment. You mentioned places and stuff from the book. Cool!

They used unmarked minivans here too - well the speed cameras do.

Sheepish Annie said...

Unmarked mini vans???? I'm calling a foul on that one! It's like cheating...

HollyEQQ said...

Hope you had fun in Florida. I have driven 95 about a million times back and forth from DC. It is soooo boring, particularly when you pass into Florida and there is nothing for so long. You get all amped up because you are in Florida, where are the orange trees? Sunshine? Pretty beaches? Nothing but Pine trees for miles and miles. The trip from Jacksonville to Pensacola is 6 hours of exactly the same thing. Nothing. And God forbid you miss the gas station cause you are gonna walk. They are few and far between.

Hope you had a blast. Can't wait to see the new colors your spring break inspired. You can see where my colorways come from. I have a hard time thinking blacks and browns when the sun is shining and the sky is so blue.
ps have you ever tried the olive icing dye? It is a great green with pink tips if you don't stir it. I usually let it soak in a dixie cup overnight so it separates then throw it in the dye pot. Waaaay fun. It is the top right green/pink fiber in this picture of some coltswold lamb:

debsnm said...

I'll say what I always say to those who bitch about the speeding tickets/ unmarked cars/ etc. Drive the freakin' speed limit! It's the LAW!
OK, that done, I-95 is one scary road. When I moved to the DC-area after living in the SW my entire life, I called my mom, and said: "you know those woods where they find all the dead bodies? Well, they're HERE!" In NM, there are no trees, and you can literally see for hundreds of miles in all directions. Trees growing up right next to the road with that ever-moving vine all over them? Freaked me right the sh*t out!

Mary Lynn said...

Unmarked minivans on every single highway in Ohio. The Ohio Highway Patrol loves those babies and local municipalities have picked up on it too.

Sounds like you had a great time.

Amy Lane said...

Uh oh...unmarked minivans? Seriously...under the belt... (and I've been on I-95, but I knew none of that...visiting your blog is like Mythbusters--fun AND educational!!)