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Author Topic: Kentucky to New Hampshire  (Read 4068 times)

hbelkins

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Kentucky to New Hampshire
« on: May 22, 2013, 11:54:20 AM »

Planning my trip to New Hampshire for the Portsmouth meet and the big questions surround my county- and highway-clinching expedition on Friday.

Leaving from Lexington, Ky. Wednesday afternoon and have abandoned my idea of taking I-71, I-271 and I-90 for several reasons, chief being Cincinnati-area rush hour. So it looks like I'm doing I-64 to I-79 (again) and plan to overnight somewhere between Weston and Morgantown.

Thursday my idea is to take I-68, US 220, I-99, I-80 and I-81 to the Scranton area, then exit at Clark's Summit and take US 11 into New York (clinching it in PA) and then taking I-81 to Syracuse (clinching it in its entirety), and I-90 east to Springfield (clinching it in New York). Hope I don't get into rush hour traffic in Albany.

Friday is the day I'm curious about. My goal is to clinch all of New Hampshire's counties, so I have a plan. Head north out of Springfield into Vermont, take Exit 8 off I-91 and wander over into Sullivan County, then back to I-91 north to I-93, heading south. I can pick up Coos and Carroll county by exiting at US 302 at Exit 40 and then backtracking to I-93 and head south, clinching it in NH.

What I would like to do is stay on I-93 all the way through Boston to I-95, then backtrack down MA 3 through Plymouth County to Barnstable County, then cut across to MA 25 and up I-495 to I-95, then down I-95 through Providence (clinching it in RI), back up I-295 (clinching it) to RI 114, then north to the Worcester area. Would like to also clinch I-290 and I-190 on Friday afternoon.

Saturday after the meet, down I-95 to I-495 at Mansfield/Foxboro (clinching 95 in MA), then the best route to hopefully Danbury. (suggestions for the best route from the I-95/I-495 interchange near Mansfield/Foxboro to Danbury are appreciated).

Sunday it's a clinch of I-684, then down I-287 to I-95, make a U-turn and then back on I-287 across the Tappan Zee and then the best possible route to Staunton, Va. Again, suggestions for the fastest route from the Tappan Zee to Staunton are appreciated. Looks like I-287 to I-78 to I-81 may be the best option.

Suggestions/comments? Anyone who can provide a time frame for my plans on Friday would earn my gratitude.
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Re: Kentucky to New Hampshire
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2013, 12:40:57 PM »

I can point you to some really old signs in rural western Mass: a 1948-54 or so yellow stop sign, and a 1910s (!) pair of blue porcelain guide signs.
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Re: Kentucky to New Hampshire
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2013, 04:16:36 AM »

Rather than the quick over and back on 302, I'd suggest staying on 302 at least down to Conway.  Very scenic...Crawford Notch is arguably more scenic than Franconia Notch.
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Re: Kentucky to New Hampshire
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2013, 11:48:42 AM »

Friday is the day I'm curious about. My goal is to clinch all of New Hampshire's counties, so I have a plan. Head north out of Springfield into Vermont, take Exit 8 off I-91 and wander over into Sullivan County, then back to I-91 north to I-93, heading south. I can pick up Coos and Carroll county by exiting at US 302 at Exit 40 and then backtracking to I-93 and head south, clinching it in NH.

What I would like to do is stay on I-93 all the way through Boston to I-95, then backtrack down MA 3 through Plymouth County to Barnstable County, then cut across to MA 25 and up I-495 to I-95, then down I-95 through Providence (clinching it in RI), back up I-295 (clinching it) to RI 114, then north to the Worcester area. Would like to also clinch I-290 and I-190 on Friday afternoon.

Saturday after the meet, down I-95 to I-495 at Mansfield/Foxboro (clinching 95 in MA), then the best route to hopefully Danbury. (suggestions for the best route from the I-95/I-495 interchange near Mansfield/Foxboro to Danbury are appreciated).

Sunday it's a clinch of I-684, then down I-287 to I-95, make a U-turn and then back on I-287 across the Tappan Zee and then the best possible route to Staunton, Va. Again, suggestions for the fastest route from the Tappan Zee to Staunton are appreciated. Looks like I-287 to I-78 to I-81 may be the best option.

Suggestions/comments? Anyone who can provide a time frame for my plans on Friday would earn my gratitude.

If you want some scenery and aren't just clinching highways/counties, US302 through NH is a good road. As for the rest of your trip through MA, I was just through MA3 to US6 to Barnstable County and back MA25 to I-495.

From I-95/I-495, there's a few ways I'd go, and it's all up to what you're looking to do:

Easiest all freeway: I-495 to I-90 to I-84.
Easiest/shortest: Go to RI to I-295 and take US6 west to I-395/Extension to CT2 to Hartford to I-84 (Or, US6 to I-384 to Hartford).

Any plans to hit the two island counties yet? Or is that being saved for a later trip?
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hbelkins

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Re: Kentucky to New Hampshire
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2013, 11:32:44 PM »

Rather than the quick over and back on 302, I'd suggest staying on 302 at least down to Conway.  Very scenic...Crawford Notch is arguably more scenic than Franconia Notch.

But doesn't allow for a clinch of I-93; otherwise I had already thought about that.

From I-95/I-495, there's a few ways I'd go, and it's all up to what you're looking to do:

Easiest all freeway: I-495 to I-90 to I-84.
Easiest/shortest: Go to RI to I-295 and take US6 west to I-395/Extension to CT2 to Hartford to I-84 (Or, US6 to I-384 to Hartford).

Any plans to hit the two island counties yet? Or is that being saved for a later trip?

Looking for shortest, especially since I have already done I-90 and I-84, and I have no aversions to non-freeways and am looking to make time and mileage Saturday evening.

No plans for the island counties on this trip. Don't have the time. They may remain as my roadblocks to a clinch of MA, just as the two Long Island counties (Suffolk and Nassau) are all that stand in the way of clinching NY.
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hbelkins

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Re: Kentucky to New Hampshire
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2013, 08:58:47 PM »

Running into lodging issues for the Worcester area for Friday night. Most places are out of my preferred price range, and the typical chains that I would use (Days Inn, Quality Inn) have bad reviews.

May have to look at something a bit closer to Portsmouth. Grrrr....
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Re: Kentucky to New Hampshire
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2013, 11:06:41 PM »

Running into lodging issues for the Worcester area for Friday night. Most places are out of my preferred price range, and the typical chains that I would use (Days Inn, Quality Inn) have bad reviews.

May have to look at something a bit closer to Portsmouth. Grrrr....
I could have told you that about Worcester. Look along MA 9 east of there, maybe I-90 Exit 12 area.

hbelkins

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Re: Kentucky to New Hampshire
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2013, 08:01:00 PM »

I could have told you that about Worcester. Look along MA 9 east of there, maybe I-90 Exit 12 area.

Ran some times on Google Maps. Assuming no major traffic problems when I drive through Boston on I-93, or on I-95 through Providence, I should be able to get a lot closer to Portsmouth in an acceptable time frame if I wake up and get on the road early enough Friday.

Of course Portsmouth lodging prices are outrageous, too, but there are some options along I-495 north of I-290 that will work.
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hbelkins

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Re: Kentucky to New Hampshire
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2013, 10:46:03 PM »

Spending the night in West Springfield, Mass., just down the street from the Picadilly Pub where we had a meet a few years ago.

Left Lexington Thursday afternoon and spent last night in Weston, WV.

Route: I-64, I-79, I-68, US 220, I-99, I-80, I-81, I-476, US 11, "To US 11/NY 7/I-81," I-81, I-90, I-91, US 5.

Saw some work on I-64 between the WV 10 and US 60 exits, so it may finally be that this portion of the road is being widened.

Nothing really new through WV, MD and PA.

Missed getting a photo of a state name NY I-81 sign just after NY 17 joins. I'm sure there are other pics floating around. No issues getting through Kamikaze Curve.

Lots of button copy where NY 49 and NY 5 parallel the thruway, and one button copy sign for the I-790 exit that I also missed getting a pic of.
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hbelkins

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Re: Kentucky to New Hampshire
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2013, 09:28:30 PM »

Remind me never to go to Boston again. Or Providence.

I-93 was stop-and-go southbound from just after exiting the tunnel practically all the way to the MA 3 split. And this was at 2:30 p.m., not exactly rush hour.

And Providence, on I-95 south, was a cluster foxtrot about 5 p.m. And all the roads merging into southbound 95 were too.

Why people would voluntarily put themselves in that position and live there and have to deal with that mess every day is beyond me.
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Re: Kentucky to New Hampshire
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2013, 09:48:07 PM »

Last time I was up there, I made use of I-295 around Providence and I-95 around Boston.  I-95 isn't THAT much better, but at least you're somewhat separated from the main part of the city.
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hbelkins

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Re: Kentucky to New Hampshire
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2013, 10:54:35 PM »

Because of the time factor, and because I wasn't feeling well (those at the meet know about it) I opted for a direct route from Portsmouth to Danbury (I-95, I-495, I-290, Mass Pike, I-84). I will have to leave the goal of clinching I-95 in Massachusetts unmet for now.

Massachusetts really needs to get rid of all those cloverleafs.
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Re: Kentucky to New Hampshire
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2013, 05:35:02 PM »

Remind me never to go to Boston again. Or Providence.

I-93 was stop-and-go southbound from just after exiting the tunnel practically all the way to the MA 3 split. And this was at 2:30 p.m., not exactly rush hour.

And Providence, on I-95 south, was a cluster foxtrot about 5 p.m. And all the roads merging into southbound 95 were too.

Why people would voluntarily put themselves in that position and live there and have to deal with that mess every day is beyond me.

I can't speak as much for Providence, but Boston can be pretty worthwhile if you aren't in a car.

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Re: Kentucky to New Hampshire
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2013, 02:45:48 AM »

Quote
I can't speak as much for Providence, but Boston can be pretty worthwhile if you aren't in a car.

I can vouch for this.
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hbelkins

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Re: Kentucky to New Hampshire
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2013, 09:09:18 AM »

This was one of the most difficult trips I've made, due to not feeling well during the meet. I hate not being able to finish off I-95 in Massachusetts, but perhaps will leave that for another time.

No issues with my route on Sunday. Left Danbury and stayed on US 6, whereupon I spotted some fugly signs in Connecticut and a couple of error NY 202 signs after the state line.

No issues with clinching I-684 and none with I-287 in Westchester County. Didn't feel scared crossing the Tappan Zee, but noticed some work out in the river and also on the western bank. Is the replacement already under construction?

Most of the button copy on I-287 has survived in New Jersey all the way down to I-78, which is as far as I went. Very few, if any, state-named I-287 shields in that segment.

Opted for US 22 through Phillipsburg and Easton. When and how long was that stretch of 22 in Pennsylvania I-78, and for what portion? I can't imagine that winding, narrow section descending into Easton being signed as an interstate.

No issues and not too heavy traffic on I-78 and I-81. Did notice the lightly toasted flyover at US 22/322 and also saw a supersized fugly US 22 sign when I stopped for gas just before I-83.

Poured the rain on me during my short jaunt through Maryland, and noticed widening in West Virginia. This does not seem like a prudent use of highway funds in West Virginia, since the majority of traffic on I-81 through there is out-of-state through traffic, and the road is two lanes in MD and VA. I'd think WV would get more bang for its buck spending that money on I-64 between Huntington and Charleston.

The "US 37" sign on southbound I-81 at Winchester has been photographed by many people, including me more than once, but I hadn't seen the "VA 50" marker on the exit sign a few miles south.

No real issues driving south on I-81, but I noticed a nasty slowdown in the NB lanes just prior to the I-66 split.

New Clearview signs have been set for the US 48/WV 55 exit but only Strasburg is shown. No mention of the WV destinations that road serves.

Overnighted in Staunton, made a short jaunt over to Waynesville that evening and saw some new-looking unisigns in various places.

No real issues on the drive home. I opted for the direct I-64 route over the Google-estimated 10 minutes longer route of 81 south to Abingdon (because that meant significant time on I-81 without use of the V1, and I've driven Alt. 58 and 23 so many times I'm tired of the, plus the route would have taken me by my office and I would have been tempted to stop) and the 20 minutes longer route of WV 97 out of Beckley to US 52, over to US 119 at Williamson and then 119 to 23 at Pikeville (because the crossing of those two mountains on 52 between Gilbert and Williamson held no allure for me on this day even if I could have checked out further King Coal Highway construction). I did opt to check the extension of the East Beckley Bypass, which is now open to WV 41. It needs to be finished on up to Corridor L, because US 19 (Eisenhower Avenue) was a cluster foxtrot all the way up to the WV 16 merge.

Quick drive on the WV Turnpike, the 60 mph section flowed really well and I was able to stay mostly at 75 mph except in some of the sharper curves.

Stopped at the Speedway in Grayson and bought a Diet Ale-8 to celebrate my return to Kentucky. A contract has been let to rebuild a section of KY 7 south of the Carter/Elliott line toward Sandy Hook, but I can see absolutely no signs of progress on that project.

This is one trip for which I really can say I'm glad to be back home. I'm also thankful that I didn't throw up in Doug Kerr's Car during the meet tour, and I'm sure Doug Kerr's Car is grateful too.
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Re: Kentucky to New Hampshire
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2013, 01:30:42 PM »

Of course Portsmouth lodging prices are outrageous
Not sure what your price range limit was, but I was able to stay at an America's Best Inn just outside of Portsmouth (Exit 6 off I-95) for under $75/night (taxes included) the Friday before the meet day (that's why I was the first one there).  Although I booked the room (via Expedia) about a month beforehand in order to ensure an available room.

Remind me never to go to Boston again. Or Providence.

I-93 was stop-and-go southbound from just after exiting the tunnel practically all the way to the MA 3 split. And this was at 2:30 p.m., not exactly rush hour.
For future reference - Rule Number 1 for Boston area driving: Always check the traffic reports on either WBZ (1030 AM) on the 3s or Sirrius/XM Channel 132 on the 1s.  If the road you're planning use is clogged traffic-wise (preferably before you enter the problem area), seek an alternate route where possible.

I believe the main reason why the traffic was that bad at that time was because many likely wanted to leave work early and head to the South Shore or the Cape this past weekend... especially due to the previous weekend's crappy weather (it rained 2 days out of the 3-day Memorial Day weekend and was cold).

Because of the time factor, and because I wasn't feeling well (those at the meet know about it) I opted for a direct route from Portsmouth to Danbury (I-95, I-495, I-290, Mass Pike, I-84). I will have to leave the goal of clinching I-95 in Massachusetts unmet for now.

Massachusetts really needs to get rid of all those cloverleafs.
That's the same basic route I took that Saturday afternoon or evening.  Which cloverleaf interchanges were you referrng to?  Based on the above, the only cloverleaf interchange that you (& I) actually went on (vs. through) was I-495/290. and the 495S/290W is not a loop ramp.  The ramps to/from the Mass Pike (from 290 and to 84) are more trumpet-like in nature.

Sure, there are some cloverleafs along I-495; but since the mainline road is mostly 3-lanes in one direction, all one needs to do is move to the middle or left lane and one avoids any weaving traffic.

BTW, what parts of I-95 in MA do you need to clinch?
« Last Edit: June 04, 2013, 01:56:59 PM by PHLBOS »
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Re: Kentucky to New Hampshire
« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2013, 01:59:50 AM »

Quote
I did opt to check the extension of the East Beckley Bypass, which is now open to WV 41. It needs to be finished on up to Corridor L, because US 19 (Eisenhower Avenue) was a cluster foxtrot all the way up to the WV 16 merge.

I've seen it argued by Brian Powell that WVDOH would have been better off widening US 19 over building the East Beckley Bypass.
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Re: Kentucky to New Hampshire
« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2013, 12:10:28 PM »

Hope I don't get into rush hour traffic in Albany.

Did you? I've heard stories about the mythical Albany traffic, but for all the times I've passed through I have yet to see it. I even lived and worked there for several months but never encountered it, as is my habit.

No plans for the island counties on this trip. Don't have the time. They may remain as my roadblocks to a clinch of MA, just as the two Long Island counties (Suffolk and Nassau) are all that stand in the way of clinching NY.

Same issue here...I have all of MA but the two islands, and the last counties I got in NY were Nassau, Suffolk and finally Richmond (another island).

Remind me never to go to Boston again. Or Providence.

I-93 was stop-and-go southbound from just after exiting the tunnel practically all the way to the MA 3 split. And this was at 2:30 p.m., not exactly rush hour.

And Providence, on I-95 south, was a cluster foxtrot about 5 p.m. And all the roads merging into southbound 95 were too.

Why people would voluntarily put themselves in that position and live there and have to deal with that mess every day is beyond me.

Sorry...we would've warned you, but I guess out this way we figure that warning someone about traffic in Boston is like telling them to beware of Englishmen in London. :-)

As for Providence, it is a little big for its breeches, as the saying goes. It's a mid-sized city by Northeastern standards, but seems to have larger aspirations somehow. Downtown parking has all the inconvenience and exorbitant cost of a place like Boston, for example, due to a citywide ban on overnight street parking. I rarely get out there, but I'd imagine the freeway traffic has similar woes.
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hbelkins

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Re: Kentucky to New Hampshire
« Reply #18 on: June 05, 2013, 07:38:29 PM »

I still need all of I-95 between the two I-495 interchanges.

One other observation from the trip: I'm glad I don't smoke and I don't how people who do can afford to. $6 a pack or more for name-brand cigs in Vermont. Ouch.

Highest gas price seen was $3.899 in Danbury, Ct.  Lowest was $3.209 in Staunton, Va.
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Re: Kentucky to New Hampshire
« Reply #19 on: June 06, 2013, 01:40:03 PM »

One other observation from the trip: I'm glad I don't smoke and I don't how people who do can afford to. $6 a pack or more for name-brand cigs in Vermont. Ouch.

If "ouch" is your word for $6, what term would you apply to what they cost in New York City ($12-$14)?
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Re: Kentucky to New Hampshire
« Reply #20 on: June 09, 2013, 04:04:52 PM »

My sister-in-law smokes and nearly everytime I head up north to visit family; my brother asks me to purchase a carton or two over in Delaware (about 12 miles from where I live) prior to my departure, where the price of Marlboro 100s (the brand my sister-in-law smokes) is only about $55.  The carton prices in MA, CT & NH are significanlty higher.

I still need all of I-95 between the two I-495 interchanges.
My suggestion would be to plan your future clinching travel time so that you are not on the 128/YDH section (Exits 12 through 45) of I-95 during the morning or evening rush hours... especially on either a Friday or a holiday weekend.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2013, 04:18:27 PM by PHLBOS »
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