May 29, 2017

Road Trip

XM Radio’s 50s channel (50s on 5) was just finishing up playing all the songs released during that decade when I turned the Liberty off U.S. 221 and onto Alum Ridge Road for the shortcut over to Rte. 8 shortly after 5 a.m.

A client emergency sent me headed for DC in the wee hours of the morning — a four-to-five hour drive depending on traffic and the alertness of Virginia’s State Police (Question for another time: If Virginia is a Commonwealth, why do we have a “State” Police?).

It would take about two hours to finish up the problem in DC, stop by Penn Camera to pick up supplies and then head back towards the mountains. On trips like this, XM — with its 100+ channels of commercial-free music — is a great companion.

Paul Petersen was singing “Tell Laura I Love Her” as I turned off Alum Ridge Road and onto Va. Rte. When the 50s wrapped up the decade of music, I flipped over the 60s on 6 and they kicked off the decade with Bobby Rydell. XM is playing all the recorded pop music from January 1, 1940 through December 31, 1999 — in sequence. Duane Eddy’s baritone guitar offered its mournful sound as I turned off Rte. 8 and headed North on I-81. After a quick stop at the Truckstops of America pumps in Troutville ($1.63 a gallon for regular), I headed north on 81 with Brenda Lee singing “Sweet Nothing.”

Four hours later, the work in DC complete, I headed West on I-66 with Fenderman singing “Muleskinner Blues.” At the I-81 intersection we were into 1961 and Chubby Checker.

When we bought the Jeep Liberty two years ago, Amy and I were surprised at its great on-road manners. With the cruise control set on 70, I cruised along with the Ventures. A stop for gas in Woodstock ($1.83 a gallon) interrupted the nonstop flow of music but Connie Francis’s voice greeted me as I fired the Liberty’s V-6 back up and headed South on 81.

Light traffic kept delays at a minimum but I counted 11 cars pulled over by State Troopers between Woodstock and Roanoke. Drivers getting an early start on the Labor Day weekend slowed things considerably going up Christiansburg mountain and I ran into a delay behind a truck on Rte. 8 just past Riner but still managed to pull into the parking lot of The Jacksonville Center at 4:15 p.m. On XM, it was March, 1961 and the music continued.

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