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Random thoughts from the Jersey Turnpike

Im back from my big summer vacation. Well, big probably isnt the right word choice. Brief but sincere is more like it. We left on Thursday and were home by Monday morning.

Im not complaining. Any vacation is a good vacation. And four days are surely better than none.

Four hours of that time were spent late Sunday traveling 100 miles on the New Jersey Turnpike. For those who havent had the pleasure, The New Jersey Turnpike runs the length of the Garden State and is at minimum six lanes wide and in some places, swells to 12 with six lanes running in each direction.

The posted speed limit is 65 mph. Sunday night, for whatever reason, traffic was moving much slower. Moving is probably too generous of a term. It was oozing, crawling, creeping, bunching, inching, moving at a snails pace, choose your own descriptors here.

I kept expecting to come upon an accident or at least some construction that would explain the slow going.

But no.

There was none.

Its just the pace of life on the New Jersey Turnpike on a Sunday evening in the summer.

For all I know, that may well be the pace of life on the turnpike on any Sunday evening.

And it begs the question, why would people choose to live like this? And yet statistics suggest that New Jersey, in the corridor that spans south from New York City down past Philadelphia just to the west and on into Delaware is one of the most densely populated areas in the country, perhaps in the world.

So apparently a big bunch of people do choose to live there, which explains, I suppose, why I found myself playing turtle on the turnpike for four hours last Sunday evening.

Every summer we experience the exodus of people from that part of the world racing north like a wave, turning our world into a bit of New Jersey, making our roads thick with traffic and our conversations thick with accents foreign to our ears.

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