My Drive Home

I’ve taken to slowing down toward the top of the hill in Middletown. A trooper has been parking there recently. Running radar, right?

I was driving the little car home from work tonight. My year with Premier has ended and I’ve returned their Forester. They were great. The car was great. I recommend Premier highly because Bob’s a good guy and the cars are well made.

Anyway I’m driving home and I’m playing with this toy. I have a large dongle plugged into my car’s computer which transmits to my smartphone. It shows me things this 1999 model normally doesn’t divulge.

Seriously, how much of a dweeb am I?

One screen, three dials. One reads fuel flow, another long term miles per gallon and a third instantaneous miles per gallon.

If everyone had these we’d all save a lot on gas. Like I said, it’s a toy! I’m trying to get good mileage… without really slowing down.

Right now the car is telling me it’s averaging 30 mpg–higher than when I took the screengrab on the left. I doubt that number. Still a few days from a fill-up.

Idling uses .2 gallons per hour. Who knew? It also gives a meaningless instantaneous reading.

I’m very aware as I drive home. I try to be diligent.

I slow down toward the top of the hill in Middletown. A trooper has been hanging out recently. Running radar, right?

I caught him the first time from a distance. He was very well hidden in a very dark spot. I caught a tiny glint from an approaching vehicle. Lucky catch.

I slowed down as I approached his lair tonight. Sure enough, back again. He parked parked high up in a passthrough in the median. If he wants to write tickets, I-91 is like shooting fish in a barrel!

Attention I-91 officer: You get points for being the “Stealth Trooper!”

I know where I should be at certain times as I drive. When on-time I’m on the Wilbur Cross Parkway exit as I recite along with the radio, “WNPR and WNPR HD1 Hartford, WPKT and WPKT HD1 Norwich, WEDW-FM Stamford, WRLI-FM Southampton and WAIC in Springfield, Massachusetts. I’m Bruce Barber. Have a great night.” Midnight.

I wonder if that will creep Bruce out? It is a little weird.

The part of the Parkway I travel is a little narrower than I-91. It’s in very good shape. Traffic is light. Heading home it’s mostly downhill.

Little traffic. Lonely souls passing through and me going home.

I get off near the Oakdale Theater. I know it has some corporate name at the moment. It’s still “The Oakdale.”

From there it’s suburban roads in Wallingford then into more rural territory. I drive past a huge orchard with dozens of neat rows of fruit trees. There’s a view from Blue Hills Road I need to shoot. I keep saying that.

The road narrows. I veer left for a short connecting street then quickly left again. It’s really rural now. I travel an area that qualifies as a hollow. How many get that in 2012?

On most nights I have already seen my last car! It’s quiet. It’s dark. If there’s going to be fog it’s going to form here before any other place on my route.

I saw two deer tonight. Separate sightings. They were both in the area behind Sleeping Giant State Park. Two raccoon too.

My home is on a small hill. I gain 200 feet of elevation in the last mile.

It’s 33.1 miles from the Courant/FoxCT plant to my garage. I’d rather not tell you how long it takes. I drive when traffic is light.

It would be nice if they’d move the station closer or I could move closer or maybe the governor will grant me speed limit immunity? Probably not.

The drive is worth it.

12 thoughts on “My Drive Home”

  1. You have a beautiful drive day or night once you hit your exit. I always wonder where other people are going when I drive at night – what’s their story.

  2. 9-5 commuters often miss those “little things” on their more hectic journey. I do the same lip synching to the WNPR station ID whenever it’s on. Once a radio geek, always a radio geek!

  3. What a great read, Geoff. It’s nice to have that quiet time in the car. I envy you your drive. I also have around 32 miles each way but unfortunately it’s all on I 95,except for the exits. But I get better mileage that way!

  4. So you’re “slowing down” cause you’ve spied a Trooper in the distance……hate to think what will happen if he “spots” you first next time…..enjoyed the piece as you enjoy the peace…

  5. Chrysler Sebrings have had this on-dash for years (at least since late nineties). Actual MPG at the moment, average overall, remaining fuel at that speed, etc. Really forces me to be aware of how I’m driving. Great aid!

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