Sunday, September 4, 2011

(4) PA: It will be dark soon (still day 1)...

By the time we reached Indianapolis we've been driving for roughly 12 hours with only short breaks to refuel, breakfast and lunch. I simply loved all of what I've seen so far; I was still on an adrenaline high and far from tired. Besides, I haven't yet had a chance to drive. I would have my opportunity soon enough - yay!

Approaching Indianapolis... A comforting sense of familiarity - again (*smile*) This is one of the biggest cities that we drove through on the way.

Recreational riding is popular in the US. Wearing a helmet is mandatory by law in 20 states, only mandatory for some riders in 27 states and in 3 states there is no law in this regard. In Kansas you don't have to wear one except on the military base. Personally I prefer wearing one. It just seems like the responsible thing to do, you know.  
Beautiful view; a glimpse of civilization the way I'm used to it. Until now I've only seen this kind of America in the movies and now I was driving in it. 
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: a highway.
City scape of Indianapolis from the highway.
Look familiar anyone? I was fascinated by the blue on these bridges. It wasn't until we drove back and passed it a second time that we noticed that it is part of a space theme around the highway. They had all sorts of space shuttle cartoons "engraved" into the concrete on the side of the road. Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of it - sorry :(
There's that famous off-ramp to the right...
Garett was a little concerned that we were going to hit Indianapolis during rush hour traffic. His memories of the highway was a little unsettling and he didn't want to have a repeat experience. We only realized it just on the other side of town that the time zone changed in Terre Haute, Indiana, so instead of it being 5pm, it was already 6pm and the worse was already over.
Those little VW bugs are also rather popular around the cities... Seeing as we've already been driving for 12 hours by this time it was quite a relief that this highway was not that busy. Just like everyone rushing home to dinner we were starting to feel like it was time for dinner and a decent break.

Unfortunately it was dark after dinner and I couldn't take any more pictures. Finally it was my turn to drive. The weather was cool and rainy - much appreciated after the fairly hot day in the car. We got to see a spectacular display of lightning. We decided to drive as far as we felt the energy to do so safely. It turned out to be around 3:30am. Now both Garett and I were pooped and we decided to find a safe spot to take a break until at least sunrise.
Note to self: Liane is too tall to take a nap on the front seat; comfortable for driving but not for sleeping. I would have preferred the backseat instead but it was filled with luggage - sadly no luck there :( Either way it was a welcome break. The upside was that we wouldn't have to drive another full day to our destination. We were now already within the state of Pennsylvania and I was slowly starting to look forward to getting the long drive behind us.


  1. September 4, 2011 at 11:39 am
    And I thought driving through a large(ish) city in the UK for the first time was scary but this…wow, the roads are so huge! I'd love to drive around the US for a while, even though it would confuse the hell out of me!

  2. September 4, 2011 at 2:52 pm
    Sometimes you surprise yourself, Dave I think a few things might affect the experience: (1) whether the car is manual or automatic. With automatic you have one less thing to worry about, i.e. shifting gears. (2) Where you drive make a difference, e.g. in the city it takes a lot of concentration when you must turn at intersections – (a) making sure you turn into the right lane and not into oncoming traffic, and (b) the spots to check for oncoming traffic is redefined as they drive in different lanes to what your brain is wired for.On the highways, like I said, all the traffic on one side goes in the same direction. No worry about the side you're not driving on.(3) It feels very odd going slow in the "fast lane" but here you keep right and pass left – opposite to the "keep left, pass right" that I'm used to. I have to keep reminding myself to move over to the "fast" lane hahaIt takes much concentration at first, but if you stick to it, your brain learns new patterns and you become more comfortable with a new way. To help myself I've been talking out loud to myself as I approach intersections… "Now remember, turn left into the far lane, you hear…" haha It has helped me a lot And of course, the more you do it, the better you get at it; practice makes perfect!I've never been in the UK/Europe, but if they drive on the same side as South Africa – and in a while it might not matter – then 'let me at 'em!!" lol