Wellsville, NY to the very end of Route 12 South in Hatteras, NC is a formidable journey for a family vacation, or even a solo trip. The route winds through five states and makes stops in a dozen different places. It starts in the lush green humidity of the Pennsylvania forests and ends at a fishing/tourist village on a sand dune in the Atlantic ocean. In between is the nations capital, the monstrous and notorious Beltway/I-95 now stretches beyond Richmond Virginia.
They say that travel broadens the human brain and naturally forces the mind to consider the bigger picture. Its seems the notion is more acute during this post-pandemic era as many are re-emerging and resuming travel. People are wider-eyed, jamming into scenic overviews, and just seem to be glad they are traveling instead of quarantining. Maybe its just my lens, which when I pull back out of focus to the big picture, a few things are clear:
1 ) You can move and get a job anywhere you want. Every single town is the same: Help Wanted, Open Interviews, Sign-on Bonus, $15/hr, No Experience Needed….. If the pandemic had one positive impact on life in America, it has opened a thousand doors. The minimum wage argument is over, employers are desperate and demand is returning. My point is this: If you want a job in a specific industry and in a specific place: Now is the time to make the leap, these doors won’t be open forever.
2) Major expansion. This route from Western New York, south toward popular places like Washington DC, Virginia Beach, OBX, Myrtle Beach, is undergoing massive infrastructure projects. The drive south is nothing like it was 20 years prior and by the end of this decade will be much different. In every state highways are being widened, massive new bridges like the image of the 2.4 mile-long Jug Handle Bridge(by NCDOT) above are just one of many seen along the coastline. Driving the current routes south from Allegany County it’s clear that future generations will travel south much faster and safer than today.
3) Wegmans is a thing to be treasured and praised while on the road. During college I lived a few blocks from the original Wegmans store in East Rochester. They had just built one of the super Wegmans like you will find on Monroe Avenue in Rochester today. Since then the chain has expanded south and provides the best travel stops, even making the stops more like destinations for me(I have a grocery store idiosyncrasy to put it bluntly.) Thanks to WNY hero Danny Wegman and clan, we have a great store about every 100 miles between Corning and Richmond VA. The Williamsport Wegmans is a natural break point, and just off Route 15 South. If you need to stop in Harrisburg, they have a new Wegmans. Frederick Maryland has a great Wegmans and so does Fredricksburg and Richmond Virginia!! Keep driving and Raleigh NC has a just opened a new Wegmans. Within 8 hours drive of almost anywhere in the Southern Tier, you can hit six different Wegmans, most of the them brand new and most have a full size sit down cafe area. Lets not forget the most important part of travel while using Wegmans as a guiding light while traveling south: Clean bathrooms!!!
Hope you are getting “out there” this summer also and we’d love to hear your travel stories and see your pictures. This sunset picture was take from Hatteras Island looking west over Pamlico Bay in North Carolina.