30 Day Writing Challenge: Day 13 – Your Commute To And From Work

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I love to drive.  I love being out on the open road, music playing on the stereo while I sing along, or silence except for the hum of my tires on the asphalt.  I love the scenery of trees and overgrown grassy medians.  I love the myriad of billboards that advertise everything from fast food chains to mom-and-pop restaurants, hotels to doctors offices.  I love seeing other travelers on their way to somewhere as we share a small stretch of America’s highways and biways.  I love rest stops and truck stops.  I love getting lost and carving new paths.  I love getting in my car and just going . . . going somewhere specific or maybe just exploring what is outside of my everyday realm of civilization. 
Driving.  Claiming this great country one blacktopped, speed-limited mile at a time.
I love driving.

Day 13 – Your commute back and forth to work

When most people hear how long my commute to and from work is they usually gasp in horror.  “Oh my goodness!  You poor girl!  You have to drive that far?”  But I tell them, with complete honesty, that I love my drive to work.  The drive to work gives me plenty of time to prepare for the day ahead of me, and the drive home gives me plenty of time to decompress and leave my work day behind.  Yes, there are times when I am exhausted and don’t want to make that long haul.  Yes, there are times when appointments or weather makes the drive a bit of an inconvenience (I’m terrified of driving in snow).  But for the most part I enjoy my drive.  I’ve been making this commute for almost 4 years.
I live in Paducah, Kentucky.  I work in Murray, Kentucky.  Roundtrip commute each day:  approximately 100 miles.
My son and I leave the house each morning at 7:15 so that I can drop him off at school.  After making our way through the dropoff line I head toward the south side of town to make a stop at my usual gas station for my morning Dr. Pepper.  That particular gas station has the best soda fountain in town, because their Dr. Pepper calibration is slightly off kilter in favor of the soda syrup.
From there I head toward the highway and get on I-24, a relatively boring highway, but one that makes up half of my drive.  It does have lots of pretty foliage in the fall though.  But in the winter is also the site of many nasty accidents.
From I-24 I get on the Purchase Parkway, so named because it goes through the Purchase-area of Western Kentucky, as in Louisiana Purchase.  You know, Louis and Clark?  I’m only on this stretch of highway for about 10 miles, but in that short stretch there are currently two separate sites of road construction where the state is reconfiguring some of the on-and-off ramps.  It’s a mild inconvenience, but nothing that brings traffic to a dead stop on a daily basis, or even at all for that matter.
From the Purchase Parkway I get onto Highway 641, a lonely 4-lane highway that Marshall and Calloway Counties never plow when it snows.  Never.  It’s awful.  Along this stretch of highway I pass Andrus Excavating about 10 miles from work.  As soon as I pass it I lose my K-Love radio signal and have to switch to a little Christian station based in Hardin, Kentucky.  About 5 miles from work I pass a Dollar General and Murray Auto Auction, where a friend had to pick me up from one winter night because the road was crappy and I was too afraid to drive any further.
Traffic starts to get heavier the closer I get to Murray, a college town, home of Murray State University.  Luckily though I get to get off of 641 before getting too deep into Murray, so I get to get out of the traffic before it becomes to obnoxious.
My radio station sits at the bottom of two hills, and is surrounded by trees and apartments.
The drive home . . . Simply reverse my drive to work minus the stop at my son’s school.
Drive-time in the morning: 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Drive-time in the evening: 45 minutes.
I love my commute no matter how crazy anyone thinks I am for it.
Until next time . . .

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