This report is from a trip from Syracuse, NY to Jamaica, VT and back over Christmas, 2003.

Christmas trip NY-VT (long)

Went from Liverpool, NY to Meaghan's parents (my "other half", but not least not yet) in Jamaica, VT for the Christmas holiday. Left out of Liverpool a little after 6:30pm on Christmas Eve...hopped on the Thruway and headed east. A lot less traffic on the Thruway than I was expecting, given that it was Christmas coming up the next day. Things flowed well and, given that temps were still hovering above freezing, the roadway was just wet and not iced over. Was well dark, so didn't see a whole lot in the way of scenery or features.

Exited the Thruway at Exit 29, NY 30A. The ramps don't end at NY 30A...that involves about a 1/3 mile drive on a local road, which passes by a TA Travel Center. Not surprisingly, the McDonalds next door was being about 8:15pm by this time.

At NY 30A, we headed north. NY 30A crosses the Mohawk River/Erie Canal on a brown steel-overhead-truss bridge, then crosses the parallel rail tracks on a regular highway bridge. At that point, NY 30A hits a T-intersection at NY 5, and has a short 3-4 block duplex with NY 5 in Fonda before turning north.  Climbing up the ridge north of Fonda, NY 30A has a truck climbing lane and nudges up to 50 MPH. 55 MPH starts at the top of the ridge, enroute to Johnstown.

Looks like, sometime way back, NY 30A was realigned (or constructed) to bypass the bulk of Johnstown...most of the town is bypassed, though there is a section where there's enough urbanization to drop the speed limit to 45 MPH. Looks like most of the town's commercialism is at the northern NY 29/NY 30A intersection and nearby. This included an Applebees, which we unfortunately missed by 30 minutes (everything closed at 8pm, it seems), so we wound up having "Christmas Eve dinner" in the car, acquired from a Stewarts at the NY 29/NY 30A intersection.

From Johnstown, we headed east on NY 29 and was on that for a ways. As with NY 30A and Johnstown, it looks like NY 29 was realigned to bypass the bulk of Broadalbin. The NY 29/NY 30 intersection is signalized, and further east, there's an overpass over NY 29. Further east, towards Saratoga Springs, there's a section that looks like it had been recently reconstructed and realigned.  What I found odd is that this reconstructed segment was signed 45 MPH...looked like it should've been at least 50 MPH, if not 55.

NY 29 follows a street (I want to say Washington) through western Saratoga, and gets VERY narrow at times....I've seen residential streets in Mississippi wider than parts of NY 29. NY 29 eventually gets to US 9 in downtown S.S., and triplexes with US 9 and NY 50 for a few blocks. At the junction with Lake Ave, also where NY 9N begins, NY 29 splits back off and heads east along another local street, but wider this time, and with a lot of churches that just happened to be letting out from Christmas Eve mass.

Eventually, NY 29 crosses underneath I-87, but with no interchange...have to take local streets to either NY 9P or NY 50 to access I-87. NY 29 opens up to 45 MPH at the I-87 underpass, and eventually gets to 55 MPH shortly thereafter.  NY 29 has another triplex in Shuylerville, this time with US 4/NY 32. On the eastern end of Shuylerville, NY 29 crosses the Hudson River on a pair of on each side of an island in the middle of the island wide enough to have a local street and some houses on it.

Further east, just west of Greenwich, NY 29 has a duplex with NY 40, of which parts look like they were recently reconstructed. The northeastern NY 29/40 junction is signalized. Shortly thereafter, NY 29 goes through Greenwich, where at the main intersection in town, NY 29 turns left while NY 372 continues straight. We took NY 372.

On the east end of NY 372, the roadway crosses the Batten Kill on a VERY OLD and narrow bridge, before turning right and crossing under the parallel railroad bridge. NY 372 is fairly twisty and narrow (and not in very good condition) enroute to Cambridge, where it ends at NY 22. From NY 372, traffic to NY 313 is directed via trailblazer to follow NY 22 south. This is odd, not only because the street NY 372 ends on continues straight ahead about 4 blocks to NY 313, but also because traffic from WB NY 313 heading to NY 372 is directed onto that same street. My guess on why this is is that it's easier to make a left turn from NY 22 onto NY 313 than it is to turn left from the local street.

NY 313 out of Cambridge, except for the pavement condition, is a fairly good highway, with wide paved shoulders and fairly gently curves (that one could at least take at 45 MPH). This changed considerably at the state line, with VT 313 having little shoulder, more hills, and more curves. VT 313 eventually brought us to Arlington, where we picked up "Historic VT 7A" (the Historic being a banner), north to Manchester.

"Historic" VT 7A, the old route of US 7, only has one good straightaway between Arlington and Manchester, where the speed limit nudges up to 50 MPH. Once in Manchester, things slow down, eventually to 25 MPH as one passes a fairly large resort hotel (and even a brief divided section right in front of the hotel). Things stay 25 MPH through "downtown" Manchester and down to the junction with VT 11/30.

The locals call the VT 7A/11/30 junction "Malfunction Junction", and rightfully so. If any intersection cries out for a traffic signal, that one's it. I'm told it's next to impossible to turn left from VT 11/30 onto SB VT 7A during the day and evening because of traffic.

Once away from Malfunction Junction, VT 11/30 heads east away from Manchester and towards one of the mountains comprising the Green Mountains. US 7 has a 5-ramp par-clo at VT 11/30, with a WB to SB loop. Further up, VT 11/30 has a fairly lengthy truck climbing lane up the mountain up to where VT 30 splits off.

At this point, we took VT 30 into Jamaica and the house. Lots of hills and curves, and at least one black-on-white-circle VT 30 shield enroute. VT 100 joins at Rawsonville, and continues to south of Jamaica, but our destination was Jamaica. Got into Jamaica around 10:30pm.

The return trip was the morning of the 26th, following the exact same route back. Of notice on the return trip are black-on-white-circle shields in Manchester (the Historic VT 7A one is especially interesting), finding out that the NY 372 bridge over Batten Kill was built in 1915-16, and there are some interesting rock cuts on the Thruway between Fultonville and Herkimer.

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(C) 2007, Adam Froehlig