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  1. #1

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    Question for Folks in VT and NH

    I am going to be driving from upstate NY to Portland, ME. We do this sort of drive a lot, usually taking 90 to 495 to 95. But google maps is suggesting a route that follows this road through VT and through much of NH:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Eng...rstate_Route_9

    What is the road like? Good idea or bad idea? What if we are towing a small trailer? I suspect the roads in that area might be a bit winding?
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  2. #2

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    I'm from Mass, but I wouldn't use it. 9 is an old road that runs through the center of many of the small towns. Stop lights, slow local traffic, varying speed limits from 25 to 50 that change at every town line so the cops can write tickets. YMMV
    AceOn6, the golf loving skating fan

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    Yep, Aceon is right--you'll go through the Green Mts and then the White Mtns, and that's easier by highway than by state highway. There are surely places where the state highway is freeway-ish and straight. If you want a faster trip, take the interstates. If you don't mind going through the towns (scenic, but with New England's typically lousy signage, I always get lost! ) and having a slower trip, take 9.

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    I'm from the Northwest corner of MA and have used RT 9. We used that route when we go to Maine! It's a decent road, but yes you do go through some small towns that can get congested at times, like Wilmington, VT Years ago we towed a pop up trailer this route and had no problem. It takes us about 5 hours to get up to Old Orchard Beach.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LilJen View Post
    but with New England's typically lousy signage,
    Ugh... don't remind me! I drove out to Greenfield, MA 3 years ago, via the Mohawk Trail (Route 2). I would see signs saying "To Greenfield" with an arrow pointing to indicate keep driving straight ahead, but never with any distances to tell you how much farther you have to drive.

    I said "nuts to this" and took I-91 and I-90 to get home, even though the highways took me farther south than I needed to go, as Route 2 actually passes just 2 blocks away from where I live in Troy, NY. People can say what they want to about upstate NY, but even in the most rural Adirondacks, we have signage with the proper distances on them so you know exactly how far it is to the next town.

  6. #6

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    NJ also has horrible signage. They'll have signs on entrances to highways that say things like, "To Parsippany" and "To Mahwah", which is all well and good, if you know where Parsippany and Mahwah are; and whether they're north, south, or otherwise.
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    Thanks for all the responses! We were in the Green Mountains recently, although not on Route 9, so I figured the road might be a bit winding. I guess we'll skip it. Google maps showed it as only taking 8 minutes more than I90, but it sounds like it might be more risky.

    Maybe if we didn't have the stupid trailer with my husband's stupid motorcycle we'd take the scenic route, but not this year...
    Creating drama!

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by GarrAarghHrumph View Post
    "To Mahwah"
    Is that a place or a song?
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    It's actually a place in extreme Northern New Jersey. Just for the record, there's another town up there called Ho-Ho-Kus (spelling?). I'm guessing they are of Native American origin.
    Last edited by paskatefan; 07-22-2010 at 11:18 AM.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by GarrAarghHrumph View Post
    NJ also has horrible signage. They'll have signs on entrances to highways that say things like, "To Parsippany" and "To Mahwah", which is all well and good, if you know where Parsippany and Mahwah are; and whether they're north, south, or otherwise.
    That's actually a legacy of the early days of the Federal Highway Administration. For those of us old enough to remember, a 3 hour car trip got you no more than 150 miles. Folks stayed pretty much within their regions for vacations and other long distance travel. When the Interstate system was started, the decision was made to sign based on the next "intermediate" city and we're talking 1950's census for the city sizes. For example, signs on I-95 north of the Mass Pike tell you about Waltham, Peabody and Portsmough, NH. Based on current demographics, visitors from outside the area are more likely looking for the business centers in Burlington, Woburn or Danvers, and the signage is useless. Thank goodness for GPS.
    AceOn6, the golf loving skating fan

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by paskatefan View Post
    It's actually a place in extreme Northern New Jersey. Just for the record, there's another town up there called Ho-Ho-Kus (spelling?). I'm guessing they are of Native American origin.
    They are, as is Secaucus and Paramus and etc.

    I work two towns south of Mahwah, and the locals here tell me the original Native American pronunciation of Mahwah is actually, "Maui". Sigh... this place is not exactly Maui.
    Last edited by GarrAarghHrumph; 07-22-2010 at 02:36 PM.
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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aceon6 View Post
    That's actually a legacy of the early days of the Federal Highway Administration. For those of us old enough to remember, a 3 hour car trip got you no more than 150 miles. Folks stayed pretty much within their regions for vacations and other long distance travel. When the Interstate system was started, the decision was made to sign based on the next "intermediate" city and we're talking 1950's census for the city sizes. For example, signs on I-95 north of the Mass Pike tell you about Waltham, Peabody and Portsmough, NH. Based on current demographics, visitors from outside the area are more likely looking for the business centers in Burlington, Woburn or Danvers, and the signage is useless. Thank goodness for GPS.
    I wouldn't mind the sign saying "To Mahwah" or equivalent, if it also said something like "287 North". But all it says is "To Mahwah", and you're just supposed to know.

    I actually ended up going the wrong way on I-95 once, coming out of NYC. I was trying to get to Boston, and instead ended up in New Jersey, because the signs didn't say "to 95 North" or "to 95 South". They said things like "to GWB", and not being from here, I didn't know that "GWB" meant George Washington Bridge, or that going that way brought me south rather than north, and that I'd end up in the middle of New Jersey, having to spend $6 in tolls just to turn around...



    The signage in that area is actually better now. They've improved it in recent years.
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karina1974 View Post
    Ugh... don't remind me! I drove out to Greenfield, MA 3 years ago, via the Mohawk Trail (Route 2). I would see signs saying "To Greenfield" with an arrow pointing to indicate keep driving straight ahead, but never with any distances to tell you how much farther you have to drive.

    I said "nuts to this" and took I-91 and I-90 to get home, even though the highways took me farther south than I needed to go, as Route 2 actually passes just 2 blocks away from where I live in Troy, NY. People can say what they want to about upstate NY, but even in the most rural Adirondacks, we have signage with the proper distances on them so you know exactly how far it is to the next town.
    The Mohawk Trail is the oldest route across Massachusetts and is considered a tourist attraction, especially in the fall foliage months. It's not generally a travel route. I've taken it a couple times in the last fiew years. It's pretty but not particularly speedy. I can't say I've ever noticed that the signs lack mileage on them but then, I go straight from one end to the other so I'm not particulary interested in milage in between. And actually from Greenfield east to Boston, Route 2 is a pretty decent highway. The trickiest part is around the Concord Rotary with the prison on one side.

    Route 9 is pretty similar - scenic in good weather with lots of places to stop along the way, but not particularly swift. I don't remember ever getting lost on it, though, so the signage must be decent. I'd take it if time isn't an issue. Most interstate highways look alike after a while.
    I'd rather be thought of as absolutely ridiculous than as absolutely boring.

  14. #14

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    My husband's trailor for his bike didn't work out, so we decided to try this route. We're not in a big hurry and it seems more scenic than 90, so we said what the heck. Wish us luck!
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffisjeff View Post
    My husband's trailor for his bike didn't work out, so we decided to try this route. We're not in a big hurry and it seems more scenic than 90, so we said what the heck. Wish us luck!
    It is way more scenic than the Mass Pike (I-90) which, while fast, is pretty boring, IMO. Plus the Pike is a toll road. Have fun on you Road Trip!
    I'd rather be thought of as absolutely ridiculous than as absolutely boring.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffisjeff View Post
    My husband's trailor for his bike didn't work out, so we decided to try this route. We're not in a big hurry and it seems more scenic than 90, so we said what the heck. Wish us luck!
    Leisurely road trip through New Hampshire and Vermont countryside and villages - Me Like!!!

    Any plans for a slight detour to a certain lovely college town further up north along the river?

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    Quote Originally Posted by UMBS Go Blue View Post
    Any plans for a slight detour to a certain lovely college town further up north along the river?
    We were on 89S for about 8 miles. I was very tempted to grab the wheel from my husband and do a u-turn. But I managed to restrain myself. Someday soon I will definitely have to make a visit. My kids are 5 and 7 - just the right age to start the indoctrination.

    The trip was good. We'll definitely take this route again, as long as we're not pulling some stupid trailer.
    Creating drama!

  18. #18
    KWEEN 2016! YES WE KWAN!
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffisjeff View Post
    We were on 89S for about 8 miles. I was very tempted to grab the wheel from my husband and do a u-turn. But I managed to restrain myself.
    SACRILEGE!!!

    You can still make a detour on the way back.

    Though 'round the girdled earth they roam,
    Her spell on them remains;
    They have the still North in their hearts,
    The hill-winds in their veins,
    And the granite of New Hampshire
    In their muscles and their brains.

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