In case of storms, Pops decided to follow all the main roads as we drove on towards Philadelphia; perhaps erring on the side of foolishness to follow Interstate 95 through New York City. It is a narrow artery, carved like a set of canyons and caverns through the northern end of the city. It was clogged with slow traffic, due in part to a broken down truck near the heart of NYC.
The road is carved through the living rock, remaining level while the streets of the city pass overhead- parking lots, even a building cover up this ugly traffic-clogged gash through the island. The stone here is ruddy brown, mixed in with the odd wall or embankment that could be concrete, or could be stone face – it is all rather jumbled together, the one consistency being the wall of huge trucks and cars surrounding the car, and not a tree or patch of grass for a little dog to see.
The George Washington Bridge is a double-decker, with cars on the lower level – just driving through it you get a sense of the mass of metal used to build it, a sort of tribute to old heavy industry when all the steel was made in America. It remains a bewildering maze of roadways, like a tangle of spaghetti, and you only get a feeling you are driving in the generally correct direction.
Once past the cliffs of the Cascades, the land flattens out, providing us with a far better view of the forest of towers in New York City – the Empire State Building, and the Freedom Tower are easy to spy as we drive past the busy hub of the Newark airport, where Mom and Pops went through last year on a trek to Europe – and they couldn’t take me! Here, the long lonesome section of New Jersey’s Pine Barrens begin, miles of brush lands that line the lone busy road in the dimming sunset.