Barnsboro, N. J.

After taking some back roads through the Hudson Valley, I decided around mid afternoon that if I was going to get anywhere, I would have to jump on the Thruway and head south (since the rain was heading north and east, sorry Karl.)

So I jumped on the New York State Thruway and headed for the Big Apple.

The traffic and rain were both heavy as I made my way south, so I opted to head for blue sky and jumped onto I-287 and headed into New Jersey.

Have I ever mentioned that I’m not a huge fan of New Jersey?

As I made my way down the interstate, the skies let loose with buckets of rain and lots of wind, leaving me to ask “What happened to the blue sky?” Leaves were blowing everywhere, sort of like a last minute attempt at autumn. But I kept heading south, with the plans of hitting Interstate 95 and trying to get to at least Washington, D.C. tonight.

The New Jersey Turnpike thought better.

The radio report on ‘New Jersey 101.5’ advised that there was a 15 mile backup southbound on the turnpike between exits 8A and 7A. Apparently that report was wrong, because the backup actually went all the way up to Exit 10 and was spilling onto I-287. So I jumped off and started the trek down the back roads.

Have I ever mentioned that I’m not a fan of driving in New Jersey? I’ve driven in 42 states. New Jersey is my least favorite of them. The problem is that any attempts at transportation progress has been nipped by “NIMBY” (Not In My Back Yard) organizations. That’s why I-95 follows the NJ Turnpike, it was originally suppose to be its own road. So I joined the other couple of thousand drivers that took to the back roads as well and waited at traffic light after light after light after light after light after light.

I was getting extremely tense as I was making my way down backroads through Jersey. I was not enjoying the drive at all when I came upon a little town called Barnsboro. It was getting close to six and I was needing to relax. Having twirled my beard the entire trip so far (it’s a bad habit I have), I decided that I would relax by settling into a barber chair and getting my beard shaved off. I know that sounds a little odd, but for those that have had such an experience, you know that women relax by going to the spa or nail salon and the closest thing a guy can get to that is a professional shave by a barber. Not wanting to explain to the barber why I was getting the shave, I told him I was in town to get together with family. I hated lying to the guy but I didn’t feel it would complicate things any.

So I was the last customer in this little barbershop and came out with a little stubble mustache and cheeks as smooth as a baby’s bottom. It’s a look I like and will probably compliment with a stubble goatee for a while. The most important thing was that I was relaxed after the experience (and great conversation with the young barber) and ready to continue my journey with a clear mind. So I pressed onward.