Tuesday, October 8, 2013

What's Going On In America Today Described In 3 Well-Traveled Highways-- NYC's Henry Hudson, D.C.'s I-495 Beltway and America's Blue Ridge Pky



 Look no further than several of my fav,  most well-traveled highways, if you dare, except for the one that has all the curves.  I'd rather hike them than drive 'em. But anyway...

Is anything more fun than coming into Manhattan across the GW Bridge (after Bloomberg takes your last $17) hanging a hard right, then peeling off down the Henry Hudson (aka West Side Hwy)  along the Hudson River at a very good clip.  It's one of my favorite driving thrills, only after the unparalleled drive from DuBois, WY to Jackson Hole over Togwotee Pass.

Also love to slide into D.C. off  I-66 or I-270 onto the dreaded I-495 beltway, crossing the Potomac from the south, then peeling off to the Clara Barton Parkway to MacArthur Blvd. and the safely of western D.C. and Bethesda.  It's fun and easy to do.

But on three occasions, besides rush hour,  I wouldn't want to be on any of these highways:

First: On the Henry Hudson, a  darling family celebrating their first anniversary and  birth of a  baby daughter last week was targeted, harassed and bullied by a group of  (black?) bikers. The father and driver of the SUV was so panicked at the harassment that he finally drove through the mess and ran over a biker in the process.  Angry bikers followed in hot pursuit, overcoming family's car, pulling the dad out of the driver's seat and beating him to a pulp.  Turns out an off-duty police officer came on the scene at some point, joined the gang and didn't help the situation at all.

This is a developing story, however,  typical of America today:  Family minding its own business, gets targeted by bullies, defends itself against thugs before running for their lives then getting beaten and terrorized within an inch of their lives. Latest in ongoing story.

Second, on the Blue Ridge Parkway, a private concession for the  federal BR highway called the Pisgah Inn---really a glorified motel with stunning views outside Asheville,  N.C.---gets shut down by the feds.  Inn officials say they are a private, non-government entity and refuse to close.  But in a very short time,  federal rangers come in  in full force and stand guard against anyone entering the grounds of the Inn.  The  Feds use strong-arm tactics to make a private concession---and probably a conservative business owner and his employees---suffer and lose business in high season for tourism.

 My heart goes out for this business and many others like them, tethered to the federal government.  Anyone depending on the feds in any way, can look forward to being shut down at some time.  The only partial solution is unhooking from  dependency as much as possible now and in the future.

Finally,  I don't want to be on the D.C I-495 this Friday when thousands of truckers bring their big tractor-trailer rigs onto the beltway in protest of all sorts of federal shenanigans. Truckers for the Constitution plan to show up in massive numbers to slow things down in D.C.  and lobby for the arrest of certain government officials and congressmen. They are also not pleased with the President.

While I like the  Beltway sometimes, but wouldn't want to be within a thousand miles of it  on Friday.

Stay tuned as these stories of America Today unfold. It's not always pretty.

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