… and beach traffic is still beach traffic

After all these years, and after all the frustration, I still prefer to take the Interstate route to and from the Grand Strand. The back route through Georgetown, Andrews and Manning that my wife prefers just seems to take much longer to me, even though there’s always less traffic. I’m not a two-lane road guy.

So since I was just taking one granddaughter home (the one who had to be back at school), and my wife would be going in a separate car the next day, I took my preferred route. On Labor Day.

I knew the chance I was taking. I was willing to take it.

And I had thought I had beat the odds. After swinging through the old Air Force Base to pick up some Starbucks, I got on the 17 Bypass. Not too bad. Then I got on 501. STILL not too bad. Then I got all the way to Conway without hitting any jams. I was practically laughing out loud. I was SO going to call and gloat to my wife when next we stopped…

But then we DID stop. Between Conway and Aynor. With this I had not reckoned. Nobody expects a jam between Conway and Aynor after having passed smoothly through Conway.

I had reckoned without the new connector to North Myrtle Beach. OK, so it’s not so new. But I suppose I hadn’t travelled that route, at such a bad time, since it was opened. WOW, it dumps a lot of traffic onto 501, seemingly out of nowhere.

So I spent the next half-hour mostly stopped (and yes, I was stopped when I took the photo) behind the vehicle pictured above. Imagine how much I enjoyed that.

Kind of makes you wonder what weird, unintended consequences might occur if they ever do build the I-73 extension.

How it actually looked...

7 thoughts on “… and beach traffic is still beach traffic

  1. Herb Brasher

    Oh how I love audio books. Makes any trip seem short. Just drove 4500 miles in 3 weeks, and it seemed light work listening to good books.

    My favorite: Gandhi and Churchill, by Arthur Herman. But also listened to a light baseball novel by Jerry Jenkins (no, I haven’t and will not read the ‘Left Behind’ series, but Jenkins is still a middling good writer). Took me back to my Little League days.

  2. Steven Davis

    You should have taken a few minutes while stopped to go up to the guy with the flag in his window and told him what you thought about it.

  3. JoanneH

    We went down that way in July, but I went back the “better” way when we returned.

    I just don’t remember how bad the traffic is, and by the time I do it’s too late.

  4. Kathryn Fenner

    No sympathy for you who spent glorious time at the beach and refused to listen to your wiser half. I love the back way—-decent roads, no traffic and you get to drive through just a few small towns for good measure….

  5. Ralph Hightower

    Well, I got a new car in 2009 with OnStar. We did a trip to Myrtle Beach to a Toastmasters conference and activated OnStar’s “Trips and Directions” in April 2010. On the return home, traffic wasn’t moving. I took a trip off the main road hoping to find something better. I called OnStar “Tell me how to get to I-95 and I can find my way home.” We were in the middle of “Nowhere”. We got directions to I-95 and I didn’t need further directions.

    Try getting out of Merritt Island, FL after a Space Shuttle launch. Oh, wait, they aren’t having those any more. Traffic was horrendous; I’m glad I bought a ticket from a tour company. Leave the driving to a bus driver. Over one million people saw the final launch. Traffic was worse than Atlanta or DC.

    I haven’t done audio books on drives. It took 8 hours one way, each way both times, from home to FL for the launch and landing of Atlantis. I have XM Radio and I like classic rock and blues.

    Have you read or listened to “Zen and the Art of Motorcyle Maintenance” by Robert Persig? It’s a great book that I’ve reread a few times; but I never listened to the CD on an extended drive.

  6. Nick Nielsen

    I learned a long time ago that the best way in to the Grand Strand in the afternoon on a holiday weekend was the back roads to Georgetown and up 17.

    I broke that rule this past July 4 weekend. I had to make a day trip to MB (for work) on Saturday and left early enough that I thought it was safe to take 501. I hit traffic just past Gallivant’s Ferry, but since I was going to Restaurant Row, I took the back roads into Aynor, then took 419 down to the Conway Bypass, which was only marginally more busy than usual.

    When I came back out a few hours later, The inbound Bypass looked like I-95, and 501 was a parking lot all the way back to Marion. They were even sitting on the bridge at the 501/576 interchange.

  7. Herb Brasher

    Ralph, to each his own, I guess. Biography, history, and light fiction, and of course music interest me. Philosophical texts less so, especially in a car where I still have to concentrate on driving, and can’t afford too much distraction.


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