Two? Three? Try Seven Hours On The Road

by derek on December 17, 2008 · 49 comments

Worst Commute

That’s right – my commute home tonight lasted a torturous seven hours from start to finish. As if that were not bad enough, just before hour seven, I realized that my windshield had a crack running nearly the entire width of the glass.
At approximately hour number six, I had to make a risky escape from the left most lane (where I was traveling at the dangerous speed of 0.5 miles per hour) to answer nature’s call. Of all the days not to have a bottle or cup in the car – and yes I would have!
By far this has been the worst commute that I have endured. With a 65-mile drive each way to work, I’ve had my share of 2-4 hour drives. But 7 hours is a new record for me. I could have made it nearly half way to Disney World. Heck, I practically could have walked home quicker than it took me to drive home tonight.
While I wanted to offer up some sort of prize to the person that could top my nightmare of a commute, I realized that it would be nearly impossible to confirm any story.
Therefore, I’d like to open up the comments tonight for all of you to share your stories about a nightmare commute – as I am sure just about everyone has at least one experience that will make us cringe.
Photo courtesy of Rich Moffitt

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{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

Michael Kwan December 17, 2008 at 12:28 am

You’re insane. All the more reason for you to speed up that transition to home-based work and ditch the commute for good.
Michael Kwans last blog post..NFL Week 15 Results

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derek December 17, 2008 at 1:30 pm

I cannot disagree with you. As a matter of fact, I have a meeting this afternoon to potentially explore the feasibility of that very thing.

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Nick@romandock dot com December 18, 2008 at 9:45 pm

That sounds like an exciting meeting. Be sure to let us know how it works out!
Nicks last blog post..Sunday Snapshots – 010

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derek December 19, 2008 at 1:14 pm

It was a good meeting but the two sides were too far apart on the details and it is not going to work out. It’s unfortunate too as I think it really could have worked out well.

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Nick@romandock dot com December 19, 2008 at 2:16 pm

That’s very unfortunate, we were all hoping that it would work out for you!
Nicks last blog post..Sunday Snapshots – 010

derek December 19, 2008 at 2:21 pm

Thanks, I appreciate that.

Ling@Uptake December 17, 2008 at 12:32 am

7 hours is a heck of a long time to be sitting in a car, especially for a 65 mile drive. If you figure you’re going to need the same time to get back to work, then you don’t really need to get out of the car. Just turn around when you reach home and drive straight back to your office. πŸ™‚

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derek December 17, 2008 at 1:31 pm

Fortunately I am off on Wednesdays as a result of my flexible schedule. However, I have an appointment in the city this afternoon and had to drive – the train station did not have any available parking (crossing my fingers that the commute home will be better than last night).

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Daniel December 17, 2008 at 1:30 am

I recommend you call in with a case of the “I Don’t Wanna’s” tomorrow.
If you don’t, you might snap and we’ll all see you on the news slipping and sliding around the freeway banging on peoples cars.
Daniels last blog post..What I’m Into

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derek December 17, 2008 at 1:32 pm

Lol. Tomorrow might be a day for that phone call as they are calling for more snow as well as icing conditions. On the bright side, tomorrow is my last day of work for 2008 as my vacation starts Friday.

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Kelvin Kao December 17, 2008 at 1:33 am

In Los Angeles, I’ve had a 15-minute bus ride pushed into a 50-minute ride before. Afterwards I tried walking the same route and it only took 40 minutes. Yep, walking is faster. Driving in Los Angeles traffic can easily double or sometimes quadraple the time it would’ve taken at, say, 3am. But that’s because of accidents, constructions, or just too many cars. No snow. And definitely no seven hour drive if it’s only 65 miles (three or four is fair).
Kelvin Kaos last blog post..A Muppet Christmas: Letters to Santa

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derek December 17, 2008 at 1:36 pm

Lol, it is kind of sad when you can walk somewhere faster than driving due to the congestion. I’ve never driven in LA traffic but have heard plenty of horror stories.

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Andrea December 18, 2008 at 9:59 pm

I used to live in Los Angeles. I had to go pick up my mom at the LAX airport and her arrival time was 530pm. I nearly cried when she told me her arrival time. Sitting in the 405 at rush hour is brutal.

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Kelvin Kao December 18, 2008 at 10:17 pm

We don’t call the 405 “the largest parking lot on earth” for no reason… Speaking of which, I might need to go to LAX twice tomorrow…
Kelvin Kaos last blog post..Ugly Muppet Toy Pageant 2008

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Nick@romandock dot com December 19, 2008 at 2:14 pm

Might have been better off planning to get there 30-45 min early and save yourself the hassle of of sitting in rush hour traffic huh?
Nicks last blog post..Sunday Snapshots – 010

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Kelvin Kao December 19, 2008 at 2:48 pm

Just finished trip #1. It wasn’t bad, but that was 11am, not exactly rush hour. At work we see people staying around till like 8pm or 9pm all the time just browsing the web… all waiting for traffic to clear up. Anyway, someone else might take the trip #2 to the airport instead.
Kelvin Kaos last blog post..Ugly Muppet Toy Pageant 2008

Jessica W December 17, 2008 at 4:05 am

Omg, that is a lot of time to spend on riding home with car. One more hour and that would be like another full time job. Totally crazy. Not to calculate how much it is stressful and painful. No other comments. Good luck in next days… It might get even worse…
Jessica Ws last blog post..Why is Professional Web Design so Important

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derek December 17, 2008 at 1:37 pm

Yeah, I spent almost an entire “working” day on the drive home. If you factor in the morning commute, I think I spent more time in the car than I did working.

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Khaled December 17, 2008 at 4:24 am

I used to work for an inspection company and regularly would travel from Swansea (Wales) to Peterhead, which is the north of Scotland for what would often be a half day job. It’s a 601 mile trip which is bad enough, but the worst part was the guy I used to travel up with didn’t want to learn to drive. He would smoke in the van all the way up, which I hate and take a blanket to wrap him self up in and go to sleep Grrrr. I don’t fancy driving in the snow though, the first sign of frosty or snowy weather in Swansea and you will see loads of abandoned cars, the City has snow so infrequently its just not equipped to deal with it when it happens. 65 miles in 7 hours, I think I would be crying.

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derek December 17, 2008 at 1:38 pm

Wow! Traveling 601 miles for a half-day job, that sounds crazy! Based on your description, I think that I would have pulled the car over and told the other guy to get out, lol.

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Neil@PS3 December 17, 2008 at 5:42 am

I hate commuting. I spend most of my time either on the train or in a car travelling between places. It really gets to me at this time of year with delays due to weather and traffic.

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derek December 17, 2008 at 1:39 pm

Generally speaking, I don’t mind the commute – if I did, I would not have lasted the last 6+ years driving 65 miles each way. But a night like last night seriously makes me question it all.

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Nicole Price December 17, 2008 at 6:01 am

I am blessed! I have not had major bottlenecks as yet. I have however had the problem of high discomfort levels about which ladies do not talk. Here too, after some discomfort, I have been able to find rest rooms.
Nicole Prices last blog post..Festive Gifts (Part II)

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derek December 17, 2008 at 1:40 pm

Hope you can continue to avoid those bottlenecks!

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Anna@Setai Miami December 17, 2008 at 8:54 am

My travel time yesterday was tripled. Not because of major snow fall but a lot of accidents. Was it full moon or was it because of slippery road? I just know that I drove trough the places I’ve never been before.

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derek December 17, 2008 at 1:41 pm

That is the thing that I found the most frustrating – there were no accidents on the road that were causing the delays, it was just heavy traffic and snowy roads that had not been plowed at all.
Although, it is a good thing that there were no accidents, as that means people at least stayed safe.

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Steve@Free iPods December 17, 2008 at 3:34 pm

A cup…you wouldn’t?
Bet you wee in the shower too πŸ™‚

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derek December 17, 2008 at 11:06 pm

Last night I certainly would have – I came quite close to just stopping and going on the side of the road, it wasn’t like traffic was moving anyways.
No, don’t go in the shower, lol.

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Ryan December 18, 2008 at 12:10 am

“It’s all pipes!”
Ryans last blog post..Depression Era Christmas Ads

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Damien December 17, 2008 at 7:07 pm

Wow, that is harsh. It snowed real heavy yesterday and today. Today I got a snow day and maybe tomorrow. I can’t imagine driving to work under those conditions. Hope that home business stuff goes your way.
Damiens last blog post..Take a Breath and Get Over it

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derek December 17, 2008 at 11:07 pm

I have a feeling our kids may get a snow day for Friday, as tomorrow they are calling for more snow and icing throughout the area.
As a matter of fact, I am being proactive myself and working from home tomorrow to avoid any possibility of a repeat commute.

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Mira@Amish Tables December 17, 2008 at 10:38 pm

I am really lucky that way, no long commutes. In fact any place that I need to be is within half an hour’s driving time. I did get stuck in a killer grid lock once, that lasted a long time.

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Diana Wright Liability Insurance December 18, 2008 at 6:11 am

Gosh this is crazy, and I thought traffic over here in the UK was bad!

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Justin@Airsoft Guns December 18, 2008 at 12:52 pm

That’s crazy, seven hours is a long time to be in a car. I definitely can’t come close to that, but one time I had to go to the bathroom extremely bad and was stuck in traffic! And then when I got to the place where I was going, I had to wait to use the bathroom for like 10 minutes. Every second was torture, I was walking around the room trying to make the pain go away and people were looking at me but I couldn’t stop or it became unbearable.

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derek December 19, 2008 at 1:15 pm

When I finally did make a stop to use the bathroom, it was painful walking and I wasn’t positive that I was even going to make it, lol.

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Nick@romandock dot com December 18, 2008 at 9:44 pm

Wow! Makes me glad to live in a rural area. Two questions though:
1. Was there ever any concern for the level of fuel in your gas tank?
2. What did you do for 7 hours? Especially going that slow! Sounds like it would have been a good time to have a ham radio in the car πŸ™‚
Nicks last blog post..Sunday Snapshots – 010

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Andrea December 18, 2008 at 10:01 pm

I know what I would do….id play on my iphone, my pocket entertainment. πŸ™‚

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Nick@romandock dot com December 19, 2008 at 2:17 pm

hehe, you could keep up on your RSS feeds that way I guess.
Nicks last blog post..Sunday Snapshots – 010

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derek December 19, 2008 at 1:17 pm

1. No real concern. I’d started the trip home with roughly a 1/2 tank of gas and was slightly under 1/4 by the time that I made it home.
2. Talked on the phone, sent a few emails, text messages, and used twitter a little bit. That and listed to tunes on Sirius.

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Nick@romandock dot com December 19, 2008 at 2:18 pm

Well, at least you were able to be somewhat productive and hopefully didn’t get too terribly bored.
Nicks last blog post..Sunday Snapshots – 010

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Jayson December 20, 2008 at 2:24 pm

WHAT!! 6-hours = road rage
Derek, sorry to hear that opportunity didn’t work out for you and I hope something else comes up.
I doubt you would have used the bottle…
Jaysons last blog post..Ivory Homes Staying Positive… Despite a Bleak Future for Housing

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Enkay Blog December 23, 2008 at 10:43 am

So, speaking of a nightmare commute. I know that mines not that bad but lets just say the President was involved. About 4 months ago I was driving back home from school and usually the evening commute takes me an hour and is 25 miles long. About 8 miles from my house, and an hour into the drive, i realized that traffic wasn’t moving. Well, turns out that the President’s helicopter was landing in the private airport near my house and so the road was blocked off for 2 hours for the helicopter to land. The 8 miles of commute that usually takes 15 minutes, took me a little over 2 hours. Isnt that quite interesting?
Enkay Blogs last blog post..Still Looking For Tips

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Nick@romandock dot com December 23, 2008 at 4:27 pm

For waiting that long, did you at least get to see the helicopter?
So did you find out what was going on while you were waiting or did you just have to wait it out and wonder and then find out later?
Nicks last blog post..Violent Video Games and Violent Behavior – Correlation: Not Cause and Effect

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Lilla January 3, 2009 at 3:04 am

You took a 7 hr drive and found it treacherous. I took a 10 hr bike adventure and found myself scared on a loeely highway. It was around 2 am by the time I reached home and vowed never to do it again. Its too dangerous.
Lillas last blog post..Looking for experts

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Charlie on PA Tpk@Nobody asked me, but... January 6, 2009 at 7:38 am

I missed this post during my holiday rush at the office, and only saw it on your Speedlinking post.
Speaking for myself, for 13 years I’ve been driving 2 hrs, each way, for my commute. On a few occasions I have had snow-induced 5-6 hr rides, but you win the prize for the longest.
My hat is off to you.
Charlie on PA Tpks last blog post..Should old aquaintance be forgotten?

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derek January 6, 2009 at 8:45 am

Do you do that commute 5 days per week or do you have a flexible work arrangement? I’ve been doing my commute for 7 years but fortunately my normal schedule is a 4-day work week plus the occasional day from home.
Lately the commute has really been dragging on me though and I could really use a change on that front.

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Charlie on PA Tpk@Nobody asked me, but... January 6, 2009 at 8:50 am

Until May, I had an informal “work from home” 1 day a week with my employer… one that last nearly 4 years.
Over last summer (and in time for $4/gal gas) it was rescinded because a-hole colleagues told the customer on a number of occasions “Oh I can’t meet you that day, that’s the day I work from home!”. Since then, that VP left the company, and it looks as though it won’t be coming back.
So now I a drive ~1,200 miles over 5 days.
Charlie on PA Tpks last blog post..Should old aquaintance be forgotten?

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derek January 6, 2009 at 8:55 am

Ugh, sorry to hear that your informal arrangement was thwarted by people taking advantage of the situation. Hopefully they will revisit that down the road.
Ouch, while the duration of our commute is quite similar, I travel less than half of that distance with a commute of roughly 500 miles over 4 days.
How many cars have you gone through in those 13 years?

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CvilleBirder@DJ Consoles and Music Mixers January 6, 2009 at 7:46 pm

My sympathies to all of you, it’s awful.
Did it for years, included Boston traffic and sometimes very windy, icy & treacherous walking!
One part I remember fondly was a couple of Friday afternoons, 2 hours before there was a game scheduled at Fenway Park. The traffic just froze solid, & it took 2 hours to get home, just 2 miles over the city line.
working from home now πŸ™‚
CvilleBirders last blog post..DJ Consoles | DJ Music Mixers | Music Mixing Consoles

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