Thursday, December 4, 2014

I-10/I-20 interchange

When I lived in Vicksburg, Mississippi I travelled on I-20 a lot.  Not only was it the main route through the area connecting the exits into the town but it was also the long distance connector to all points east (Atlanta) and west (Monroe) and beyond.  I knew the road eventually merged into I-95 to the east in the Carolinas, as I have travelled that route.  But I hadn't given it much thought as to where it ended in the west, beyond Dallas and such.  I now know.  I-20 merges with I-10 in western Texas and there it ends it's 1,500 mile or so run across the southern U.S.  Why is this important (to me)?  Because I am a map reader.  That is I have always been fascinated by where things are located on a map and their relationship to other things.  Maps (and family trees) are like ongoing puzzles and who doesn't like solving puzzles?  So, I-20 begins and ends in the middle of the desert in Texas.  When I passed this interchange while driving west a couple of weeks ago it was night.  I saw the signs and the lights directing the traffic in this area but I did not see the actual interchange because it was so dark and I was in the middle of nowhere and somewhat intimidated by the darkness of the night and the loneliness on the road that came with it.  Traveling east, however, I was able to pass this area in daylight.  There are curves in the road and the speed limit is 80 mph at this point so I am hesitant to look around but as I am about to leave this area I am able to get one quick glance at the interchange.  Quite an engineering feat, I would say.  To merge two major highways with all the fly overs, underpasses and entrance/exit lanes involved is noteworthy.  Strips of concrete in the desert moving traffic in all directions or converging into one.  And not a gas station or quick mart in sight.  Nothing but the road.  No stopping.  Just keep moving.  Fascinating, to me.  But then, again, I like reading maps.  And driving.  And seeing through my own eyes the reality of what the maps are showing on paper.  Seeing the specifics after seeing the whole picture.

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