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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Another sign you're no longer in the suburbs

Rush hour has a different look.
Tractor with anhydrous ammonia applicator
Rush hour, not quite.
Okay, the photo overplays the point, but my morning and afternoon commutes really are different than what I've had anywhere else.  Before, I only had relaxing commutes at those places where we lived close enough to my work that I could safely walk or ride my bike.  Now, as a specific point of comparison -- when we lived in Lincoln it took me 20-25 minutes to drive 8 1/2 miles to/from work.  At our current home, it takes me 25-30 minutes to drive 23 miles to/from the same workplace.

I timed it this morning.  The first 8.7 miles I covered in 9 1/2 minutes -- this morning I encountered one farm implement and a half-dozen cars on that stretch.  Between farms and the nearby Branched Oak Lake State Recreation Area, this isn't far from typical for any given time of the day.  At the end of that stretch, I finally encountered other people driving into (or from) the city.  Traffic was unusually heavy this morning; I had to wait (gasp!) 30 seconds at the stop sign before I could make my turn.  At 19 minutes I hit real traffic shortly before the I-80 interchange.  Another 8 minutes for the last five miles, and I'm at work.

Having 90% of my daily commute be stress-free driving is remarkably--relaxing.  So is not listening to traffic before I leave in the morning and for hours after I get home.

The only downside is gasoline.  Make no mistake, I'm getting much better fuel economy, but miles per gallon isn't the right measure; gallons per commute is.  By that standard, I'm going through twice as much gasoline now than I did before we moved to Dunrovin Station.  But I think an increased fuel bill isn't a bad price for sanity.

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