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Sunday, May 28th 2006

11:23 PM

Take the Long Way Home ...

or How to get from Moosic to Wilkes-Barre in 60 minutes.

I know.  It's a long story - and it was a long ride - but here's how a trip that should take maybe 25 minutes turned into an hour.

A friend and I were at Cinemark on Saturday night to see "X-Men: The Last Stand" (the review is on the website).  We walked out of the theater at approximately 9:50 p.m.  We got in the car and got in the relatively long line of cars waiting to get out of the parking lot.

Well, everyone in the line was waiting to turn left, which would take them down the mountain to Montage Mountain Road and, in most cases, to I-81.  So, I decided to turn right, and take the back way down the mountain.  I mean, NO ONE was in that line!  As it turns out, there's a reason for that.  The back way is no longer accessible due to the construction of the Shoppes at Montage.  So, I had to go back into the movie theater parking lot and get in the long line of traffic - again.

This time, I turned left and went down the mountain.  At the bottom of the hill, you can turn right and head toward 81.  Or, you can turn left and take the back way, which leads to Route 11 in Moosic.  Since the line was longer for right turns, I went left.

We made it to Route 11 without much problem and headed south.  Once we got into Avoca, we saw the lights of an ambulance up ahead.  It was still moving, though.  Then, we saw another one coming up from behind.  So, I pulled over to let it pass and then continued on.

But, then a fire truck was coming up from behind!  I figured it was probably going to the same place the ambulances were, and they seem to have headed straight, toward Route 315.  So, rather than pull over for the fire truck, I turned right to continue on Route 11.  Guess what?  So did the fire truck.  So, I pulled over to let it pass.

No more emergency vehicles were in sight, so we continued on the Pittston bypass, turned right into Pittston, then went over the bridge into West Pittston.  Well, I was behind some minivan, and the next thing I know, I'm on Route 92!  I knew I didn't want to be on that road, so, I turned around and backtracked. I had to go almost all the way back to the bridge to get on Route 11 again.  Seems instead of following the minivan to the right, I should have stayed straight.  Oh, well.

The rest of the trip was uneventful, but Wyoming Avenue is not exactly built for speed.  With lights and traffic, it just takes a while - about an hour, to be exact. 

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