We traveled up to the beautiful state of Maine for a hockey tournament this weekend and I have to confess that as much as I like it up there, I was not looking forward to the drive. As I mentioned we lost in the state championship, the winner of which goes on to the regional finals and then to the nationals. Since we lost I figured we were done, but for some reason we were invited to play in the sectionals, which is a modified version of the regionals. I'm guessing the second place AA teams (or Tier II if you live elsewhere) all go to sectionals while the first place teams go to regionals. Whatever be the case, we've been driving a lot, and I wasn't looking forward to an even longer drive. Neither was N, and there was also the issue of eating bad, albeit tasty, food and dropping the big bucks on a hotel.
The drive was slated to be around 3.5 hours and we had a few options to get there. The quickest was interestingly not the shortest distance - it entailed taking the highway south toward Boston and heading east to Portsmouth. From there you head north again along the coast. I noticed that an alternative was to head north from here and then get off the highway and drive east through the White Mountains. It was in fact a shorter distance, but since you can't drive as fast as you can on the highway, it took more time, though not much; according to Google Maps, about 15 minutes more. After thinking it over I decided to take the northern route and N was on board with me, not that he had much choice.
We picked up some lunch at Five Guys and headed north/west, and in the end, the drive wasn't bad at all. Dare I say it was enjoyable. I'll take a moderately fast drive along scenic roads any day over a faster drive along a monotonous highway, especially for long periods of time. The long route was even sort of fun because we had to navigate our way along smaller roads and through little New England towns. N is a good navigator, and the breaks in the drive helped to pass the time away. Plus, the scenery was beautiful, and you always come across some interesting sites when you travel the small country roads.
We arrived at the hotel with about an hour to spare, and people were a little surprised but inspired by our choice of routes. I wouldn't have done it any other way. We backtracked to get home and once again, it was the way to go. It made a 3.5 hour drive bearable, and if anything, enjoyable.
We exited the tournament early so that meant getting home early, and even though losing is a bummer, it sure felt good to get home.
Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Tobi Gaulke for the pic.