Road Trip 2024 – Mikey rates the roads

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The second major road trip of 2024 is in the books.

Been putting the miles on the car this year… back in March or so, we took a trip to Chicago, and just this morning (really early) we returned from a trip out to Virginia.  Now that is a drive.

For the most part, my son did the driving.  This left me time to look around, nap, and generally annoy him while he drove.  That last part is always entertaining, but he gives as good as he gets so I need to be careful.

Anyway, since May 31st I have officially visited a total of 10 states.  That’s right, folks – 1/5th of the entirety of the United States.  Impressive, huh?  That aside, it dawned on me during the trip that some states have great roads and some states have “less than great” roads.  So I present to you here, from best to worst, my rankings of the roads of the states I have visited in the last week.

Number 1 (three-way tie) – Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Ohio

For the most part, the roads we traveled in these states ranked as near-pristine.  This is a tough pill for me to swallow as I’m not a big fan in general of either Kentucky or Ohio, but their roads, as well as those in Pennsylvania, excelled.  It was literally like driving on glass 99% of the time.

Number 4 – West Virginia

The roads were near-pristine here as well; however, they have this toll road that does not accept credit cards, pay by plate, or any other “modern” payment solution.  It’s cash only, and I have no idea what happens if you stumble upon the toll booth without the required amount of genuine American currency at your disposal (nor do I want to find out).  This “still backwoods in 2024” thinking necessitated a mandatory points deduction.  There was really no choice.  Sorry, not sorry.

Number 5 – Virginia

The sheer number of roads that the Commonwealth of Virginia has to manage boggles the mind and, far as I can tell, they are doing a pretty good job of it.  Nary a pothole, nary a bump.  Their traffic management methodologies could use some improvement but, with that many vehicles on the roads at the same time, they might be doing the best they can.  I can certainly offer no workable suggestions of my own.

Number 6 – Kansas

While not part of our official road trip, I figured I’d include it as I did find myself there this afternoon after returning from the official trip.  Kansas roads used to be the roads that all other roads were judged by but no more.  It’s gotten pretty bumpy over there as of late, and they really need to up their game.

Number 7 – Maryland

Good God.  Maryland is a traffic nightmare.  We had the distinct displeasure of crawling down a 4-lane road for the better part of 30 minutes just to travel a distance of 1.5 miles.  That is a blistering pace of 3 miles per hour, and we literally could have walked faster.  Absolutely absurd.  And as if to add insult to injury, their pavement is definitely ready for an overhaul.  Luckily, we didn’t spend much time here.

Number 8 – Illinois

Illinois has uniquely positioned itself as a prelude to (or a relief from) Indiana, depending on which direction you are traveling.  Traveling from west to east, entering Illinois from Missouri is made obvious by the immediate degradation of the road surface and the bumps, bangs and “what the hell”s that accompany it.  Conversely, when traveling from east to west from Indiana, entering Illinois is an almost joyful experience as the vehicle is no longer being tossed around and is now only being shoved around.

Number 9 – Missouri

Rating Missouri against Illinois (or vice-versa) came with some difficulty.  On the one hand (and with a few exceptions), Missouri’s interstates are pretty decent and, when compared to Illinois’ interstates, Missouri mostly wins out.  However – the city roads in Missouri that I had the displeasure of traveling over cannot be ignored, and land the Show Me state with a lower overall score than its neighbor to the east.  In particular, the roads in the city of Lees Summit are absolutely abyssmal.  Chipman Road, in particular, is a bonafide death trap.  Good God, where are road taxes going in this city???

Number 10 – Indiana

Holy hell, there are no words.  Except holy hell.  Indiana has taken the bottom score on road condition rankings since there were roads.  This is likely to continue ad infinitum.


2 thoughts on “Road Trip 2024 – Mikey rates the roads

    1. Mike Post author

      Yeah, it’s a l-o-n-g trip for sure. Not sure how many more of those I can pull off but I pretty much refuse to fly, for a myriad of reasons. There is always the train, which we’ve done before and I really want to do again but we were on a tight schedule and wanted flexibility.


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