The Google maps have been updated, it seems. Although I’ve never really contemplated doing it, just for kicks I’ve sometimes asked Google for driving directions from Connecticut to Mérida. It never could complete the task. This morning, however, was able to generate a route.
Enticingly, it tells me that if I start now, I could be there in two days and nine hours. Assuming I never stop, of course. Who needs sleep when El Centro awaits?
So, let’s review the directions. First, I take a left out of the driveway…
Bla, bla, bla, I take I-95 to New York City. (It occurs to me that if I were still a New Yorker, I’d shave an hour off the trip.) I cross the George Washington Bridge to the New Jersey Turnpike, and at the Newark International Airport (where a sensible person would park and board a plane) I enter I-78, driving west into Pennsylvania. About 126 miles later, I merge into I-81 South, driving 500 miles through through Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia, then entering Tennessee. Then I drive through Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, heading south, south, south, until I’m just about to hit New Orleans. But before I make it to the Big Easy, I head west again, through Baton Rouge, Lake Charles and right into Houston, where I find Route 59 and keep going, past Corpus Christi and hugging the Gulf as I drive toward the border via Farm to Market 509 S (that’s the name of the road?) just west of Brownsville. (I believe the crossing to take is actually at Brownsville, but Google is only looking for the most direct route, not the most expedient.)
From there I continue to hug the coast to Tampico, Veracruz, Villahermosa, Campeche and then Mérida. It took 3,274 miles.
Will I do this? Probably never. The trip has been documented in great detail elsewhere, and reading it didn’t persuade me to run out and fill my tank. Realistically, from the border to Mérida is about three days, so from Connecticut we’re probably talking about a solid week of driving. And it can be gruelling and confusing. By the time I got to the part about the mountains between Tampico and Tuxpan, I was ready to start browsing the United Airlines site. The only reason I can see doing this is to get my car down there, but why would a 4-wheel drive sedan with heated leather seats want to be anywhere else but in snowy New England? For some reason, though, seeing Google connect the dots from Connecticut to Mérida made me feel personally more connected to my next home. The end of my driveway really does connect to Casa Nana, if I want to follow that route.