I drove the 310 miles between Newport, Rhode Island and Burlington, Vermont in two legs, with a brief nap at home in between. Heavy rain and a relentless, brilliant lightning display will be what I’ll remember about the first leg, and the mist covered Green Mountains of Vermont surely will be the thing I remember about the second. It occurred to me that this journey 250 years ago would have been very different indeed. Instead of driving up I-93 to I-89, my options would have been to sail south to the Hudson River for an arduous journey upriver, a risky portage to Lake George, and another between Lake George and Lake Champlain or alternatively taking the northern route up to the St Lawrence River over to Lake Champlain. Either proposition was shorter and safer than the overland I did would have been.
Sometimes we take for granted just how far we’ve come in such a short amount of time. I’ve come to appreciate our collective technological advancement more through reading history and traveling from place to place. Communication has advanced along with the roads, and now I have the ability to talk to anyone in the world in seconds. How awed King George would have been, and what a difference good roads or communications would have made in the wars fought along the shores of Newport and Lake Champlain. That route from there to here seems a lot further given the hindsight of history.