For once, it looked like I had about five hours, absolute maximum, of driving to get to Poughkeepsie. Turns out I vastly underestimated the distance from the Delaware River all the way across the meat of downstate New York. So I ended up being an hour and a half late to the soup-and-sandwich session, but I didn't miss out on any of the goodies. As usual, the route started via I-280 and I-80 in New Jersey. As in the Elmira meet, I took Exit 12 to CR 521, but this time headed north to clinch it. After it joined US 206, I left 521, headed east on Sussex County Route 636, and then started my weave to clinch CR 565 via CR 519 and Sussex CR's 629 and 637. After finishing off 565, I followed CR 517 into Orange County on CR 26, then followed CR 1 to NY 284 to get to US 6. CR 35 provided a shortcut via I-84, where I stopped at the westbound rest area for a few scenic photographs, and then headed through Port Jervis on 6 again to NY 97/NY 42. Since I've traveled 42 from here north already, I detoured on what I presume is the old highway, W. Main St. in Germantown, before following 97 up to the Pond Eddy and Roebling Bridges. From the Roebling Bridge, I headed south a little bit, with seemingly plenty of time to spare (about 2 hours, as I recall), and got onto NY 55 with Poughkeepsie plainly in sight. Let's just say three hours later, I was surprised that I only had made it as far as US 209, but at least I had clinched 55 west of NY 22. I followed 55 all the way through its multiplexes (including the beginning of US 44) to US 9W, where the meet commenced at a diner.|
The first part of the meet took us to the Mid-Hudson Bridge (as in the photo at left), where we stopped at the New York State Bridge Authority parking lot and had a brief tour of the facility, Q and A session, and a great goodie bag (see the US 44 page for a sample). We went from there across the bridge, then wove across US 9 SB to the next exit at Pine St., and made our way on local streets to Kaal Rock Park. While admiring the bridge, we took the group photo that you see atop the page - or at least, my camera attempted to take it, and everyone else's succeeded.
The next order of business were the NY 376 roundabouts in Poughkeepsie itself, in front of Vassar College. We managed to lose the Southerners (Mike T. and John K., although now John's a Northerner) for awhile, but they eventually found us along the newly narrowed and landscaped boulevard. All together again, we clinched! 376, and followed NY 52 to I-84. NY 300 brought us to the future direct interchange between 84 and the Thruway (I-87), which was in a very barren state of construction but at least had the high-speed toll gantry already up. From there, the meet followed NY 300 to NY 207, which led to Drury Lane, Orange CR 54, which is now better known as NY 747, numbered for being next to an airport. (Amazing that New York didn't have a 747 already.) At that point, only original Drury Lane was open to traffic, but there was plenty of construction to marvel at, as seen on the 747 page. NY 17K brought us east again, where the meet concluded via Orange CR 23, which became Ulster CR 20, to NY 32 and US 44/NY 55.
After picking up my car at the diner, it was starting to get dark, so I took a more direct route than in the morning (good thing, too). Having already seen US 9W, I branched onto Ulster CR 11 and then branched onto NY 218 (old 9W through a couple of towns and along some roundabout cliffs with spectacular views). Light was getting so short that I again cut out my plans to drive Seven Lakes Drive, which I have since fulfilled, and instead drove the Palisades Interstate Parkway southbound through the entire length of its button copy, filling in my photos for that highway. The route from there to home was simple: I-87/287 to I-287 in NJ, off Exit 55 to CR 511 to clinch that route, then back onto 287 to I-80 east, to I-280 and home.