The Commute

Nearly a year later, the 1982 Land Rover Series III 88” is really road worthy and, as it’s my only inspected vehicle, I’ve finally taken the plunge and it’s become my daily driver. It’s slow. And rough. And loud. And still needs a lot of work. And I absolutely love it!

Every weekday I commute from Shelburne, VT, to Waitsfield, VT. It’s a long, but beautiful drive as I circumnavigate Camel’s Hump. In my car, I generally headed up Route 7, skipped over I-189 to I-89, got off in Waterbury and headed over Route 100 to Waitsfield. It’s easy and relatively efficient. When summer rolled around I would often cut over to Route 116, meander down & over through Huntington, climb Route 17 over the Appalachian Gap, descend into Waitsfield, and take Route 100 the last stretch to the office.

However, the Land Rover is a different beast altogether. The highway is right out since it really only pushes 55 MPH without an overdrive. Even that feat requires quite the long, flat stretch of asphalt. While I know it can handle the App Gap, the amount of time spent in the extremely slow and raucous 3rd gear would be unbearable on a daily basis, although I’m sure I’ll do it a few times for the view.

For the week before I even started driving the Land Rover, I started honing a shorter, slower, lower traffic route that missed all the town centers. Mostly because my car was not inspected and I had become the not-so-proud owner of a $100 ticket, but also with the knowledge that I’d be switching to the Land Rover in the very near future. A few days with the Land Rover and I only had to make one minor change to shave off half a mile and a bit of a hill climb.

While whittled down to about 38.5 miles it’s still 1 1/4 hours through Hinesburg (past CVU), over to Richmond, down through Jonesville, and eventually to Duxbury and up over Route 100 to Waitsfield.