Everytime I drive Interstate 81, I swear it will be the last time.

And everytime I have to travel that dreaded route from Arlington to Floyd, some reason forces me to try and drive it again.

A tight schedule on the return trip Saturday from a quick run up to pick up our SUV forced me to head West on I-66 and then enter the two southbound lanes of madness known as I-81 at Strasburg. I shot into the only hole in the traffic of the leftbound lane and found myself instantly swept along with the 85-mph flow of traffic. Just south of the intersection with I-66, we swept by a Virginia State Trooper running radar in the medium. He didn’t move out to try and catch any of the multitude of speeders.

I made it as far as Edinburg before having enough of near misses and bumper-to-bumper insantify at 85 miles per hour. Took the exit and stayed on U.S. 11 north up to Harrisonburg. Got back on 81. Still madness. Got off again north of Buchanan and stayed on 11 into Roanoke and stopped for some $1.68 a gallon gas at the TCA truckstop at Troutville. Took 11 into Roanoke, 220 down to Virginia 419 and then U.S. 221` into Floyd.

Another near-death experience with I-81.

Never again.

Until the next time.