I read a Washington Post article this morning about the commuter bus that brings workers into downtown DC from Front Royal, Virginia. (Front Royal is about 70 miles west of the city as the crow flies.) The bus leaves at 5:00 AM and takes about 90 minutes to get into DC. In the evening, it heads out just before rush hour starts in earnest, and usually gets them home by 6 PM after a 2-hour ride. Here's why these iron road warriors do it:
"Even if there were no bus, Coulliette and Wieck said, they would not move from what they describe as bucolic bliss. Wieck and her husband live on an eight-acre spread they bought for $99,000 three years ago, where a burbling creek lulls them to sleep and bears eat apples from their tree.
When Coulliette and his children moved to the area last year from Charleston, S.C., he searched for a place in Ashburn in Loudoun County. Then he found he could pay far less for a bigger home in the mountains near Front Royal. Now they have a house on an acre so wooded they can see neighbors' houses only in the winter, when trees are bare."
I live in the zoo--Fairfax County--that these people have to slog through every day. I live 7 miles from work. My morning commute takes 20 minutes and my evening commute takes 18 minutes (on good days). The bucolic bliss that they've described is available still in isolated pockets much closer to DC--Clifton, Vienna, Great Falls--but the prices reflect it.
Everyone wants what these people have, just without the commute. Part of me admires what they're doing, especially since they take the bus. That's 3.5 hours of reading, and not supporting ExxonSaudiBPChevBinLaden. I just hope their kids aren't paying the price. If you can get home by 6 every night you're probably okay.
What do you think?