Interstate 49: The Ultimate Boredom?

“Get ready for ultimate boredom on I49 haha” is what Chris wrote in the Comments section of this article pertaining to driving 1,790 miles in 33 hours written by Dan Miller of Points With a Crew; and DaninMCI agreed with Chris: “I’ve driven this a few times but I drove it years ago when they first opened a stretch of it in the Northern part of the state. It was so new they hadn’t even put up the mile marker signs yet. Miles and miles of nothing and few signs to tell you what was at each exit.”

Interstate 49: The Ultimate Boredom?

Interstate 49 highway

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

As part of my road trip around the United States, I did have the pleasure of driving on Interstate 49 for approximately 40 miles from northern Louisiana to Texarkana in Arkansas…

Interstate 49 highway

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

…and — save for the occasional car or truck — the highway was empty.

Interstate 49 highway

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

When I say empty, I mean that a vehicle could not be seen for miles.

Interstate 49 highway

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

Many minutes would pass before the faint rush of a vehicle could be heard off in the distance.

Interstate 49 highway

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

The concrete — as well as the landscaping, overpasses and exit ramps — suggested to me that this portion of Interstate 49 in Louisiana near the Arkansas state line was relatively new. The speed limit in Louisiana is 75 miles per hour; but it is reduced to 70 in Arkansas.

Interstate 49 highway

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

This section of Interstate 49 was apparently completed only three years ago in late 2014.

Summary

Interstate 49 highway

Photograph ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

I suppose that “ultimate boredom” is relative and depends on a number of factors. At least Interstate 49 goes over rolling hills and has trees lining either side of the highway. Portions of Interstate 40 between Kingman in Arizona and Oklahoma City cross vast expanses of absolutely flat land with no trees without even the slightest of curves in the rigidly straight highway.

Then again, some of the music to which I listen pairs perfectly with what are considered boring segments of highway; so I guess that I do not really mind driving on them, as doing so usually clears my mind — or has me thinking numerous random thoughts…

…or perhaps I just enjoy being out on the open road…

All photographs ©2017 by Brian Cohen.

8 thoughts on “Interstate 49: The Ultimate Boredom?”

  1. StogieGuy7 says:

    I guess what is a “boring” drive is relative and may depend not just on where you are, but how often you have to drive there. Personally, I’d find a drive on the new I-49 corridor somewhat interesting. Brand new design, rolling hills and woodlands would keep my amused.

    Having driven all over the USA, I’d have to opine that the “ultimate” boring drive has to be either I-55 from Joliet, IL to East St. Louis, IL or I-57 from I-294 to Effingham, IL. Flatter than flat, with open cornfields as your only companions, these interstates make I-40 through Texas look like the scenic route!

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      As part of my road trip, StogieGuy7, I drove on Interstate 55 from the other direction: Cape Girardeau north to south of Saint Louis — although years ago, I was in the Bloomington and Normal areas; and I do remember driving there from Chicago.

      Have you been on Interstate 65 between south of Chicago and Indianapolis? Portions of that drive are not only potentially boring; but ugly as well in terms of scenery. I still did not mind the drive, however.

      I completely agree that how often one drives on a particular stretch of highway certainly is an important factor. Even if the highway is interesting, driving on it enough times can be quite boring — and also frustrating, if heavy traffic, construction sites or inclement weather are present…

      1. StogieGuy7 says:

        You are quite right about Interstate 65 between Gary and Indianapolis – I have to drive that stretch fairly often and I don’t like it one bit. Very boring and ugly scenery and. to make matters worse, it’s in a permanent state of construction. Absolutely brutal and I should have mentioned it in the “most boring” list.

        There are many “interesting” interstate drives out there, even in the Midwest. I’d have to nominate I-94 between Madison, WI and the Twin Cities as one; I-44 from St. Louis to Springfield, MO is another.

  2. Chris says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed the trip. Im used to I49 between Shreveport and Lafayette, never been on that section you guys took. I never would have done it as many times as I have if I didn’t love road trips just like you guys. Done I40 too and I guess to me it wasn’t boring at all, being from Ohio and seeing the different terrain kept me entertained. Have a good weekend!

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Different scenery which has never been seen before is definitely a factor pertaining to the interest of driving on a highway — even if there is nothing around for miles.

      You have a great weekend as well, Chris — and thank you.

  3. r m a h says:

    i bicycled around the world for 5.5 years pulling a trailer. go to kazakhstan if you want miles of true nothing.

    also, sorry and totally not trying to annoy or be a pest, but no semicolon needed here, just a comma :

    “The speed limit in Louisiana is 75 miles per hour; but it is reduced to 70 in Arkansas.”

  4. Vijay Patel says:

    I get bored too easily but when the road trip is with your loved one’s you won’t realize the time gone and you won’t be bored even if you travel to the roads like these.

  5. Pete Williams says:

    Come to Arkansas and drive Hwy 71 which will become 49. Then tell me how boring it is.

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