In both cases, going to and leaving from, my drive has always been during the dark of the night. By so doing, I avoid the slow moving parking lots called the Jersey Turnpike and/or the Garden State Parkway. At night I can make the trip in six-and-a-half hours, whereas by day, the same trip can take 8-9 hours or, worse case, even more time.
In any event, on my drive home, I generally time it to hit the southern border of the Adirondack PARK just as the sun is starting to lighten the sky. Before I reach my exit on the Northway, I get to witness a nice sunrise and the drive from the Northway to my home is undertaken in warm early morning light - it's a wonderful welcome back home respite after the long drive.
This year, on the evening of my departure from the shore, I was treated to an early evening rain with the sun masked by haze (mist + humid air) which basked the landscape with a warm pleasant glow. If the light show, as nice as it was, was an attempt by the weather gods to entice me to return to the shore, it didn't work. Or, it could have just been a goodbye and good riddance token to show their appreciation of my self-imposed exile from the South Jersey Shore.
On the other hand, as I approached my exit on the Northway (you can just make out the exit sign in the picture) the morning light show made me think and feel liked I had returned to the Promised Land.