All ready to hit the road as soon as I've had some toast & O.J. Called home about 20 minutes ago and told Mom I'd be on the road as soon as I ate, and that I'd call from the Jersey Pike. Stopped to say "good-bye" to Alice & Bill, gave her the Radio Shack weather radio for use while I'm gone, and reminded her about the kitty litter -- had to hit the all-night convenience store at zero-dark-thirty last night because I'd forgotten to get some while I was out during the day. :-(
Next stop - somewhere one the other side of the Tappan Zee bridge.
09:30 AM - Stopped at the first Connecticut Visitor Information Center to dispose of the extra cup of coffee I should have declined. Called the folks to let them know that I had reset the odometer at 08:00 after topping off the tank (five bucks). NPR was talking about the Seawolf launch at Electric Boat yesterday. I've been carrying my SSN-21 ball cap on the dashboard of the Adm. Gracie since I bought it last week, so I put it on my head and had another motorist take a snapshot [640x480x256 digital postcard] she turned out to be a photographer! I was all set to "engage docking thrusters", when what to my wondering eyes should appear but a chartreuse micro-bus, so I had to take a snapshot of the family beside it.
When I said, "There's something you don't see every day!" the driver pointed to the highway and said, "Well, there goes another one, but it's got the split windshield." Turns out that they were on their way to some kind of VW antique convention, which explains why I've seen more "beetles" on the road this morning (some quite splashy in their paint jobs) than I've seen in the past year. (I always used to think of Chic when I saw a green one, because that's the one she bought around the time we split up, and we still lived in the same neighborhood for a couple of years.)
01:30 PM - Garden State Parkway (first exit West of the Tappan Zee Bridge)
Stopped at my regular watering hole, a tradition on this trip. Another tradition is Vivaldi's The Four Seasons while crossing the Hudson. Today's passage was rainy and foggy - wipers on max (front & rear), with trucks throwing up clouds of spray even at 45 mph - you could not see the water, and the only sign of being in the Hudson River Gorge was that it was a bit lighter (though still only a few car-lengths visibility) because of having left the deeply cut road bed and the darkness of the trees on either side.
Called the folks for the second time to say that I was running an hour behind schedule (partly because of the unscheduled half-hour rest stop at 09:30), so the revised ETA is for around 17:00.
Now, if memory serves me correctly, I can make it all the way to the other end of the New Jersey Turnpike without having to stop for gas, so long as my bladder is empty. :-) My map shows another scheduled stop just south of the Delaware River Bridge, between the river and the Maryland state line.
Hmmm ... looks like the homeboy bikers I passed an hour ago have decided to make a pit stop here as well. (And there's this drop-dead read-head at the next picnic table wearing a dress that's almost exactly the same color as her hair!)
Sound byte from the Steeleye Span CD --
17:30 - first rest stop after crossing Delaware River - 360 miles, 16.9 gallons of gas. (I pulled in on the fumes!) Called Pop to say that I was stuck in traffic a mile from the toll booth -- 2000 feet by the time we finished talking. The bridge was painless, but I'm really (Most Sincerely) glad that I stopped for a half hour, because a few miles after I got back on the Delaware Pike, it turned into a parking lot again, although I didn't have to come to a Full Stop like I was when I called Pop.
18:54 - crossed the Susquehanna
07:30 PM - Bel Air, MD - Pulled off I-95 at Exit 77 (Rt. 24) about 25 miles north of Baltimore because of a cramp in my right leg. Figuring this was Fate, I called Linda, who said she'd get dressed and meet me ASAP at this shopping mall. :-)
I called Pop and told him that I'd be delayed about 2 hours. :-(