Day 1: August 20, 2005
Yay—we are on the road again! I’d hoped to leave by 8 a.m., but considering that Joe went to sleep at 1 a.m. and I went to sleep an hour later, we were fortunate to leave the house by 10:30 (we both had a REALLY hard time waking up!) By the time we left Highland Park with a full tank of gas, it was just 11:00. It’s interstate highways all the way at the moment—I-287 to I-78 to I-81 to I-76 (Pennsylvania Turnpike) to I-70, which will take us to St. Louis, MO, our first planned stop.
On our minds was the fact that we needed to dump our waste tanks, and there are precious few places to do that in New Jersey. However, I had a brainstorm and remembered Cabela’s, in Hamburg PA just about 90 minutes or so from home, has a lot of RV-friendly features. I confirmed on RV.net that they indeed have dumping facilities, so we stopped there at about 12:45 and did the deed. We also walked Cassie and had lunch before leaving; we managed NOT to spend any money inside, although use of the dump was $5. Fortunately, it wasn’t free—otherwise we’d have felt obliged to give the store a little business as a “thank you”, and we would have spent a LOT more than that!
Just after leaving Cabela’s, we ran into some fairly heavy rainstorms, which continued through much of the afternoon. Around 4pm, we stopped at a rest area, thinking to walk the dog, but just as we parked, the skies opened again. I was driving—Joe had already gone to take a nap, and I decided to join him—as he said, “We’re on vacation, we can DO things like that!” So we napped to the sound of rain on the roof for about an hour. At about 5, we continued on our way. It was too bad that the weather wasn’t better—southern Pennsylvania is really beautiful, with rolling green hillsides and farmland. We did see a lot of clouds sitting on top of the mountains instead, but it’s not quite the same. I didn’t take any photos—one day I’ll have to take some “stock photos” of Pennsylvania for my first-day blogs.
We stopped at a rest area at 5:30 for a dog walk and ice cream break. Soon after that, we got a call from Ben and Miriam. They had just left their home in Denver and are planning to spend the next couple of weeks camping with their two daughters, ages 1 and 3! So we are going to meet up with them in a week or so. We are pretty vague about our schedule for Colorado, but camping in the mountains with people we love can’t be bad!
Sometime during the evening, we started a new game--we are looking for towns with names of states, so that it's a "double state". It started when we passed Washington, Pennsylvania, and just before that we'd seen a sign for California, Pennsylvania. We have friends who live in Delaware, Ohio. So now we're searching for more of the same. (Facebook friends contributed Indiana, Pennsylvania and Florida, New York to our list.) We'll be watching for more.
Joe also killed me with a terrible pun. We passed a sign for Triadelphia, West Virginia. I read aloud, "Triadelphia?" He answered quickly, "No thank you, I've had my Philadelphia." GROAN. But in tribute to the fact that I really DO love awful puns, I've memorialized it in the title of today's blog.
We stopped again at about 8pm at a Flying J to get gas and eat some dinner (scrambled eggs and salami—quick and delicious!) And now we are on the road again. It’s 10:20pm and we’re now in Ohio—our plan is to spend the night at a rest area. With luck, we should get to one at about 11pm, which would make this a 12-hour day. I probably would have been happier if we’d put more mileage behind us on our first day, but this is about par for our usual beginning. With luck we’ll sleep a solid 8 hours, and be on the road tomorrow by 8am or so.