Thursday, 29 May 2014

First nights in the illustrious hardwoo and the drive to the south

The Open Road

We've been so long at the border that by the time we're turned loose on the United States of America all we can think about are the basics.
Gone is the wanderlust and dreams for an adventure worth blogging about. Replaced with three basic human needs, bathroom, food and cheap American fuel. With gasoline running just under a dollar a liter I grin ear to ear as I fill the almost empty tank. then off to wally world for some extremely salty bread.
The First Meal With Mushroom Lights
A snack and a few miles (which are noticeably longer than kilometers) we're full of vim and vinegar again. After a happy night time cruise through the pretty New England countryside, which i'm sure looks splendid by daylight, we arrive at our first stop at a rest area outside Bangor ME.
I Think We Need More Lights
After having planned to live in the hardwoo for so long we were to tired to savor the event, but after a supper of bread and cheese with salad we fell asleep happy to the song of trucks passing by in the night.
Passing Through Boston
We woke from our dreams of warm seaside BBQ's and southern hospitality to a nice picnic area. I played guitar while Pandora hula-hooped for a while then off to our next adventure. After a day's drive we started noticing that Maine was pretty big. we spent a while at a visitor center off the I-95 getting our American celly phone activated. The biggest hurdle was not having a zip code (I tried to register the death valley area code, but no dice).
The next day we picked up Johnny, our first rideshare in Portland, ME. Then crossed our first state border, followed by another, then another into Massachusetts (which is really hard to spell). we dropped Johnny off in Boston, pronounced 'Bawstuhn', and decided we'd have to come back there and spend some time when the nights were warmer.
Our 'Up Close' Look At New York
We passed new York by and then onto the New Jersey turnpike where we didn't get a 'turnpike ticket' which we were charged $13.30 for later much to my chagrin. But it was worth it with four lanes of smooth blacktop that let the hardwoo drive smooth and fast towards warmer climes and gentle sunlit shores.
Another night spent at a rest area helped us refine our systems for living in the van. this time we fired up the Coleman stove for a delicious meal of rice with okra, tomatoes and corn in a jerk sauce. girlie was terrified of the giant beasts (transport trucks) and was up all night.
More driving, and learning valuable lessons like Americans don't observe posted speed limits. "just keep up with the pack" someone told me at a rest stop. we stopped in philly for an official Dalessandro's cheesesteak and a walk in Fairmount park where girlie started to get psyched on our adventure. Philly would have to join Boston on the 'to do' list.
After navigating out of Philadelphia we kept heading south while corresponding with our next rideshare who we were picking up in Washington, DC. Which would take us through Baltimore, ML...
but that's a story for another time..

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