2,168 miles to go…

1,000 miles under my belt. After the pretty hills of Western Pennsylvania it starts to flatten out rather quickly in to the farm land of Ohio and the monotony begins to set in. It was quite grey and rainy and trying to snap shots while driving was proving to be a somewhat hazardous task but I managed to get a few.

 

The rolling hills of western Pennsylvania snapped through a windshield while almost driving off a precipice

 

Gas has been the silent killer. It costs about $100 to fill up the tank and it needs to be done every 250 miles. It does mean you get to stop at all kinds of interesting establishments like this one and observe the culture of the road. All these places have showers in them and you put your name on a list and they call your name over the loud speaker “Mike Reynolds, your shower is ready”

Spreading the Loves

 

At the counter where I bought my coffee they had this large glass container filled with water and a little shot glass at the bottom. You could drop money in the water and if it landed in the shot glass you got your coffee for free. The woman behind the counter went on to explain that it went to a program to help kids with cancer and that she knew it was a good program because two of her three kids had leukemia and benefited greatly from the service. “Damn, I’m sorry to hear that” was all I could find to mutter. My dollar just kind of floated on top of the water and I couldn’t wait around to see if it would land in the shot glass as the road beckoned.

 

Ohio was just how imagined it – flat and farmy. Certainly a lot of room to grow and a lot of opportunity for the sun to stream through the clouds just like this:

Is that an Angel in the clouds? A ufo?? Nope, its a squashed bug

 

Finding provisions of a suitable quality is proving to be more difficult in this neck of the plains. Plastic, prefabricated and preservative seem to be common threads in the culinary culture in these lands. Waistlines have been expanding. Beer choices are dwindling. Would you like corn syrup with that corn muffin? I’ve been sticking to mexican food mostly – seems innocuous and I can relate to the ingredients on some elemental level.

 

I made it to Valparaiso, Indiana before I had to clock out for the night at a Super8 motel. As I write this the smell of weed is wafting under my door from somewhere down the hallway. I feel like I’m back in college.

After 1000 miles they give you your first sleeveless shirt. 10,000 miles and you get a camouflage one!

2,870 miles to go…

Day one is over and 300 miles are under my belt. I’ve made it through the NYC portion of the trip mostly unscathed which was the part I dreaded the most, frankly, so I’m counting myself pretty lucky so far. I dodged a $135 ticket going across the Tri-Borough bridge. Apparently you can’t just take the EZ-pass out of your passenger vehicle and put it in your moving truck and expect things to just work out. Who knew!?!? There just happened to be a toll worker standing right by my truck as I was going through and he flagged me over and read me the riot act. I professed ignorance – which is generally the case – and he let me go with a warning and the normal fee for trucks which is an astounding $26.

 

So with that little hiccup out of the way it was a quick dart in to BK to get stuff out of storage. Richard at the storage place was a prince as usual and I was in and out in under 2 hours.

If you see this man give him a high five. He is a prince among men.

 

I was kind of amazed that I was able to fill up the whole truck. I initially thought I was going to be able to do the trip with just a 12′ trailer attached to my car. Woah was I off! Glad I was talked out of it. While stacking one box after the other into the back of the truck I couldn’t escape the feeling that I was being followed cross county by a whole pile of crap.

What a lot of Crap

 

Trying to avoid traffic I took some back roads and had a little scare when I almost ripped a bumper off a car on one of the narrower streets but I managed to make it on to the BQE and across the Verazzano bridge. This time I wisely chose to go through the cash aisle only to be told by the ornery young lady that I owed $54. My jaw dropped. She said I had to pay $26 for the truck and then $8 for each axle. I’m still trying to figure out the math on that one. A nice little kick in the ass by NYC on my way out the door. Oh well, win some, lose more. Best thing to do is haul ass out of town before they find a way to tax me one more time so that’s just what I did. Managed to make it to PA before I ran out of gas – literally and figuratively – and am now counting my chickens and watching crap tv at an Econolodge somewhere.

3,048 miles to go…

As the cold northern winds descend upon New England and the trees burst into brilliant color in preparation for their coming winter repose, I dutifully pack up our belongings in a truck and hit the road for more hospitable climes further on down the road. With a short stop in Brooklyn to collect some items in storage, I plan to hit the west coast in 6 days barring any mishaps along the way!  Here is the first photo after having picked up the truck: So far so good except that I haven’t tried to back up yet and I can’t actually see the car being trailed in any of the rear view mirrors so I’m constantly paranoid that I’ m going to stop one time and its not going  to be there anymore!! Tailgaters be warned. 
Our little caravan prepares to hit the lonely the road