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We made it out of Massachusetts just as the rains came and had a nice cool travel day through Rhode Island and Connecticut. It only took 39 minutes to cut through Rhode Island, long enough to ponder the validity of its name since it is not an island nor even a peninsula. In keeping with the theme of New England it should’ve at least been named “New Rhode,” but I digress.

Our GPS took us through NYC. Yes, THROUGH the Bronx to be more precise. I really didn’t feel that was a wise route but there wasn’t a suitable alternative. Surprisingly, it wasn’t that bad. We hit some patches of construction before the George Washington Bridge during which we had a top speed of 5 mph; it took nearly 2 hours to travel the 3 miles across Manhattan. Once in NJ we encountered tolls again, but after we were in Maryland it was smooth driving…until the construction again. Our 5 hour trip had turned into 10 and once we entered Pennsylvania we just kept on the lookout for a place to stop for the night. It was already after 6pm which meant most of the truckers were settled in for the night. The first 2 truck stops were full, but at the next one we scored the last spot.

We were tucked away in a corner of a Love’s Truck Stop in Bern, PA for the night as our neighbors changed several times during the night. Blast those air brakes! After a restless sleep we got an early start the next day.

We made it through Pennsylvania and into West Virginia on a beautiful sunny day (that was getting increasingly warmer by the hour). We hit a pothole at a gas station, causing us to bottom out enough that we scraped the tow cable and snapped the carabiner on the emergency break-away cable. Jason fixed it and all was well except for some slow downs of construction, until…

…we were startled by a man in a pickup truck honking frantically at us. We pulled over to discover a blowout on our toad. Oh dear, we must have driven on it for maybe 10 or so miles. There wasn’t much left. The man was super friendly and changed the tire for us, putting on the full-size spare. Twenty minutes later we were back on the road.

The blowout tore out some of the plastic bolts and grommets that held the inside mud flaps and bumper cover on, so we’ll need to find a place to replace those. The mud flaps are somewhere down route 19.

My highlight of the day was crossing the Mason-Dixon line! The Cumberland Gap and the enormous bridge over the New River were cool too.

We got into the campground late but were met by another super friendly West Virginian who got us settled in. It’s beautiful country out here but with the lush wilderness come my favorite pests, no-see-ums, otherwise known as black flies here. Ugh, the worst infestation yet!

Looking forward to spending time with my childhood friend this weekend.

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