I have had some crazy experiences the past few days. Maybe not crazy, but way out of the realm for me. ( Let’s be honest, this whole adventure is out of the realm for me. But that’s the old me.) Just say that the past few days have been some of my first real “oh so this is what cross country travel is like” days. Let’s talk about New York….
Have you ever driven through New York? How crazy is it? Now imagine doing that towing a camper. A camper you’ve only been towing a couple of months and are still new to. My new friend I made while I was in Maryland told me I absolutely did not want to drive through New York during the day with a camper, and that I needed to go through there around midnight. Me. Doing anything at midnight besides sleeping. Let that simmer.
But I thought about it and realized they were right, so I broke down camp in Maryland Sunday night at 9:00 and hit the road. ( Have I mentioned I don’t see that great at night?) It wasn’t terrible, but then I hit the New Jersey turnpike and started to stress. So dark. So many huge 18 wheelers. Flying. Because they do this all the time. And it started to rain just a little bit. I slowed down. Then I hit New York.
Y’all NY is crazy. You have lanes running beside lanes. If you’re in a car you go to the left. A trailer or truck, to the right. Well, what if you’re a car towing a trailer? I need you to tell me. Because I just don’t know. I slowed down more. It started raining harder. Then, the George Washington bridge. I hate a bridge.
Well, this one has 2 levels. Trucks up top, cars on the lower level. Again, which one am I? Somebody tell me. But somehow I ended up on the lower level. And it was even raining inside there. I didn’t even dare look at either side of me. I was just holding on, tears rolling down my face, trying not to throw up. At this point I was driving 40 MPH and I will never, ever yell at anyone for driving too slow on curves and stuff again. I get it sister. You do what you need to do.
Then I made it to my exit from the bridge and it was a tiny curvy lane that didn’t look like a Volkswagen would fit through it and I thought really? This is what we’re doing now? Ok. Why not. But I made it through, and made it out of the city and started to try to find a rest area to pull over and sleep for a few hours. It was 2:00 AM at this point and I was hurting. But guess what. There’s no rest areas…anywhere. (No street lights either but we won’t talk about that.)
So I found myself in Connecticut. And GPS has me going down this highway where vehicles over 8ft tall are prohibited because of short bridges. Just try and stop me because at this point I DON’T CARE. I need sleep and I have no idea how to get anywhere. And it’s still pitch dark. Finally I found an exit for Stanford. And it said there were hotels. I was about to just go pay for one for the night when I found a WalMart. The best friend of RV travelers. So I pulled in that parking lot at 3:00AM, tried to convince the pups that it was ok to go potty here, and then tried to sleep.
I woke up at 7:30 AM, and walked over to WalMart. When I walked in and saw they had a Dunkin Donuts inside, I nearly dropped to my knees and kissed the floor. Fortified with coffee, I decided I was going to drive the rest of the way to Maine that day. I only had 450 miles left to go, and I was ready to hit my destination. And I did it. And it is so spectacular it took my breath away. This time I cried happy tears. And I got here in time to see the sunset from the steps of my camper.
There’s too many sunsets I haven’t seen. You can’t waste the day wishing it’d slow down. ~ Sara Bareilles “Many the Miles”.
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