Escaping Winter Day 1: Massachusetts To Pennsylvania

We ended up leaving a day later due to some unfriendly weather. Also we had some trouble with the bike rack…meaning that Amazon lost the original rack I ordered…and also that I scrambled to buy a new one and accidentally bought the wrong type. So I started the morning of our departure by running off to REI to buy a Yakima spare tire rack. Luckily they had one left.

Also luckily, the day turned out to be sunny and beautiful.

We tied on our Platypus roof rack easily enough. We had vacuum sealed our clothes and were able to fit them all in the Platypus. All good as long as it didn’t fly off on the highway, taking the roof along with it. Let’s at least hope that it happens somewhere warm.

So we’re off, first stoping at Jess’ mom’s work to say a quick goodbye. We then say ‘what the hell’ and stop off at a friend’s house in Worcester. We hang out there for a half hour or so, playing with her daughter until the road calls us back. She puts on a very dramatic (and convincing!) show when we get ready to go, as she buries her head in the blankets and gives us the cutest fake cry ever.

road trip
Goodbye Massachusetts!

At this rate, it’ll take us a week to leave Massachusetts.

But we’re off…again. We soon realize that the weight of the Platypus, along with our luggage, is taking a toll on our gas mileage. We’re not even an hour out and we’re already a half tank down. We stop off at a local gas station. Our nice friends gave us a handy bag full of goodies: candy, motion sickness tablets, wet wipes, all the essentials. Especially essential is a few gas cards for the trip. We decide to break into the first.

I fill up the tank with a $25 card. The only problem is that the tank is filled on $20. I wonder what happens now; do they put $5 back on the card? Will it already be on there?  I go inside the gas station and tell them the situation. The girl behind the counter looks startled. Her eyes bug out. She clearly has no idea what to do. I say that it’s fine and turn to leave. She then explains that the card didn’t record a transaction and we didn’t actually pay for the gas. I should have left when I had the chance. She says she has to talk to her manager. I stand around for a few minutes. Erik comes inside to see what’s going on. I shrug my shoulders. After another few minutes go by I get an idea.

“If I give you $20 cash and keep the card, will that solve the problem,” I say.

The girl looks delighted. “Yes, it would,” she says. I hand her a twenty and go on my way.

We get back on the highway when I feel my empty pockets. That’s when I realize I left the card behind. Twenty dollars down the drain.

But at least we’re finally out of Massachusetts.

We wanted to bypass the apocalypse; also known as New York City traffic at rush hour. So we take the lllooonnngg way around. I maybe was a bit too cautious as the route takes us about 3 hours more than it should have.

Around 11 o’clock we arrive in West Chester, Pennsylvania, where we’ll be staying with our friend Brian from back home. He greets us outside in the freezing cold.

We all have a beer and catch up for a few hours before it’s time to crash. Tomorrow we’ll be doing our longest driving day onto Lexington, Kentucky, the horse (and bourbon) capital of the US.

So far the Platypus seems intact and dry, as well as the bikes (although I didn’t notice that I’d left the bike light on the handlebars so we’ve had a blinking light going off probably since we left)

Until then, it’s sleepy time on the couch with a snuggly brown lab named Mocha.

Continue onto Day 2


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