L and I awoke from the VA welcome center and pulled out just after 6am. The kids woke up after several hours on the road. We knew today would be a challenging “long drive” day as we hoped to make it all the way to our campground for the night in Northern Massachusetts by the time they closed and locked the gates at 9pm. We might have just made it if not having to stop and hand over our children’s college education fund dollar by dollar at dozens of toll booths up and down the Eastern Seaboard! More on that in a minute.
We passed through Virginia and proceeded around Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia and then to NY City’s George Washington Bridge by 3:30pm. (Side note- I had some spirited conversations earlier in the day with the toll booth operators about what I viewed (and they disagreed with) as the proper way to count the axles on my motorhome and Explorer being towed behind- Total axles count (4) versus two vehicles with 2 axles for a total of 4. The extra fees I was having to pay ranged from $4 to $12 (money which I wanted in my pocket for Maine Lobst’ah Rolls!) so I argued passionately and lost just as passionately). By the time we arrived at NY City’s GW Bridge, I was quite at the end of my rope with these TOLL-ing Yankees so you can imagine my surprise when I was quoted $84 dollars to cross the GW Bridge! “Surely, you have made an error,” I said in surprise to the toll booth operator who glumly retorted, “4 axles at $21 per axle- that will be $84”. Visions of toll booth operators and their Fat Cat NY/NJ State Port Authority bosses with supersized pensions sitting on remote tropical beaches sipping exotic drinks with funny names danced through my head as I sat in bumper to bumper traffic over the next 25 minutes to cross their bridge. The traffic over the next several hours continued to worsen and we saw our chance of a 9pm campground arrival slip away. We pushed on and after a fuel fill-up arrived at the Maine Welcome Center on I-95 just after midnight. An 18 hour drive day and we were worn out! Tomorrow marks the beginning of our first vacation stops though and we are excited to be in Maine!