Four days and ~3300 miles later, we’re in Vermont. Check this spot later for updates (and believe me, there’s cause for some), but for now, we’re here, we want to see people, and I’m going to BED.
For those that have known me for a while, you’ll understand when I say that the drive itself was no big deal. 14 to 16 hours a day at an average of 75 miles per hour for four days, not really an issue. With that out of the way, let me explain the more notable points in the trip:
The first notable item was the weather. We left on Thursday morning, and as such ended up behind one front and ahead of another, in this large weather bubble of warm, sunny weather. The average temperature for the trip was probably around 70, and ended up as high as 86 degrees in Sturgis, South Dakota. Believe me, this is a hell of a lot nicer for driving across the country than a snowstorm or rain or cold temperatures. (Imagine that.)
Next item: I am now convinced that out of state drivers do in fact get targeted more by cops. I was pulled over just outside of Sturgis, SD for passing too close to the vehicle in front of me (which is bullshit, I was a good distance behind, and only got close because the truck in front of me slammed on his brakes… that’s the POINT of driving distances, is to give you time to react.) IN reality, he saw two scruffy looking guys driving along in an out of state vehicle, and pulled us over because he suspected we were carrying drugs. He had a drug sniffing dog with him, and did a circuit around the vehicle with it. After he didn’t find anything (again, those that know me should be saying “Well, duh“), he let us go with a “courtesy warning”. The next time we were pulled over was coming into White River Junction, literally 5, maybe 6 miles from home. Again, the officer saw two scruffy guys coming in at most a few miles over the speed limit (which suddenly drops at the exit from 65 to 55, and I simply let off the gas instead of hitting my brakes, something I’ve done on that exit literally over a thousand times), and pulls us over, and tries to give us shit, comments “You’re obviously not from around here.” To which Uri and I just laughed and explained that our parents’ house was 5 miles down the road. That sort of flustered him, and once again, we ended up with just a warning.
Flipping back to “good” things, we detoured through the Black Hills, and I’d just like to say that it really is amazing out there. We ended up following this dirt road up to the top of a hill and got some photo and video footage of the view. I haven’t uploaded it from the camera yet, though, so no pictures for now. The roads were remarkably well maintained, and I can totally see why Sturgis is such a Biker mecca.
Wrapping up with a sour note, the hotel we stayed at in Erie, PA sucked, hardcore. It was late, and the hotel was largely full, so we ended up getting a smoking room for $90. We got to the room, and Uri’s key didn’t work. Mine did, so no big deal. Get in, and it stinks of smoke, and since it was on the fourth floor, the windows were unopenable. It had a door to the adjoining room where the laminate panel had begun to peel away from the core of the door, but hey, not that big a deal, we don’t need to use it anyway. We woke up late because the alarm didn’t go off, but no big deal, it probably was our error. We get downstairs and scrape up the remnants of breakfast (full house, not enough food for the numbers), eat, and then I stand in line for half an hour to check out, because they only had one person on checkin/checkout (with a full house, half an hour before checkout deadline). It’s also worth noting that the person in front of me paid $66 for her room. The person in front of her paid $100 WITH three $19.95/per passes to the local waterpark. Needless to say, I’ll be formally complaining to the chain, because that’s some serious bullshit.
Other than that, it was a largely uneventful and pleasant trip.