Monday, 2 September 2013

Day 3: White River Junction, VT - State College, PA

Poked my head out of the door at 06:15.  It was raining.  Hard.  Arses.  It had almost subsided by the time I was ready to go but there was enough moisture in the air - including in the form of low cloud - to preclude putting the top down.  Sped south through Vermont and back into Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Tourist Board official: Good morning, Sir, and welcome to Massachusetts.  Would you like your rain in the form of:
  1. Intermittent drizzle
  2. Short sharp showers
  3.  Cloudbursts, or
  4. All of the above
I got #4.  The state of play in Connecticut and New York was as near as makes no odds the same.  The air temperature was, however, in no way reduced, so the aircon had to stay on.  Which in turn made both the windscreen and the lens of my camera mist up; this being one of the reasons for the paucity of photos today.

On music: In-car entertainment on these trips is provided by DJ Random - he being a playlist on my iPod.  Tracks are selected at random from those with a play count of zero.  This caused me to ponder whether, in a nation of three hundred-plus million people, anyone was listening to the same stuff as me.  In the case of, say, Bob Dylan or Led Zeppelin it's entirely possible.  But I reckon the odds of anyone listening to Jesus Couldn't Drum would be slim indeed.  So, America, were you?

I finally escaped the Interstate system to tool down some back roads in search of New Jersey.  As a change from the interminable trees, here and there was actual, visible agriculture.  Fields!  I did this as the map is not clear as to whether I-84 just grazes the corner of the state or not.  A certain FWSE suggests that it does not, hence the detour to the small but bustling town of Sussex.

New Jersey

Apologies for the blurriness but the lens kept steaming up.

Back to I-84 and Pennsylvania and at last it was looking as though the rain had cleared.  Emboldened, I took the photo below and then stowed the roof.

Pennsylvania - the evidence

The opening section of I-84 is rougher than a bear's arse and given that the Mustang is not renowned for the sophistication of its rear suspension, it was not a surprise that the thing felt as though it was airborne for much of the first twenty miles.  And after those twenty miles it started to rain again.  Dive into a handy rest area and bung the roof back up again, at which point it stopped.  I didn't trust the weather, though, and the lid stayed up for the remainder of the day.  Wisely, as there was yet another downpour while orbiting Scranton.

Pennsylvania, or at least the bits of it I've seen so far, is beautiful.  Srsly.  OK, so I haven't been to Pittsburgh, but round here it's all deep valleys and forested mountains and jolly scenic.  The last Several of miles today were covered on I-80, which passes within fifty yards of the Super 8 in Battle Mountain, so getting lost shouldn't be an issue unless I take the cheaper option of bypassing the toll sections in Ohio, Indiana and Illinois.  Plus I have to make a brief excursion up into Michigan, thereby allowing further opportunities to drive around in small circles while shouting abuse at Emily.  She actually lost I-81 this afternoon and had me driving down a river...

Edit: Just after posting this episode a totally awsum thunderstorm has just kicked off.  Thunderbolts and lightning, very very frightening meeeeeeeeeeeee!

New states visited: New Jersey, Pennsylvania,

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