|9/20/03 5:00 AM - Muster
I got up at 4:00 AM and showered, had
some coffee, and organized the last few things that needed to be loaded. Very soon,
I was on my way to meet JJ at the Germantown Wal*Mart. Carl had not yet
called and was not expected to be waiting with JJ. When I got on the road, JJ called
me on his cell phone. After several attempts to get a good connection, he told me he
was running late but was on the way. That was good news. I was looking forward
to having JJ along and was happy to know he would soon arrive at the meeting place.
At about 6:00 AM, JJ rolled in to the
parking lot and we took a minute to say our good mornings and discuss the plan for the
road trip to Massachusetts. We would go to Route 70, head east, then
take Route 695 to Route 95 North, and travel up to New York where we
would take my favorite bypass around the Bronx and connect with Route 84.
Then all the way to Hartford, Connecticut where we'd head north on Route 91,
and jump off in Amherst for the back road trek to my parents in Templeton.
With that plan we hit the road. We
soon fell into a routine that lasted the rest of the trip. I would run a few
thousand yards ahead of JJ and call out the next turn on the CB, then watch for him once I
had made it. It worked well and we made excellent time all the way up.
Around 12:19 PM, I got a voice mail
message from Carl: "My power came on and I am on the road!"
Yes! Carl would be a few hours behind us, but indicated plans to stay at his
brother's house as originally planned, and meet us in Hampton on Sunday - on
schedule! I had been very disappointed at the prospect that Carl would not be making
the trip so this news made my day. We got progress reports from Carl a couple times
so we knew he was making good headway and should make his brother's in time for a decent,
if not long night's sleep.
We stopped for gas a time or two, and
also for rest breaks. At one stop, in Connecticut, a fellow walked up to us
and engaged us in a conversation about the Jeeps and his own explorations in Colorado.
He was very enthusiastic and interested in our plans for the trip to Maine.
Pretty soon we got through Connecticut and crossed
the border into Massachusetts. We hopped off Route 91 at exit 19 and
threaded our way through Amherst, with a stop for gas in "The Valley".
Then we took the back roads through Pelham and onto Route 202, which took us
all the way to Route 2 near Athol. JJ indulged me in a brief side trip
to Gardner for a quick car wash, as I had not had a chance to do it before we left.
We pulled into my parents house, right on schedule.
Mom had dinner ready for us and we sat around talking about different things.
I helped Leo decide what to bring and got his gear squared
away in the Jeep so we could just get up, eat breakfast, and leave in the morning.
After supper, I left Leo and JJ to get acquainted and I
went online to establish a north route that would bypass our original plans to go to
Carl's father's house. Clif, Carl's Dad, had to cancel his plans to join us at
the last minute and I decided to cut off the miles after consulting with Carl about going
there anyway. He concurred that we should go as directly to Greenville as
I found a reasonably major secondary road that took us
almost due north to Guilford where we could rejoin our planned way up Route 15
to Greenville. I got some GPS coordinates, loaded them into the GPS, and
modified the route plan so we could stay on track. Once I was done with that, I
headed back downstairs.
Finally it was time to hit the sack in preparation for
another long day on the road.