Wednesday, May 9, 2018

New last!

6:32 am - Wednesday - May 9th - Lynnfield, MA - 46º F, 92% humidity, wind 3 mph out of the south by southwest.......clear blue skies with a forecast high today of 68º F.

We have, at last, entered our first New England state.....Massachusetts, but I get ahead of myself.  We woke up in the Herkimer, NY Walmart parking lot knowing Tuesday would be our last day in New York.  I turned on the big Kohler propane generator around 7:15 am so we could run the block heater in preparation for our departure between 9 and 10 am.

Before we would merge on to I-90 east bound we needed to 'pay the rent' by topping off our 180 gallon diesel fuel tank.  Utilizing Gas Buddy I had located a fuel station just .5 miles from the Walmart selling diesel for $3.05/gallon.  When we last topped off our tank we paid $3.09/gallon so this was an improvement.....I doubt if we will see sub $3/gallon diesel for a long time as oil is currently topping $70/barrel.....up from under $50/barrel just a couple of months ago.  Higher oil prices seem to be the new norm.  

We usually check out stations using Google Earth to be sure we can safely enter and exit the station, but since we were just 1/2 mile from the station we decided to walk over and check out the layout.  We made the roundtrip walk in less than 20 minutes being totally satisfied that we could use this station.

By 9:15 am we were rolling our wheels over to the Fastrac fuel station, which is a New York franchise.  At this station they have fuel lanes specifically for large trucks and RV's with the fast high volume pumps we love.  I figured we would take anywhere from 85 to 90 gallons and we ended up taking on 89.5 gallons!

The stretch of I-90 from Herkimer to, essentially, the Massachusetts border is part of the New York Thruway which is another way of saying you have to pay to use the road.  We have been on this 'Thruway' since we entered New York and had paid about $58 in tolls thru Tuesday morning.  We were on I-90 eastbound by 9:50 am.  On this day the terrain was rolling hills, which became mountains (The Berkshires) when we entered Massachusetts.

 We made our first rest stop of the day at Guilderland Travel Plaza in New York......

.....we really like the New York 'Service Areas' as they had plenty of space for trucks/RV's to park.  We were disappointed in the Massachusetts 'Service Plazas' as their truck/RV parking was very inadequate.  In fact, the first one we pulled into in Massachusetts had no space for us to park, and there were only about 7, or 8 semi truck/trailers there, so we had to move on to the next one.  This held true for the next two 'Service Plazas', but we were able to snag the last truck/RV parking space in each case.

We eventually entered the last toll booth on the New York Thruway and parted  with an additional $21.55 bringing our total tolls paid to just over $70.  I-90 in Massachusetts is also a toll road, however, they have no toll booths.  They send you a bill if you don't have one of their transponders, so we will not know what we owe on tolls for Massachusetts until we get the bill.

As we penetrated deeper into Massachusetts we entered the Bershires and began to gain elevation ultimately topping out at 1,724' elevation before we began the long descent back to 200' elevation here in Lynnfield, MA........

.....our last rest stop of the day was at the Ludlow Plaza where we stopped long enough to grab a snack at the McDonalds before pounding out the last 33 miles to the Wakefield/Lynnfield Elks Lodge (the Lodge building is in Lynnfield while part of the parking lot is in Wakefield).  At last we came to the sign for I-95 which would take us to Wakefield, and ultimately almost all the way to our final destination in Southwest Harbor, ME.  We only had 19 miles to go at this point, which we thought would be a 'cake walk'......

.....but then we hit the famous Boston area rush hour took us an hour to cover the last 19 miles to the Main Street exit in Wakefield......

Rush hour Boston traffic

......we finally arrived at the Elks Lodge about 3:50 pm.  We went inside briefly to find out where we should park, then went back to the coach to remove the VW from the trailer before backing into our site for the next few days......

 Another idyllic Elks Lodge setting

....once we were parked and hooked up to their 20 amp electrical outlet we went back inside to have a couple of beers and unwind from the rush hour traffic experience.  We met Julie, Mel, and several other very nice people who gave us plenty of tips on what so see, and where to go while we are here.....nothing like local knowledge!

So, Tuesday we passed the 3,000 mile mark on our journey, having just 271 miles more to go before we park the Newell for 5 months.  So far the trip has exceeded our expectations.  The Newell and trailer have performed flawlessly.  All we have had to do is feed her diesel, turn on the cruise control and hang on day after day.  I have spent almost 56 hours piloting this 62' behemoth on this trip and have loved every single second of the experience......

.....we have now arrived in our first New England state (there are six....Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine)......thanks for stopping by!

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  1. Long time reader and first time poster! I grew up in Massachusetts and lived there until we moved 12 years ago. Glad that you weren't on the Mass Pike for that long but 95/128 is a nightmare any time of the day really. Not sure what your plans are while you are there but I am happy to make some suggestions. For some reason I can't post from my Google Account only as anonymous.

    1. Thank you for the offer....just saw your post after we got back on the Purple Line out of North Station. Walked about 10 miles around Boston...followed the Freedom Trail.


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