Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Number Forty-Eight!

8:29 am - Wednesday - October 10th - New Castle, DE (Our 48th State!)- 71º F, 97% humidity, wind 3 mph out of the south by southeast.....cloudy today with a forecast high of 80º F.

Tuesday was departure day from Liberty Harbor RV Park.  They have a very, very strict policy that if you have not departed your site by 11 am you will automatically be charged an additional $40.  So, obviously, our goal was to be rolling out of our site before that time.  We were ready to move by 9:30 am, and headed directly to their dump station.  It had been over 5 days since we dumped and we did not know when, or where we would have an opportunity to do so again.  By the time we finished doing that it was after 10 am, and time to head over to their storage lot to retrieve our trailer, which we did in short order.  It was just after 10:30 am as we exited the facility and back into the bowels of Jersey City for a short, but excruciating 2 mile drive to the I-78 on ramp.  Having just traversed those same roads 3 days prior we knew what to expect, but that did not make it any less stressful.

Within 15 minutes we were sailing on to I-78 which would reconnect us with I-95 southbound.  We passed through the toll booth area and retrieved our toll ticket to be delivered to a live person on the south end of the New Jersey Turnpike (I-95)......

.....over the course of the next 90 miles we stopped twice at 'Service Areas' to take a break, and at the second one (Clara Barton Service Area) we went inside where I acquired a mocha favorite.  By this time it had been over 2 hours since we departed Liberty Harbor, and we had covered mile upon mile of spacious, smooth Interstate.....the tension had begun to ooze from my soul.  You know, there are a lot of people who decry the national chain stores, but the one thing I love as we travel across the country is the continuity that you get from chain stores such as Starbucks.  I know that every single mocha frappuccino I buy will be exactly the same as the last one, and that makes me happy.  I know that any Home Depot I shop in will have a given product that I use on a regular basis in stock, and that makes me happy.  It is why I love Sirrius/XM Radio....I can listen to the same station day after day, and not worry about losing the signal.

Eventually we came to that toll area at the southern end of the New Jersey Turnpike at which time I handed over my toll ticket from Jersey City.....the cost?  $41.85.....WHOA NELLIE!  That was not it for tolls for the all we paid just under $70 in tolls before we exited I-95 in New Castle, DE.

Our goal for Tuesday was the Elks Lodge (# 2281) in New Castle, DE.  Originally we had planned to overnight at the Cabela's near Newark, but it was quite humid Tuesday and we really wanted to be able to plug in and run the A/C when we arrived.  The New Castle Elks Lodge has a single 30 amp outlet available, and you can stay there for no charge!  Perfect!  The lodge was just a couple of miles off I-95, and had very easy access.  We arrived shortly after 2 pm, quickly plugged in and got the A/C drying out our interior air.  So, why Delaware?  Well, it constitutes the 48th State we have visited, and spent at least one night in before continuing our also happens to have been the FIRST State, and that is their motto.....

 We have the whole place to ourselves! has been 4, or 5 days since I've had a proper nap, and once we had A/C I sat down and did just that.  On Tuesday's the bar opens at 6 pm, so we went in to introduce ourselves, and have a couple of brews......

....we met J.R., Bob, Beth, Danny, and many other very friendly folks.  It is one of the things we love about being Elks.....wherever you go you are always made to feel right at home.  Our first round was free, which is an Elks tradition, and Bob picked up the second round.....sweet!

We retreated to the Newell a little after 7 pm as they were going to have an induction ceremony.  We spent the evening catching up on several recorded series episodes, and then watched the end of the MLB Boston Red Sox vs. The N.Y. Yankees.....the game was won by Boston 4-3 sending Boston on to the American League Championship Series.  We were in bed by 11:30 pm looking forward to sleeping in, and no schedule on Wednesday.

So, now we have come to the end of our quest to visit all 48 of the lower states, and all that remains is Alaska.  Next summer we will visit Alaska in the Newell.  We were in Hawaii back in 1991 celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary, so we will physically have visited all 50 states by next summer.  What happens next?  We don't really know, but we do know we will continue living our nomadic life, and continue to seek out new, interesting places to spend weeks, or months at at time.  I do think, though, we will spend more time in the western half of the USA to be a little closer to our children and their families.

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