September 8, 2013

Start of a New England Vacation



Hug for Jordan


We finally made it. We are en route to the New England coast, and are inviting you along to enjoy our escapades.

Neighbor's dog wanted to go with us.

Neighbor’s dog wanted to go with us.

We had a rocky start. On Monday morning, when Monte went to get mail, the car belt light went on. He didn’t dare drive the car far if there was a serious problem.

On Monday night our computer died. I had to connect the printer to my laptop to print the business cards I wanted so I could spread the word about my novel-under-construction, and I went to the neighbor’s to use their wi-fi to complete my Beanery Writers email task.

On Tuesday morning Monte headed to Greensburg to solve the car problem. En route home he stopped at the computer shop and dropped off the computer so it could be repaired while we traveled. He also stopped at the car rental business where he was offered a satisfactory price on a rental car, so he arranged for us to pick up the car on Wednesday morning.

When my neighbor Dan called late Tuesday evening he offered to go to Latrobe with Monte, at 8:00 a. m., to pick up the car.

We managed, somehow, to be on the road by 12:25 p. m. Start mileage was 6,032.

While leaving Laurel Mountain Borough Monte stopped to talked with two Borough council members who were discussing road problems with a road specialist.

We exited the Route 30 exit from the Borough, tired but relieved to be on our way. Part way up Laurel Mountain Monte realized he’d left his car insurance card behind, and he didn’t think he’d locked our car.

He made a U-turn on the lower side of a small hill crest, and didn’t  understand why I was nervous at this.

“Nothing’s coming,” he said.

“How can you tell? You can’t see over the crest.” Large trucks and cars speed down this mountain.

Back home he retrieved the insurance card and the electric converter, then locked the car door.

New start time and mileage:   12:35 p. m. and 6036.

The sky to the east was slightly hazy with a rare cloud, to the west was brilliant medium blue with white fluffy clouds.

Rt. 30 East towards Jennerstown, PA

Rt. 30 East towards Jennerstown, PA

We were following a slow-moving truck and six cars. Five passed the truck. Monte did too.  I questioned passing in an area with solid yellow lines painted on the road.

“Yellow lines are for no passing at regular speed, not for slow speed,” he said.

We were on our way. I spotted a couple of shrubs that had already turned fall-red, too early in my consideration.

Green light means go---we were on our way

Green light means go—we were on our way

 Later Monte said “It looks like the leaves here are drying up and not coloring.” Some were. They were dull brown, not brilliant autumn red.

Outside Altoona we stopped at a mall. I went into Bosco’s, where I purchased a small wallet/purse, and a white top. Aren’t 75% or more off sales irresistible?

Monte said he would stay in the car, but when I exited the store I couldn’t find him. Or the car. I traipsed around the sparsely filled parking lot but couldn’t find the car. With our car I use my keys to flash the headlights, thereby disabling the vehicle’s attempt at hiding amongst the other gray cars. But how could I find this rental car? I couldn’t describe it beyond it being kind of grayish, and I had no car key to flash lights with.

And there was no Monte. He’d gone into the store to use the necessary room. I was returning to the store to call his cell phone when he appeared and took me to the car.

We continued on, stopping at a rest stop after driving a distance. An almost-florescent green car pulled a couple of cars away from us. I noticed its Iowa plates and spoke to the couple that came with the car. They were headed to a wedding in a park with 22 waterfalls. The wife and I had a delightful talk.

During the next part of the drive I cut and sorted coupons, read several items, thereby creating a good amount of paper to pitch at our next stop.

At exactly 5:30 p. m. we parked in the lot at Wilkes Barr’s Knights Inn. We had no reservations but landed a room with two double beds. We walked to an adjacent restaurant, ate dinner, and walked back to the motel.

On the way back Monte noticed a license plate that said THIS CAR.

“That’s a funny plate,” he said.

“Perhaps there’s a THAT car so the owners can say ‘I’ll take THIS car and you can drive THAT car.”

I walked around the parking lot to see where the license plates were from and explained to one car owner what I was doing. He said he’s had hard times, is hoping for a truck driving job he applied for. At 47 he had six years driving trucks, and had been in every state. He has lived in a hotel room for two months and is hoping to save sufficient cash to purchase a house. He had paid for his car with cash he’d saved. and was hoping to pay cash for a house.

License from New Jersey, PA, NY, one construction truck with NY plates, and another Michel’s Pipeline Construction with Wisconsin plates.

The motel desk gave Monte a slip of paper with the motel’s wi-fi code but the slip of paper disappeared. It’s 10:45 and I am tired. Trip stories to begin next post.

Good night.

NOTE: Since our slow start on Wednesday we’ve met some interesting people and gathered many interesting stories. The stories will be posted during my regular posting schedule, Sunday/Tuesday/Thursday for written pieces, Saturday for pictures only.



Misquamicut Beach, Rhode Island

SNAPSHOT ENCOUNTERS: Brief Meetings with People #1

SNAPSHOT ENCOUNTERS: Brief Meetings with People #4


1 Comment »

  1. Gerald and I’ve had a few rocky starts to our trips, too. Enjoy your journey. thanks for sharing your pictures. Happy Grand parents day!

    Comment by merry — September 8, 2013 @ 5:20 pm | Reply

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