Thursday, August 14, 2008

Hershey to Kitty Hawk

Day 2 started off a bit slower. We woke up bright and early (of course) but with all the packing and eating and our kids just being so dang loud in the lobby, we didn't end up leaving till a bit after 9:00.

We headed southeast out of Hershey on Bachmanville Road into Lebanon County and then various middle of nowhere roads till we got onto PA 283 East. Went through Lancaster where I dropped off another post card. Not sure why that has a Harrisburg postmark unless that's where the gas station employee lived?

Went down PA 72 / PA 272 / US 222 into Cecil County Maryland and then took a brief out and back on US 1 to get Harford County, before heading east. BACK into Pennsylvania (Chester County!) and then back into Maryland onto MD 273 to MD 272. We hopped onto I-95 and before too long hit some nice traffic. Apparently on a Saturday morning everyone was heading beach bound? Just over the Delaware line, we stopped at a toll plaza that was INSANELY crowded. Just tons of people all over the place, many of them shady looking. I'm not sure if the toll plaza itself was dirty or it just seemed that way due to the masses of people. I bought some Delaware postcards and mailed the first one off. Too bad I didn't double check, but it was a duplicate.

Shortly after we got back on the road, the van started going crazy. We had been having some battery trouble and it was acting up. A few months ago the belt just came off of all the pulleys. It was kind of acting that way and we pulled off at the Christiana Mall. We said some prayers, I got out and jiggled the battery cables, and that was that. We had no further van troubles for our entire vacation. With the help of a missing fingered man, we got back on I-95 to I-295 into Salem County New Jersey. I had never been to New Jersey (or Delaware!) before and was glad to cross those 2 states off my list.

An immediate turn around in New Jersey and we dealt with traffic westbound too. It's dang crowded over here! We ended up getting back on DE 1 and passing the same mall we had just stopped at a bit earlier. I think that, given the van trouble, if I had realized that this was the way that we were going to continue after the NJ detour, I would have punted on New Jersey. But knowing now what I do (that the van had no further trouble), I'm glad I didn't!!

Lots of traffic on DE 1 (I'm pretty sure it was beach traffic). We exited on DE 299 and took US 301 back into Maryland (Kent Co). Then MD 299 to MD 301 and back into Delaware. Around here it was getting to be lunch time and we had our eyes peeled for a Wendys or Arbys or some such. I had written down the locations of some Wendys on our route but I thought that we were going to get an earlier start so they were all a few hours down the road. Local roads took us to DE 42 to DE 300 to DE 11 aaaaaand back into Maryland. MD 302 to MD 454 got me Caroline County (not to be confused with Carolyn!), past the border town of Marydel (again, not to be confused with Delmar, which we would pass through later in the day). We went through Felton, DE (where I detoured to find a Post Office and send another (duplicate) post card. We got on US-13, which we were going to be following for quite awhile. We stopped to eat in Harrington and then into Delmar and into Maryland (for the 5th! time today).

US-13 was pretty good - some slowdowns near towns / cities but overall pretty quick. We stopped for gas right at the VA / MD line and the kids amused themselves by having one hand in Virginia and one hand in Maryland. We crossed over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel and that was pretty sweet. Several people asked me how long that was and I think I said different things but for the record it has a shore to shore distance of 17.6 miles.

Some pics of the bridge and tunnel

We crossed and went on I-64 and VA / NC 168 south to US 158 east. Total was 21 counties (19 new for me). The only 2 repeats were Wicomico and Worcester Maryland which I had previously hit on a trip to Ocean City.

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