Monday, September 11
Well that didn't work out too well... I was connected with some cousins in Philadelphia, I contacted them and they invited me to stay at their place. That was nice in theory but it wasn't practical. I left Fair Lawn (in northern NJ) around 5 pm. (The motorcycle shop I was looking for didn't exist at the address that was listed online.) Getting on 95S without getting on the George Washington Bridge was a little tricky but after some u-turns I was headed to Philly. Just two problems: Philly was much farther away than it seemed from the directions I was given, and the directions I was given were terrible. The exit I was supposed to get off at didn't exist (not as described anyway). They called me angrily when I stopped for a quick break, telling me they had dinner waiting for me and "no guilt but..." At that point I started zooming down 95S as fast as I could, trying to get to their place. I'm not sure at what point I missed their exit but I didn't want to stop to check the map because I was suddenly in such a hurry... I finally ended up somewhere in Delaware, called them and told them it would be best if I just found a motel, because there was no way I was getting to them at any reasonable time.
Finding a motel was a little tricky...two were much too expensive, one seemed better but was one of those it's-right-there-but-impossible-to-get-to motels. I circled around several times and finally found an unmarked road that got to this motel, a Red Roof Inn, which only had a "business room" available, expensive but cheaper than the other two, so I took it.
Lessons learned: Don't try to drive very far in a short time to meet cousins you haven't seen in a decade anyway, because "no guilt but..." it's not worth it. And riding with an urgent deadline is not fun at all.
Tomorrow I'll drive back up 95 north to Philly, try out the sandwich place UJ recommended, maybe see a historic site or two, then drive down to DC. I'm not actually sure if that's possible - I'll look at the map in the morning and see. I already postponed staying at the cousins in DC by a day, though, so if I can't do Philly and DC in one day, I'll just do DC and maybe see Philly later, with more time.
Right now I think I'll go find a beer to cool off, then hit the hay and sleep a long night.
The rider: Ben Buckman, 21