…and I drove a lot.  I drove about 400 miles today…about 8 or 9 hours.  I was originally going to take smaller highways, but changed my mind this morning.  I knew that if I did so, I would never get to Maine because I’d want to stop and take photos of everything I saw.   So, larger highways, and a quick route it would be.  Quick route, being relative, of course.

I left from my parents’ house and headed north through central Pennsylvania and into New York state on Interstate 81, which is quite possibly worse than driving on the Schuylkill Expressway in Philadelphia.  Today I had a man tailgating me less than an hour after I was on the road.  I couldn’t go any faster than the people in front of me and he got pissed when I put on my brakes.  So when I moved over into the next lane, he got in front of me and cut me off and slammed on his brakes in an attempt to try to make me wreck.  I also saw an overload truck driving a huge ass yacht doing about 80.  And I got cut off by two RVs.  Yeah, not a fun experience. I won’t be going that route again.

I drove through Bighampton and Albany.  I was originally planning to go through Vermont and on to New Hampshire, but the GPS has found Massachusetts to be the fastest route so I went with it.  I would really like to see Vermont at some point…I’ll save it for another trip.

I wasted a good hour trying to find gas and a place to lay my head for the night.  After finding gas, I felt exhausted and just grabbed a nearby hotel room in Lee, Massachusetts, which is in western Mass in the Berkshires.  It’s a cheap hotel and clean enough for me to be content.  I refuse to have another hotel episode like I had in Barstow.  It was late, but I was hungry and found a little French-American bistro called Chez Nous where I had dinner.

I’ve always heard people talk about the Berkshires, but I’ve never actually been here.  The trees are amazing.  They are tall and very straight and just picture perfect.  On the hillsides amongst the trees, there are some of the most gorgeous bogs I’ve ever seen.  They are spotted with the skeletons of standing dead and decaying trees and a healthy growth of aquatic plants.  I can’t even begin to imagine what the amphibian population is like in these places because it looks like it would be heaven.

I don’t know where I will end up tomorrow.  I just want to get the hell to Maine already.  I was a trainwreck before I left on this trip.  And there were several times throughout the day when I contemplated turning around and going home because I’d just about lost it.  But I’m holding out and hoping that Maine will offer some kind of blissful state of tranquility that I desperately need.  Or maybe I just need a beer…or ten.

If you came for the photos, I’m sorry, but there are none.