Sunday, February 20, 2011
BINGHAMTON, NY — We’re settled in the Red Roof Inn here after our first day’s drive, which went very well. We got to the trailer at Long Island by about nine, with a bright sun and clear blue sky overhead. With the trailer all hitched up (on Val’s first attempt), we discovered that of the four yellow plastic chocks in front of and behind the wheels on either side of the trailer, only three would come out with some nudging. The fourth, in front of the right set of wheels, was firmly and icily embedded in leaves and earth.
So, we decided to drive over it! With a creak and a groan, the huge trailer lurched into motion and pow! That little old yellow chock shattered into pieces! Most of it stayed in the ground, but the top bit was in shards. Fortunately, it did no damage to the tires, so off we went, full of anticipation for our big journey.
The border crossing took about 20 minutes. The bridge to the US gave us a wonderful view of the Thousand Islands, stretching out on both sides. Farewell, Canada, I thought, as we approached the mainland and saw the stars and stripes flapping from a flagpole ahead of us.
Not long after we got rolling on Interstate 81, a vehicle pulled up beside us in the next lane and the woman passenger pointed at the trailer. We pulled over to see what the problem might be, and I noticed that the upper window at the front left was flapping open! I went inside and pulled the window back into place and locked it. I have no idea how it came open like that, but again, no damage done.
Whew! That was two things....what would the third thing be?? We continued south on I81, passing through Syracuse and past turnoffs for Albany and Buffalo (and even a town called Mexico!). The terrain was hilly and there was snow on the ground, but not too much. Val spotted several deer grazing by a parallel highway, but they weren’t near us, fortunately.
Our GPS, in its Australian accent, guided us to our hotel in Binghamton, perched on a hillside overlooking the town. Once we turned in to the driveway, I hopped out and went ahead to make sure there was room to drive our big rig in to the parking area. There was a nice long spot just ahead of a Mack truck, so Val pulled past it and turned in to the spot. I was watching from behind and my heart leapt into my mouth as I watched the space between the front corner of the Mack truck and the back corner of our trailer get narrower and narrower and then, at the last second, ping! The back bumper of the trailer barely nicked the front corner of the truck!! Yikes!
It was a relief to have that third thing over with – especially as there wasn’t a mark on either vehicle, and it hardly took any time for my heart to beat normally again. So everything was fine.
What will tomorrow bring? Well, there’s a winter storm warning – several inches of snow expected overnight. So...maybe we’ll see more of Binghamton than we originally thought. We’ll head out if it looks safe enough, but not if it doesn’t.