Sometimes the GPS is Right

21 April 2006
Groton, Connecticut

Wow...  It's been a few days since I've reported in, eh?

Sorry 'bout that.  We've been taking it easy the last couple days.  This edition will only get us as far as 21 April.  It's just too late right now and there's too much more to say so I'll have to wait for another day to catch y'all up on where we are now... (or where we will be then...)

When I was using the GPS on Maui, it was batting about 50% on finding stuff and getting us to where we wanted to go.  One time in particular, it put us about 10 miles and 30 minutes off track.  I think Tamara may have forgiven me for that one by now.  All ended up fine, we got her to her activity in the nick of time but it could have been bad.  Here on The Really Big Island it's been doing a lot better.  Even if it did insist that we were sitting in front of Tony's Tailor Shop in Sioux Falls, South Dakota when, in fact, we were sitting in front of a liquor store and Tony's number had been disconnected.  Little things like it telling us we're off route when we are traveling through an intersection or along a road that has been recently changed (or even only as far as pulling into a gas station) are expected and understandable but that "10 miles and 30 minutes" incident has me a little gun shy when it comes to putting my full faith in it...  Sometimes, however, even when it's wrong it can still be oh-so-right.

After leaving Niagara Falls we traveled further east on the freeway with the intention of swinging down into Massachusetts then up into Vermont.  As we tooled down the freeway I hadn't much better to do so I started fooling with the GPS.  When I zoomed out for an overall look at our route for the day I noticed that it didn't quite look the same as it did when I planned it out on the laptop.  It just didn't have the same overall shape.  As I zoomed in on the suspect area I realized that when the route was transferred to the GPS it pulled us off the freeway at Schenectady, New York and dumped us on the 'back roads' through Vermont.  Completely skipping Massachusetts altogether.  After about 0.00014 seconds of consideration, I was all for that plan.  We'd pick up Massachusetts on a later day.  Not only did that get us off the toll roads for a while, it got us into the fun roads (and surprisingly, cheaper gasoline).  Along with the increase in the fun factor we saw a marked increase in our fuel economy.  As heavily loaded as we are we still hit 50 mpg on this leg.  No sign at all of the previous trouble we had when the bike ran like crap while overheated.  I'm planning on swinging by Bob's BMW later on to get new tyres so maybe I'll ask about that while I am there.

After staying in hotels and other indoor accommodations to this point, Tamara was determined to spend the night camping.  We found a beautiful little KOA campground in Dummerston, Vermont.  Securing a campsite way in the back, away from the highway and about 400' from the Connecticut River, we continued down the road to Putney, Vermont for dinner at a pizza shack.  After we returned to the campground we quickly set up camp and got ready to turn in for the night.  I'm not really sure what she was talking about, but Tamara tells me it was cold that night.  I know I slept real well and when we woke up it was about 41F but I don't remember it being cold.  :)

Getting a reasonably early start the next morning (our earliest yet), at 1000 we were once again on the road and still headed east.  We decided to stick to the back roads for as long as we could reasonably manage and ended up staying off the freeway until we reached the east coast.  A quick left turn to bag Maine (and a light lunch) and we were headed south.

Unfortunately, about the only way I can see to efficiently travel the eastern seaboard is to use the freeways.  This, of course, means more toll roads.  Moving south through New Hampshire we were soon in Massachusetts.  Skirting around Boston to avoid the worst of the traffic we soon found ourselves in Rhode Island.  Even sooner we found ourselves out of Rhode Island and into Connecticut.  It was getting to be about stopping time so we pulled over into the parking lot of a Howard Johnson's across the street from an Econo-Lodge in Stonington, Connecticut.  I popped open the top box and fired up the laptop and borrowed their wireless Internet connection long enough to find a good deal on a room in Groton a few miles down the road.  Reservations made we packed back up and headed to the Howard Johnson Inn Express.

From here we'll be headed south along the coast into Maryland for a couple days.  There's a guy there that was my 'perfect match' dive buddy on Guam.  It's been a while since we've got together so we'll be taking some 'down' time there to gather our wits about us.

-Are We There Yet?

Travel Stats:
Miles Traveled Last Couple Days 677
Total Average Speed 50.5
Total Moving Average Speed 57.5
Miles Traveled Total (including "local" travel) 3865

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