The Great American Road Trip – Day 9

There are now only six states I haven’t visited. Today had the most new states, merely because they’re so small. Rhode Island was adorable, basically a city with some suburbs, a bit of countryside, and nice trees.

I woke up at 5:30 a.m. and caught the six o’clock ferry from Staten Island to Manhattan. Parking at the ferry terminal was free since it is Sunday, which was a nice bonus. The rest of the day was rather expensive.

I arrived at Battery Park an hour and a half before boarding would begin for my ferry ride to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. To pass the time I took a lot of pictures and walked around. I saw the famous metal bull at Bowling Green, and the 9/11 memorial, and the One World Trade Center.

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I got a bagel with cream cheese and lox for breakfast. I intend to figure out some way to cold-smoke and make my own lox, because that stuff is wonderful. Maybe I can jury rig a smoke transfer duct from my charcoal smoker into a small fridge.

The visit to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island was well worth the eighteen dollars. I didn’t pay to go inside the statue, but it was spectacular enough from the outside.

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Ellis Island was actually more interesting to me. It has been 112 years since my direct paternal ancestor arrived there, assuming they had the date right. I thought I’d found an earlier date for his arrival, but anyhow, my family name (not Lynch, which is a pseudonym) showed up in America on Ellis Island with a German immigrant named Frederick.

Back in Manhattan, I took the Subway uptown to Herald Square, and wandered haphazardly into the wrong entrance of the Empire State Building. I decided to spend the minimum I could on a ticket to get up on the 86th floor observation deck. It took a while, but it was an incredible experience.

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My next stop was food. A few blocks from the Empire State Building is the highest rated pizza place in NYC. It was, of course, delicious.

I hurried back to the subway and rode up to Times Square, but at that point my feet hurt terribly (remember the blisters?) and I was hot and sweating and had a headache. So I skipped Central Park and rode back to the ferry via the wrong train over to Brooklyn and then the right one back to Manhattan. I made it in time for the 1:30 p.m. departure of the Staten Island Ferry. During the ferry ride I went out on the front deck and thoroughly enjoyed the cool breeze, which completely dried my sweat-soaked clothing. I hit the road a little after two with my glorious A/C at full power.

It took me well over an hour to escape the NYC area. Most of the delay was caused by an accident a few miles ahead of me that instantly brought the traffic to a terrible crawl. I spent more than an hour traveling less than twenty miles. Once I got free of that, however, the rest of the drive was almost perfectly smooth.

Somewhere in Connecticut, there was a construction sign warning of a ten-foot clearance for an upcoming overpass. It said all vehicles over ten feet must exit, and that it was strictly enforced. Yeah, that…kind of enforces itself due to the laws of physics, which state that trucks over ten feet tall will have issues trying to go under a ten-foot-high overpass at freeway speeds.

Because of the delay, and with the fuel mileage boost from lower speed limits, I ended up setting a new nonstop driving record of 330 miles, which took about six hours total. I don’t know how my bladder does it.

My dinner plans also had to be modified, so I dropped by Maine briefly before eating at a seafood place on the New Hampshire coast. I still arrived at my final destination, Manchester, NH, two hours later than planned, but it worked out.

I won a game of Quiddler with my friend in the area and his girlfriend, and he got me a hotel room so I have just taken a hot shower until my fingers wrinkled and then collapsed onto a king-sized bed. It is very nice.

My journey has now turned west, after the easternmost place I’ve ever been…a tiny coastal town in NH called Rye.

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Day 9 Statistics

States: NY, CT, RI, MA, NH, ME

Daily Miles: 378.7

Total Miles: 5454

Duct Tape Uses: 2

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