Friday, October 30, 2009

Any port in a storm

We are at the Flying-J in Carney's Point, New Jersey (map), just east of the Delaware Memorial Bridge on US-40/I-295.

After breakfast yesterday my folks headed back down to Brick, and we stuck around New City for another couple of hours waiting on a call-back from U.S. Coach. After I poked them a couple of times, we determined that there would be no word from the supplier on parts availability until much later in the day, and we decided to get underway.

A quick check of Gas Buddy revealed that there was diesel in Cherry Hill, NJ, right on our route, for $2.579, the cheapest we will see until South Carolina, and we stopped there to put in 200 gallons. As always, US-206 through Princeton was something of a slog, but we zipped past most of the rest of the state on Interstates 287 and 295.

By the time we were done fueling, we were ready to stop, and besides, when I called U.S. Coach while fueling we learned it would be another day before we had an answer on the parts. So we called over to the Cherry Hill Wal-Mart to see if we could park there (it was five miles in the wrong direction, and I didn't want to arrive there only to find out that we couldn't). Between the fact that the store is on leased property and could not promise it was OK with the landlord, and the fact that the store was not open 24 hours, we opted to skip it, as Cherry Hill is not exactly in the best part of the state.

Next we called the Elks lodge in Deptford, which was fairly close, but they were having some kind of political fundraiser and could not accommodate us. Even though we did not really want to commit to heading for the Delaware until we heard back from U.S. Coach, in case we would be heading to Vineland instead, we found ourselves with no choice but to head in this direction, where we hoped the Penns Grove Elks could take us, but knew there were several truck stops as a backup.

The Elks Lodge in Penns Grove appeared deserted when we arrived, and it was going to be a tight squeeze to get Odyssey up the driveway into the lot. While I was standing there noodling about how to get in, four police cars converged on some sort of incident half a block away, and we decided this lodge was just not in the cards. It was only another five minutes on city streets to get here to the Flying-J, where we settled in in the car lot -- for some reason, this location has no spaces striped for RVs -- in the company of about four other rigs.

U.S. Coach finally called me back this morning with the bad news: brake parts would have to come from Europe and were on about a five-week lead time. So that clears us to leave New Jersey and we will head over the bridge shortly. In the meantime, however, I have come down with a cold -- I coughed the whole way here yesterday, which I initially though was just my normal allergies acting up. When I woke up this morning, though, I had a handful of other symptoms, and am just generally miserable enough that I don't want to spend a full day on the road.

We don't want to spend another night here at the truck stop, so we've set our sights on the Havre de Grace, Maryland Elks Lodge just 40 miles away. Ironically, we stopped there about this time last year, when Louise had a cold. At least we know it's a nice parking lot that we can easily get into.

Photo by vanherdehaage, used under a Creative Commons license.


  1. No, no, no. It's not NJ-206 through Princeton, it's US-206.

    I used to work in an industrial park north and west of Princeton and US-206 passed just by the place and I used it to get to and from work each day.

    Robert in Houston...

    PS: Love this weblog.

  2. Right you are. I blame it on the cold, which has had me flat on my back most of the day. It's fixed in the post text now.

  3. Awwwww Sean, At least you have a nice nurse, and warmers, I hope you feel better soon.
    Sending you feel better energy,


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