Wednesday, July 12, 2023

A New Addition to the Layout - Part 2 - The Voyage Home


This view of the Charlton section in Jason's garage shows the Sherman's necktie
in front of the station!  

Krr-chunk!! Slam!! Krr-chunk!! Slam!! - As I drove the rental truck from Massachusetts through Connecticut and across New York I thought I'd dealt with the worst of the rough roads. Then I hit I-78 in Pennsylvania. The truck managed to find every bump along the way, and the suspension took those bumps just as well as you might imagine a rental truck with almost 200,000 miles on the odometer would. 

I'd already dealt with a remarkably uncooperative GPS - that kept trying to send me off the highway to take shortcuts (that may have saved a minute or two) - including sending me on a 10 mile side trip - halfway through that little sidelight a bridge tender waived me off the drawbridge since trucks weren't allowed across! 

Relying on my old sailor sense of dead reckoning I eventually found my way back onto the highway. And that was just one of the three diversions the GPS sent me on. 

To make matters worse, my phone battery was dropping at an alarming rate (and I was getting an endless stream of text and voice messages from friends checking in to see how the journey was going!) And the truck, of course, had no way to recharge the phone. I considered purchasing a cigarette lighter charger converter, but before I spent any money on that I checked and confirmed that the cigarette lighter in the cab was nothing more than an empty hole...

The phone battery died on I-78 about 60 miles short of Harrisburg - but that wasn't my biggest concern. With each of those Krr-chunks I was picturing plaster pieces from the mountain flying about the rear of the truck like cannon balls - and destroying the finished structures on the Charlton Branch section which were the whole reason I'd started on this adventure. 

Once I got to Harrisburg I found myself on Route 15 south heading towards Gettysburg and the final leg home. 

I pulled up to the house around 9:00 pm. I grew up in Connecticut, went to school in South Carolina, and lived in Virginia for the majority of my adult life. Trips up and down the east coast are nothing new to me - I must have made this drive a hundred times - and this makes the top five worst. Before I went into the house I briefly opened the truck to see if there was any damage. To my immense relief, and shock, everything looked fine. Of course, that wasn't the case but I wouldn't find that out until we tried to move things into the house. 

Upon arriving in Virginia, all I quickly opened the truck to make sure the pieces were still intact. 

But that's for Part 3 ...

1 comment:

Ken Ford said...

Having driven most of that route in rentals four times moving from NH to TX last year, you have my condolences.