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Great Meadows, NJ

As I had dreaded, the drive down I-95, I-287, and I-80 was pretty awful. Northeast road conditions can be challenging for anyone with the constant heavy traffic, and when you add to that a series of S-curves and teeth-jarring bumps, it turns into a trailer-punishing rock-n-roll adventure.

Bert & Janie had the same experience on their route down I-84 to I-87 and 287: pictures flying off the walls, upset storage bins, heart-stopping moments when the trailer bounced crazily over a frost heave … not fun. We all had to spend some time cleaning up later, but fortunately nothing broke and despite the sensations all of our tires remained attached and inflated.

Last night we courtesy parked with Bert & Janie at Janie’s daughter’s house here in Great Meadows. There are three great kids here, who adopted Emma for the evening while the adults spontaneously began an unintentional “Bert Gildart Roast”. Between us, Janie, Janie’s daughter Katie and Katie’s husband Keith, there were plenty of common experiences to share about travels with Bert.

Apparently everyone who goes hiking, kayaking, bicycle riding, etc., with Bert ends up with a story to tell. There was the time that Bert took us on an “easy” hike through Glacier National Park last summer (and it ended up being 12 miles up and down at 7000 feet elevation); the time Bert took Janie kayaking in the Bay of Fundy and they ended up getting caught in the mud flats at low tide; the time Bert put a 20-lb rock in his sister-in-law’s backpack during a hike; the time he and Janie were watching icebergs “calving” and the polar bears showed up, etc. We were laughing hysterically when all the stories kept coming.

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Our trailer parked with the Gildarts’ trailer

It has turned gray and rainy here and we are facing a long day driving down to Maryland. The good news is that our route will take us through Pennsylvania, so we will have somewhat more pleasant driving. Most PA highways are not exactly parkways, but they are much nicer than I-95.

Our approximate parking spot last night. (You need Google Earth to view this.)

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