With my wife along, and our day long trip in Maine, finishing the trip in 14 days was now well out of the question as we woke up for Day 15. But, it was with great anticipation. I had two more states to go to get the contiguous 48 states.
I would still need to photograph Pennsylvania and West Virginia, however to complete the trip on my way back to Steubenville, OH.
Day 15 would follow us on an odd route. It started, by continuing on US6 west into Connecticut.
Now only one state remained, New Jersey.
When we entered Connecticut, we took Governor John Davis Lodge Turnpike connector to I-395 south.
Just north of Norwich, I decided to avoid I-95 as traffic was an issue the last two times I was on the road.
So, we headed up CT2 towards Hartford. Once there, it was I-91 south to CT15, which turns into the Wilbur Cross Parkway and the Merritt Parkway.
This is my second time on the Merritt, and must say it's one of the more scenic roads you can find. It's limited to non-commercial traffic, and has a large right-of-way so it's free of buildings and billboards for the entire length.
Reaching Trumbull, we decided to get off and do a bit of vacationing and sight-see. We also were looking for a place to eat and the sign for the exit indicated food.
We headed north, and by the time we realized we weren't coming up on anything other than a chinese restaurant, we kept heading north until we reached CT34. We took that south to CT8, and back onto the Merritt where we started in Trumbull. This time, we headed south towards a mall and ate at a Bennigans.
Prior to this trip, I didn't realize this establishment actually existed. I had heard "Butters" on South Park sing a jingle for them, but didn't think it was a real place.
Either way, it was good food.
Continuing on the Merritt, we crossed into New York and it became the Hutchinson River Parkway.
There, we exitted onto the I-87/I-287 west to the Tappan Zee Bridge.
For more photos of the bridge, click here.
After crossing the bridge, I continued on I-87 north past the southern bend for I-287 into New Jersey. My reason was that it was near rush hour, and pulling alongside the road in metro-New York probably wasn't the best idea. I wanted to take a back road of sorts.
So, I took the NY17 exit and took that to NY72. That was Sterling Mine Road, which I drove south into New Jersey.
Entering the state, there was little right-of-way on the shoulder for me to pull over to get the sign, so I drove a few miles and contemplated: either go and get another NJ welcome sign on another highway, or go back and pull off the road about a quarter-mile past it into New York and walk back to get it.
Given that I had just accomplished what even I had thought was unthinkable just over two weeks ago, I turned the car around and headed back, and walked to the sign, to stake my claim.
All 48 Contiguous States in One Trip
It was quite the accomplishment. The rush of the trip overpowered the feeling of entering all 48 contiguous states. It felt bad that this trip was now drawing to a close.
We then headed back up NY72 to NY17 and back onto I-87 north.
We then drove on I-87 north until the four-lane NY17 started, and took that west to I-84.
Heading west, we passed Port Jervis, NY and crossed the Delaware into Pennsylvania.
Also at the welcome center:
At the rest area I picked up a guide book for Pennsylvania for hotel locations, and we decided on making it at least to Berwick for the night.
My wife wanted to do shopping, so we stopped at Wilkes-Barre by the arena, and then continued on our way, south now, on I-81 to I-80.
We stopped at the night at the "Red Maple Inn" in Berwick.
Started...1100E....147,145...from Bel-Air Motor Inn, Johnston, RI
Ended...2045E....147,544....at Red Maple Inn, Berwick, PA
240mi on 9.582g for $20.59
188mi on 6.004g for $16.51
402 miles in 9h45m, or 41.2mph for the day.
Total cost for the day was $122.31, of which $37.10 was gas. We spent $51.00 for the "hotel room that time forgot" the night before.
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