Day 70: Interstate Tour 2018
6 am rise and shine at Panther Creek State Park in Morristown, Tennessee - it had been a relaxing, productive, active couple of days, but now it was time to make tracks for New York and there were a few things to take care of before I got into the next series of gigs.
Most state parks have the dump station located somewhere along the road to the campground, but this one didn’t and, wanting to get rolling, I decided to leave the dumping till later in the journey.
Next stop was to visit the local CVS Pharmacy, where I would deposit some more funds into my PayPal account. When Wells Fargo Bank isn’t around, this is how I bank on the road and PayPal has expanded the number of chain stores that will handle this transaction, including Walmart, 7-Eleven, Dollar General, Casey’s, Love’s and Rite Aid. Basically, you use the PayPal app to generate a bar code which is scanned by the cashier and then you give them the cash (up to $500 daily) to add to your PayPal account. The funds typically hit in about fifteen minutes.
When this option first became available, I found myself as the unofficial trainer for cashiers all over the country who had never worked with this kind of transaction process. “Well, that’s the first time I’ve ever done that!” They usually say, which led me to wonder what kind of training roll-out was made. I’ve been to at least one Dollar General where they had never even heard of such a thing and couldn’t find any documentation on it. CVS is usually where I go, but the local one wasn’t open at 7 am. I’d find another one up the highway somewhere.
Interstate 81 was a fairly breezy ride shooting through the Appalachians, into Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and, finally, back into Pennsylvania after 515 miles and about 9 hours of driving. Along the way, I stopped at one of my favorite Flying J Truck Stops (funnily, about the same time that Jae was boarding a plane bound for San Francisco), topped off propane, gassed up and dumped black water.
There’s a first time for everything and, here, I found out too late that the water wasn’t operational at the dump station and, since I can’t hold gray water due to a broken tank, there was no way to wash out the stuff that I’m not even going to describe to you now.
So, eyeing the dump station across the way, and keenly aware of the dude who had just rolled up to the next island over, I disconnected the sewage hose from Imua, and then gingerly pulled it out of the dump opening. As expected, shit spilled out onto the concrete and I picked up the end of the hose so that it made a “U” shape, then walked over to the other station where I hoped the water was working.
It was, and I flushed the hose, though it could barely reach the drainage area, which caused even more shit, diluted with water, to spill over the concrete curb and collect in swirly brown puddles. If I have a black water accident (which has only happened a couple of times - connections not on tightly, etc.), I usually feel pretty embarrassed and guilty. But a key component of the whole dumping process wasn’t operational and that’s not my fault. I usually check water flow first, but I’ve never had this issue at a Flying J before. I muttered apologies to whomever would follow me at that station (maybe they’d see the two, recognize that the messy one probably has issues and avoid it - so maybe I saved someone else from the hassle - yeah, that’s how I’ll spin it.)
I rolled into York, had dinner, went to see “Deadpool 2” (laugh out loud funny, and surprisingly touching) and then camped out at Walmart. With about 5 hours of driving left, I decided to get a good day of work in on Thursday, find some WiFi, stay in the area one more night and then head up to Averill Park, New York.