I spend a total of three nights in Philadelphia, the longest than at any place, and certainly much longer than I had expected. Here is how it came about.

I left New Jersey early Monday morning. Felicia and Justin needed to leave for Maine and I didn’t have a place to spend the night. I guess I could have gotten a motel, but there had been a really bad thunderstorm the previous night – bad enough that they were thinking of classifying it as a tornado – and more rains were predicted for the next day. My enthusiasm for braving a new city in this dismal weatherI waned considerably. Seeing that Philadelphia was a mere 80 miles away, I decided to ride down to see my friend Janie.

while I have mostly been on freeways after getting off of the coast of Maine, the ride down the New Jersey turnpike towards Philly was a horror unto itself. Before I left, Felicia had mentioned that the section of highway for cars and trucks was sometimes less crowded than the one for cars only. This stuck in my mind and when they hghway forked two ways, I got onto the section for trucks.

I’m not sure if it was less crowded than the cars only section, but I do know that this highway is a Bad. Idea. for motorcyclists. I spend the entire time trying not to breathe the noxious fumes the trucks belched out and trying to overtake the various trucks and semis. I can honestly say that not in all my life have I seen so many semis on the road at the same time, nor passed so many in the space of an hour. Passing one semi going 70mph is harrowing in itself, doing it repeatedly got very tiresome very quickly, and I was relieved when the highways merged again.

The rest of the ride was fairly uneventful, except for the One. Asshole. Truck. who passed me at 75mph and I could see him trying to weave through traffic in the distance. He got stuck in some traffic eventually and I was able to pass him on the left. I was just getting off at my exit when he passed me again, even though he wasn’t getting off, as if just to prove a point. I pondered flipping him off, but considering that I was only as big as one of his tires, it didn’t seem like a good idea.

I made it to Drexel Hill before noon and spend the afernoon talking to Janie and getting caught up. I think we were meeting after almost 2 years and there was so much to talk about. I adored her two dogs who were delightful and well behaved.

She took me for a drive around the city but for some reason I was completely exhausted. It could have been just the stress of being in so many cities, riding on just interstates for most of the previous week, or just the terrible heat and humidity. My right eye also felt very irritable and I couldn’t stop rubbing it. I got some eye drops for it which helped a lot. It was all I could do to eat something and go to bed that night.

The next day, I spend most of the morning in bed sleeping in, then went to do some touristy things later afternoon. (Strike the Liberty Bell off the list).

While we were walking around, Janie suggested that I take the Bolt Bus up to NYC the next day. I was really regretting not being able to see the city after I had come so close, so this suggestion was quite appealing.

As I noted in other blog posts, I did just that and I’m glad I got the chance to see New York.