6505 Bagdad Rd
GPS: 34.98326, -79.036070
Yesterday (Sunday, 26 Oct) we stayed in the Baltimore area and spent the afternoon visiting with Jean and Mary Morais. We got to see their apartment then went to The Mall in Columbia where Mary works at the Hallmark Gift Shop. We had a nice lunch at Maggiano's Little Italy, then Michelle and Jean shopped for a bit. We spent a couple hours back at Jean's apartment catching up on our lives, then returned to the hotel for a quiet evening anticipating our travel on Monday.
Today's weather was beautiful and our goal was to reach Tricia's house in Fayetteville, NC – a trip of 362 miles. First we had to get back to the Naval Support Facility at the Naval Academy to pick up the Cougar. The folks at the marina were fascinated with our story of being full–time RVers. We thanked them for their hospitality and hitched up the Cougar and got underway.
The primary north/south route along the eastern seaboard of the US is I–95. Before the interstate highway system came into being, this role was filled by US Routes 1 and 301. Today my goal was to get onto I–95, but from Annapolis the shortest distance would put me on I–95 north of Washington DC and we would be pulling the Cougar through DC on the infamous beltway. Using US–301 would let me connect with I–95 south of Washington DC and north of Richmond, VA. I opted for that choice. US–301 is an old highway so it goes through every town as a surface street, obviously slower that I–95. I was OK with that. The weather was beautiful and getting to see some towns and farms was a pleasant relief. We had a substantial number of miles to cover but it was not unreasonable.
Of course we had to cross the Potomac River. I knew that and gave it no extra consideration. When we reached the bridge I got two big surprises. First, the Gov Harry Nice Memorial Bridge is very high and very narrow–one lane each way. Second, the toll for our rig was $19–CASH ONLY. A sign for the toll charges gave the rate for passenger cars only and nothing about cash only. We got this surprise at the toll booth. Single lane, cars behind us, no room to turn around, and between us only $13 in cash. The lady in the toll booth told us to drive on through and the camera would take a picture of our license plate and we would get a bill in the mail. We did, the alarm went off, and we continued on our way. We'll see what happens with the bill.
The rest of the trip was uneventful and we arrived at Tricia's house about 6PM.