GPS took us to a toll road when we requested NO TOLLS. Quarters were in the trunk. Traffic piled up. Lost my cool. The Robert E. Lee monument is as uninspiring as it sounds. Pulled a fresh prompt and charted course to New Bern, NC (Birthplace of Pepsi). Foot became numb from working the gas pedal for nearly 6 hours. At the rate we’re going I’ll have a right leg stronger than the left. “If you can’t stop, smile as you go by.” Seen on a roadside building. Forgot to book our room, so we had to stay a hotel across the bridge. (Continental breakfast tho!)
There wasn’t much to do at the motel but leave. I framed a shot of the swimming pool before I noticed a woman on the balcony, sitting in a plastic chair, having a phonecall at 7:00am. It occured to me that this was her home--and I couldn’t take the photo in good conscience. We found ourselves on a toll road. Our exit was in 0.8mi, and tolls were posted to begin in 1mi. We didn’t panic, and yet, we were stopped cold by the stern arm of an automatic toll booth. We were in the exact change lane. The charge was $0.70--the two of us carrying only $20s. Several dollars in quarters for flipping in the trunk. Richmond during the morning rush. We exited the toll road within 10 seconds of payment. We had the wind knocked out of us before we got to the Robert. E. Lee statue. In the sun all day long, in the passenger seat. Driving southeast. I need to keep hydrated, but not so much that I tip my bladder off. Dinner in New Bern was the first we’d eaten since lunch in Morgantown. At 9:00pm, we still don’t know where we’ll be staying.