For the rest of our trip, we’d have that big trailer behind our car. Before leaving the boatyard, a harbinger of things to come was the fact that one of the headlights went out. It would have been some feat to get to the auto parts store with the trailer attached, so one of the super friendly people working at the boatyard drove me to get a new bulb. We got that put in and were on our way North. The plan was to drive up to Boston and then spend the night there. We’d get up early the next morning and meet the coach at Tufts University to buy my three boats. This was supposed to be a relaxing day with an easy drive, but that's not what happened.
Our mood soured steadily as we drove up I-95. We’re not used to toll roads out on the West Coast, but we knew we’d have to deal with them. We also knew they’d be even more expensive with the boat trailer. We were not prepared, however, to have to stop every 20 miles or so to pay another $15-$20. Crossing the George Washington Bridge alone cost us $50.
After getting the truck in Stamford, we had to drive back to Norwalk to pick up the boat trailer from the back of the Acura dealership. The hitch on the F-250 was much higher than the connection on our little trailer, so we had to enlist some muscle from among the mechanics. They even let us use their tools to hook up the trailer. It took some time, but we finally got on the road to Boston.
To get to Tufts, we had to drive right through the city of Boston, including the tunnels. This is challenging in the best of circumstances, but hauling the boat trailer took it to a whole other level. We also got a little lost trying to find the boathouse and ended up on a construction site. These things, coupled with a developing migraine and the surprise cost of a new transmission, put Richard in a somewhat beleaguered mood. It was already starting to get dark when we pulled up to the Tufts boathouse and began the process of selecting and purchasing boats.
The highway changed from mostly clear to somewhat slippery, but the worst weather was the wind. We had big, light boat shells behind us that acted like sails. The worst wind would be in Montana, but moving across South Dakota definitely had its terrifying moments. We saw lots of cars in the median and even a semi-trailer on its side. We also saw billboards, lots and lots of billboards.
Montana was beautiful, even if it was covered with snow. It was beautiful, but it got a little tedious after awhile. We passed mile after mile of snow-covered hills and pastures and farms. Mile. After. Mile.
It was George Harrison’s birthday weekend, so The Beatles station was playing mainly George Harrison songs, which both Richard and I got a little sick of. His voice sounds a bit nasally after awhile. Mile after mile we drove across Montana, which looked a lot like South Dakota, at least along I-90, except there were no entertaining road signs. What we did have was the Clark Fork of the Columbia River, which runs along the interstate most of the way across the state.