Taking its toll

Traveling offers so many new sights and experiences. Most a delight, some a pain.

We’ve been on the road the past two weeks. Sightseeing at Gettysburg, visiting family in Pennsylvania, attending a wedding in Massachusetts. In addition to all the fun, we’ve had the opportunity to sample the toll roads and attendant service plazas. Even these have been both delight and pain.

We bestow the best service plaza award on the Ohio Turnpike. A variety of food options, well maintained, easy to access, spacious. The Ohio Turnpike offered the best gas prices of the entire trip – $3.13.

Most annoying award goes to the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The system for collecting tolls was inconsistent – pay at the beginning, pay at the end – and the fees were high. Plus the turnpike was under construction most of the way. Shifting lanes, slow downs, high prices. We were more than ready to exit that system.

Massachusetts was the most surprising in a delightful way. The tickets we took from the machine when we entered the turnpike indicated it would cost us $21.70 to cross the state. We gulped, got the money ready, and were delighted when the man in the toll booth took the ticket and asked for only $1.60!

The biggest sticker shock came when we crossed the George Washington Bridge going from New Jersey into New York. $12. Just to cross the bridge. Traffic was bumper to bumper. We figured thousands of cars cross that bridge every day. At $12 each. The plus on this one is the bridge is one impressive structure. And we resigned ourselves to helping New York with their budget crisis.

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