Today was a logistical challenge. We had to say goodbye for now to Laurens and Remco. They had to drive to Chicago with one of our motorcycles and some battery packs, because these cannot be flown from New York and have to be back in Paris in time. Because we now only had 2 packs left we could not drive from Columbus to Washington D.C. in one trip. Instead we booked some rooms in the Budget Inn along the way in Bedford.
I was there when we booked the rooms, so I was in the front vehicle with Tim, Edgar and Michiel to find a charging location, a place to eat and to check us into the rooms before the rest of the team would arrive. On our way there we read some interesting Yelp reviews about our motel. Apparently room 116 had bloodstains in the curtains, the swimming pool was a disgusting 10 cm deep layer of algae and the owner was not considered friendly. After reading al this we were pleasantly surprised when we arrived. It was exactly what you would expect from a Budget Inn. The rooms smelled musty, we saw some really weird naked people through our neighbors windows and the owner was too cheap to pay his share to booking.com. It took us 1,5 hour to cancel our booking on booking.com and reserve rooms at the desk, but there were decent beds and no blood stains, so we were happy.
While Michiel and I tried to check us into the rooms, Tim and Edgar went out to find a place to charge. They tried a local garage, a campsite and a high school, but no luck. When the rest of the team joined us and we went for dinner, Nick and Edgar decided to go door to door to look for the right plugs. It only took 4 tries to find 2 families kind enough to let us charge in their home. In the end we were able to charge all of our batteries with Stephen and Robyn. We loved charging there. Stephen was an engineer who was redoing his entire house. When we showed him our chargers and batteries he was super interested and immediately came to help us with all kinds of specialized electric equipment, which made our job a lot easier.
Nick and Edgar were starving by the time we were finished. They had not had dinner yet, while I and the rest of the crew had already had dinner before we came to move the batteries. There we saw once again why obesity is such a problem in the US. My buffalo blue chicken soup was actually cheese sauce, the chicken that came with my pasta was breaded, fried and wrapped in cheese, and we had unlimited access to the desert bar. My stomach was practically exploding, in contrast to Nick and Edgar's.
Back at the Budget Inn we had some time left to watch Inside Out (I was smiling and almost crying, Michiel just seriously wondered what the writers were using while they wrote it), and I had some time to sit down with Maarten, who is teaching me how to program in Java. Finally we got to lay down in actual beds, which is a real comfort after so many nights on our camp beds, and we didn't even care that our room smelled like dust, mothballs and former guests.