Driving through the Bronx


New York City!

I got to see four new states and we drove through the Bronx in New York City. It’s been an exciting week!

First we drove from Wisconsin to Virginia. Then back to Wisconsin. Then towards the Pacific Ocean and California. Then we rolled back to Wisconsin, dropped our loaded trailer of smoked provolone cheese, picked up a trailer full of coiled metal and head towards the Atlantic and Massachusetts. This is where I entered into four states I haven’t been to before! New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

To get to our delivery location, we passed through New York City. It was Labor Day so we strategized our route. Usually we plan around workday rush hours. But this was a holiday – will the traffic be better or worse?

We called upon our trainer (who we both trained with when we started with Midwest Carriers) for advice. He impressively remembers everywhere he’s been, can give detailed directions on a whim and always seems to give great advice. He thought both the I-287 bypass around New York City and I-95 directly through it would both be jammed up, if they were, because everyone would be heading home after the holiday weekend. He said it probably didn’t matter either way but suggested I-287, which skirts around the north side of the city, going over the Hudson River at the Tappan Zee bridge. Easy-peasy.

Then we approached our turn-off to the bypass. It was dark and late evening – close to 10 pm. Neither of us had ever been in NYC and we had plenty of time to get to our destination. Adam was driving, and he brought it up – “Whaddya’ think about going through the city?” It was a quick decision as our turn approached. Eh, what the heck. Why not!? We passed by our turn, heading for the city.


I-95 was our route - across the bridge into the Bronx.

I pulled out the atlas to check truck routes – you know, just in case there’s something weird. I didn’t expect to see any road restrictions. But there were. I-95 between the George Washington bridge, through the Bronx, to I-87 listed low clearance bridges. I’m talking 12′ 6″! We are 13′ 6″ – that’s a whole foot too low! I gave our trainer a call. I guess these bridges are measured from the curb to the lowest part of the bridge or something goofy and they’re higher than listed. He assured us we’d be okay.

Off we went!

Out of Jersey, up the hill, through the tollway, and onto the upper deck of the ginormous, beautifully lit-up George Washington bridge over the Hudson. Skyscrapers and large buildings that I wish I could identify sparkled in the distance in every direction. Cars zoomed past in streaks of red taillight. It was exciting! It was beautiful.


George Washington bridge up ahead through the tollway.

Then over the bridge, into the Bronx. We approached our first 12′ 6″ clearance. I wished so hard that there was another big rig in front of us so I could see that he passed through safely first, but no such luck. In we went, my face plastered up against the windshield, looking upward, cringing. Zooom… nothing. Whew! It was close, too! Pretty freaky! We had several of these, but safely squeezed through each time. What a cool experience! Oh, and we totally lucked out with traffic. No backups and we rolled on through pretty smoothly. Adam drove like a rock star. Because rock stars apparently drive pretty awesome.


That's a low overhead!

Then I went to bed, slept hard, woke up and delivered, picked up a couple of loads in CT, and now we’re headed back to Wisconsin just to head out again. We are enjoying the continuous runs. We just keep on a’rollin’. Now we just need to find a spot to get in a load of laundry. Ahhh, the truckin’ life. I love this.

Tonight I love sweet peppers. I’m hungry.

Thanks for reading and being a part of my journey!

With love,
Toots Magoots
(Robin Grapa)


6 thoughts on “Driving through the Bronx

  1. Wow! I suppose there’s tougher places to drive, but I sure can’t think of one!

    And I can’t believe you went through those low clearances! I don’t think I would have had the guts. Not there, of all places.

    And I think I’ve said it before, but now that I see how all over the place and random your trips are, I’ll say it again. If you ever make it to Humboldt County, California (Eureka, Arcata, or anywhere), please let me know so I can buy you guys dinner or something.

    And keep ’em coming!


    • Thanks for the invite! Yeah, if we didn’t have a trusty source (our trainer) we would’ve found a different route. There’s signs all over telling trucks where they strictly can and cannot go – expressways, not parkways! :)
      I fear a day we might actually have to deliver or pick up in that area! Just passing through is crazy enough!

  2. Robin – keep these coming – I know I shouldn’t be (because you are an amazing human being) but I am truly amazed at your attitude and passion for life – love your stories

    Stay safe out there-very proud of you!

    Rob and staff!

    Robert Behnke
    Truck Driving Programs | Fox Valley Technical College
    JJ Keller Transportation Center | Appleton, WI
    NAPFTDS | President
    920-996-2889 office | 920-735-4862-fax
    http://www.behnke@fvtc.edu | http://www.fvtc.edu/truckdriving

    “Advising for Student Success”

    “Networking for Success”

    [FVTC New logo (Small)] [cid:image002.jpg@01CFC755.C5A00560] [smlogo]

  3. Pretty Cool Kid, four new states, the skyline looks amazing, never seen it myself either, stay cool and roll on, miss you guys, see ya soon!!! — Pappy —

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