Tuesday, September 18, 2012


     It's taken me almost 2 weeks to get my technology all up and running since I got back to FL with my land-line phone just being fixed yesterday and my TV this past week-end so I've put off my final entry here until I could sit down and think about it.

    This is mostly just a wrap up for me but maybe others will find it interesting.

    First, the last leg of the trip.

    Left VA on Labor Day back on Rt. 29 with again lots of red lights which wasn't good for Rhoda's new brakes but by Lynchburg it got better but the speed limit kept changing from 50 to 55 to 65 and once in awhile to 70.    Also, Rt. 29 (future Rt 785) took some abrupt turns so you needed to stay alert.

     Kudzu druids began to appear here.  How sad.  Also, tobacco fields were prevalent.  Neat plants standing tall and erect and turning yellow now - part of the drying process as I also saw trucks with loads of plants going to drying sheds I presume.

     N. of Greensboro, NC I got on to Rt. 220 which also had lots of turns so again, be alert.

     In Rockingham, got on Rt. 1 to Wallace to Cheraw and on to Rt. 52 to I-95 south in Florence.  It was now 2 p.m. (I'd left at 7:30 a.m.)  So the decision is how far to go.  At exit 33 in SC,  near Beaufort, there were 2 campsites (KOA & a private one) but I kept driving and so at that point I guess I was rather committed to go all the way - too close to stop for the night but later than I'd driven on the whole trip.

     Got to Lorraine & Buzz's about 9:30 p.m. so it was a 14 hr. driving day and about 800 miles.  Never would have believed I could do it but it was good to be this close to home - on the 3rd of Sept.  Left the following day for my home and here I am.

Wrap-Up Details
I saved my last allowable picture for this map showing my completed circle
TOTAL MILES DRIVEN:  9600            average of 115 miles/day
                                                  most driven in one day (other than last day) 300, least 7
TOTAL COST OF CAMPGROUNDS:  $1775         average night of $22
                                                  most expensive: $68 (outside Yosemite), least $3 in a National
TOTAL FOR GAS:  $ 2600
TOTAL DAYS TRAVELED:  (not counting returning to FL)  82

REFLECTIONS:  This blog made my experience limiting (campsites with wi fi, 2 hrs. average per night to publish it) but also has provided a permanent journal for me to refer to and to remember.
                               I will always be grateful for the outcome of my brake/tire problem.  There are no coincidences.
                               The planning every night or morning got to be a little tedious at times and that was even with not knowing where I was going or what I might see.  I'd like to be more disciplined to do more research before leaving.  But I loved the freedom too of not having a lot planned but you do have to know when to turn and in what direction and basically what kind of road you're on and will it end or continue and how far until the next gas station.
                               Our National Parks are just AMAZING.  Each one is so different.  We need to keep funding them to preserve them!!
                               And Blogspot is very frustrating!  I couldn't place pictures where I wanted them, couldn't place text where I wanted it, and of course ran out of storage space or some such thing so couldn't post all the pictures I wanted to but maybe I just need to "read the book" or maybe because it's free, that's all you get - you get what you pay for and all that.
                              But all in all, it was a great trip but must admit that by the end I was ready to be done for awhile.  Maybe it's because I was on the go every day and never in the same place twice except a couple of times.  Maybe I'll try something different next time. . . there's always next time.
                             And until then. . . . thanks for traveling with me.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Monday, Sept. 3rd

Just a quick note to let you all know that I'm here - in FL.

I arrived last nigh at 9:30 to Lorraine & Buzz's in Orlando.  It all had to do with fresh produce needing to be kept cool and my inability to sleep with the AC on because it's so noisy and I knew that it was too hot to sleep without it so I pushed on - 14 hours of driving, just over 800 miles and 3 gas fill-ups:(

I'm heading to my house shortly and get Rhoda unpacked and start getting settled.

I won't have my internet hooked up until maybe tomorrow but then I'll do a wrap-up and ask for your input on an evaluation of this "blog experience" so don't leave me now.

Stay tuned. . .

Sunday, September 2, 2012


Sunday, September 2nd

  • Left later than planned (8:45) due to heavy fog
  • Drove in overcast, fog, rain, mist all day (remnants of Isaac I guess)
  • 1 hr later I entered PA, 5 hrs later I entered MD, 45 mins later I entered VA
  • Followed the wide, flat, shallow, lazy Susquehanna River and almost saw Huck Finn out poling on his raft
  • Visited Liverpool, PA & would like to know it's history - I imagine it was a prosperous river-front little town back when river traffic was the main means of transportation for goods and people
  • heavy, heavy traffic in MD & VA Sunday afternoon.  I thought people would be staying put until tomorrow, Labor Day.  Guess I thought wrong
  • lovely horse farms in VA
  • great entertainment tonight at campground north of Charlotsville, VA - cloggers.  What energy.  What enthusiasm.  What great exercise.
  • Reflected today on the places passed thru and the history in my life:  Utica - my Aunt Helen and her family, Elmira - my Aunt Bev's hometown, Greene - where I student taught, Painted Post & Horse Heads - 2 sorority sisters were from there and I never believed they were real towns and then hearing on the radio The Old Rugged Cross and thought of my mother.
  • Drove through a fair amount of construction and was grateful - throughout the US our roads are in terrible shape.  Improvements often mean inconvenience.

The Road Taken:
  1. Owego to Painted Post, NY - Route 17
  2. In Painted Post got on to 15 S (future 99).  Was on Rt 15 most of the day.  It changed from 2 lanes to 1 lane to 2 lanes to 1 lane.  From new road to patched road.  Some with shoulders, some without.  Through lovely, hilly farm country and little villages and big cities.  From 35 mph to 45 mph to 55 mph & sometimes 65 mph (but not very often).  Driving Rt. 15 you definitely need the attitude of the journey being the reward because you don't make good time but most of the time there's lots to look at when the traffic isn't bad.
  3. Pay attention to the Route #s as there are abrupt turns like in Williamsport, PA
  4. In Harrisburg you can choose to get on I-81 if you're tired of 1 lane driving and at least you've missed northern PA and trucks.
  5. You go through prime Civil War territory of Gettysburg, Frederick, MD, etc if you want to spend time looking at all of that.
  6. 11 joins 15 for a spell but when it splits off, make sure to stay on 15 near Frederick
  7. 15 sort of becomes 29 near I-66
  8. Near Culpepper, VA you'll have a choice of taking 17 east for a short distance to near Richmond and picking up I-95 or staying on 29 toward Charlottesville which I did (I'll hit 95 much further south)
So far, my feeling is that unless I really want to putter around and probably it's best to do that in a car rather than Rhoda on Rt. 15, I think I'd opt to hop on I-81 near Harrisburg.

I'm really bummed that I can't see my trip come full circle
Google - not fair!!
Mileage:  399       Gas:  $84 @ $3.80 in PA (20 cents cheaper than NY.  In MD gas was 10 cents  cheaper than NY and in VA it is 30 cents cheaper than NY so I'll definitely fill up before I leave the state).           Campground:  $40

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Completing the Circle

Saturday, September 1st

Happy First Birthday Sweet Antonia Rose
first experience with corn on the cob
  Well it's been almost a month since my last post but I'm back on the road to complete my circle of travel around the US of A.

Mommy & Antonia visit the Franklin County Fair
To catch up:  

This is how we slept 3 in Rhoda

A beautiful sunset welcomed me back to the Lake
Fran, Bev, myself, and Linda (the www's) take a ride
on the hand-made Adirondack animal carousel in
Saranac Lake, NY
This was the scene this a.m. before I left

This is where I've been for the month - mostly

This is Fish Creek State Park in the Adirondacks
where I plan to camp next summer for a week or 2
OK, so today: closed camp and drove out about 10:30, stopped for farm-grown tomatoes, strawberries, concord grapes, sweet cherries, and peaches.  Refrigerator was already mostly full of NY State apples and Chateaugay cheese curds.  Tastes of "home.

All the lake areas from Long Lake to Old Forge on Route 28 were FULL of people and cars for the last hurrah weekend.  Lots of water activities, lots of shopping, lots of back-packers looking weary and dirty.  Old Forge was so full of people and cars parked on both sides of the road that traffic just crawled through town and I felt like I should be waving from a convertible.

I had thought that by late Saturday everyone would have been where they wanted to be for the last weekend of summer but there was a steady stream of cars driving north into the Adirondacks all day.

Stopped to see niece Anna & family in Oxford, NY in their charming, old, full of character home.

Stopped in Endicott, NY to buy Spiedie marinade for Buzz & Lorraine and then on to Owego for a night in a motel as I couldn't find any campgrounds.

New Feature:  I'm trying a new route to FL from upstate NY so I'm documenting it here with brief comments so I'll remember next year or for those to follow:)

Malone to Blue Mountain. - Rt. 30 S
Blue Mt. to North of Utica - Rt. 28 and at that point it becomes 28/12 (road becomes 2 lanes)
In Poland 28 & 12 split - stay on 12 all the way through Utica and to N of Binghamton (this route is
     now just 1 lane but a lovely drive with rolling, green hills, farm country, well maintained, cute
     small towns)
N of Binghamton, get on I-81 S for a couple of exits - get off at Rt. 17 W (the future 86)


Mileage:  303           Gas:  $89 @ $3.99              Motel:  $120 (first night since I started my this 3 month
                                                                                                    journey so I guess I can swallow this)