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From Raleigh-Durham NC to Boynton Beach FL – Nov 15-25

9 Dec

I wrote this piece several weeks ago, but I’m just posting it now, with some pictures.  Since this writing, we’ve moved through Florida, across the Gulf Coast, into New Orleans, and we’re now on our way up the MIssissippi Great River Route for a few days before heading to Texas.  But, those details will be in the next blog posting. .

The tone of our trip changed about a month ago.  Until then, except for a couple of isolated visits with friends, we were on an unscheduled trip across secondary roads through northern middle America.  Our time was our own, no schedules.  Over the last month, we’ve visited friends and relatives, with several days on our own in between visits.  Also, being on the east coast, we’ve been doing a lot more tourist stuff – visiting historic sites and cities.  Both aspects of the trip are fun, one’s not better than the other, they’re just different.

There are some photos attached below, for no reason they’re in the middle of the post below.

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From East Hampton NY to Raleigh-Durham NC – Oct 26-Nov 15

15 Nov

No doubt about it, I’m definitely not a compulsive blogger.  But, I do think about it, wondering when I’ll make the time to blog.  This past weekend, we stayed with our niece, Rebecca Hubbard, and her partner, Margo Flanagan in a rural area north of Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.  And, my electronic challenges continue to appear consistently.  I’ve temporarily “lost” all of the photographs I’ve taken in the last month.  So, that part of this blog will be somewhat compromised.

After we left East Hampton NY we drove to the Philadelphia area.  The night drive down the Jersey Turnpike, in rain-filled darkness, was an absolute horror.  For those of you unfamiliar with that Turnpike, which included us until that night, it’s like a never-ending NASCAR straightaway with a concrete barrier theoretically separating the trucks from the cars.  The lanes are narrow, visibility was limited, and traffic, on both sides of the southbound divider, was moving at 80 mph.  We finally stopped at a motel outside of Philly, in Gloucester NJ.  This was only the second dump we’ve stayed in.  It was misnamed Quality Inn.  The next day we spent walking the historic sites of Philly.  Visiting historic spots, like Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, the room where Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, help flesh out our understanding of US history.  For me, possibly, and only possibly, the highlight of the day was my first Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich.  It is unique, and I understand Philly’s pride over this delight.  We also stopped in at the Friends Museum where we met Marlena, a delightful woman from the Bronx  transported to Philly and the Quakers.

Please click on the following (More…) for more of this posting:

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From Buffalo to East Hampton NY – Oct 15-26

26 Oct

Well, it’s not looking like I’m a compulsive blogger.  But, I’m back.  Since it’s been sooooo long, this post will be, more or less, a brief chronological recounting of what we’ve been doing . . . unless, or course, it’s not.

We changed our plans and didn’t go into Canada.  Too many horror stories about the US Customs/Border Patrol tearing apart RV’s and campers.  So, on to Niagara Falls and New England.  While in Sault Ste. Marie, we took a boat ride through the Soo Locks.  There is a 21 foot elevation difference between Lake Superior and Lake Huron.  Without the Locks, ships would not be able to navigate the rapids.  Neither of us had been through locks before, so this was a new experience.  Not exactly exciting, but interesting and educational (photos).
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We’re in Buffalo NY – Oct 15

15 Oct

We’re alive and well – just haven’t had time to post recently.  Actually, I still don’t have time to post anything now but a quick note.  We’ve been traveling, visiting friends, seeing wonderful sights and meeting interesting people.  The fall colors are magnificent.  The cities, along what I guess is the ‘rust’ belt, are devastating, especially Detroit – it has to be seen to be understood.  Today we will do the ultimate tourist trip, Niagara Falls.  Then off to New England.  More to come, sometime reasonably soon.

We’re having fun.  The idea of not knowing what the day will bring, let alone the coming days or weeks, is exciting.  A quote from a Stephen King book we listened to while driving “Do the day, and let the day do you” seems to apply to us.

No photos this time – technical difficulties and lack to time to fix now.

Grand Falls ND to Saulte Ste. Marie – Sept 28-Oct 5

5 Oct

Yes, we’re still here!  Here being Sault (Soo) Ste. Marie at the point between Lakes Superior, Michigan and Huron.  We’re heading across the border, and we’ll spend some time in Canada.

We’re into an easy routine, and everything, at least between Joanna and me, is smooth.  Still some annoying electronic challenges, but the VW is running very well.  And, for that, we’re thankful.  On our route from North Dakota, across Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula has been easy and beautiful.  The changing of the fall colors has gone from yellow to orange, and now, bright red-orange.  The open ranges of the Great Plains have turned into smaller farms surrounded by tree breaks whose leaves reflect the autumn colors.  We spent two days around Duluth MN, a city far more interesting than its name.  It’s carved into the hillsides above the western tip of Lake Superior.  The flat lands have turned into hills, with some stunning scenery along the south shore of Lake Superior.  We’ve been fortunate to find virtually abandoned camping sites along its shores.  I’ve attached  photos of this leg of our trip (the titles will magically appear if you place your cursor over the photos), and some stories. (more…)

Shelby MT to Grand Falls ND – Sept 21-28

28 Sep

Here we are in Grand Falls, a week and some 900 miles from Shelby.  We’re almost across the Great Plains.  I’ve loved it, and Joanna has been, shall I say, eager to move on.  Making entries in Parnessx2, particularly with photographs, is a time consuming process.  I’ve decided to post only when we stay in motel, maybe once or twice a week.  And I’m going to post unedited travel snapshots – editing takes too much time.

We stopped by a local Mexican eatery and sat, alone, at the counter.  A few moments later a local lawyer, Brad, sat with us.  We had a spirited conversation during lunch, including politics (he brought it up) and life.  He’s interested in visiting SF, and considering he has a progressive mindset, we encouraged him.

On the road, the countryside was beautiful with flat flowing wheat fields and beautiful skies.  Just outside of Shelby we came across an active Minuteman Missile site, very eery in being able to walk up to it, so innocent looking yet containing a lethal missile ready to rain death and destruction on our enemy, or defend our country, depending on your point of view.In Havre (named after the French port of La Havre, but pronounced “have-er”), we were directed to PJ’s for the best breakfast (i.e. only) in town.  Like many restaurants in these parts, PJ’s is also a casino – just various kinds of slot machines, and a dark windowless feeling of a casino.  Nobody to seat us, no wait people, only several tables with locals, all men.  None of them had any food and none of them were talking, at least after we walked in.  It felt like we walked onto the set of a Fellini movie or, more likely, into an asylum for the mentally challenged.  We sat down and, after a few more minutes, conversation resumed and a waitress appeared.   (more…)

Kalispell to Shelby MT – Sept 19-21

22 Sep

We passed through Whitefish on our way to Glacier National Park.  Today was the last day the absolutely incredible Going To The Sun Road was open – we traveled over the pass in the afternoon. It was spectacular!...during a break in the rain The weather changed from sunny and warm to cold and wet, the sky during magical with the storm clouds.  That evening we camped at the St. Mary campground on the east side of Glacier, the colors having turned to yellow and orange.  The next night we headed up to Many Glacier campground at 5,000′ elevation.  We hiked in the cold, damp wildnerness, ever mindful of bears.  The next morning the ground and trees were covered with snow from an overnight storm.

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Seattle to Kalispell, MT – Sept 13-18

18 Sep

We left the Seattle area on Monday morning, beginning our cross-country adventure.  We’re planning on driving across US Route 2, the Great Northern Highway to the east coast.  From there, we’ll head south. (more…)

The beginning – Sept 8 – 12

10 Sep

We’ve had a busy time since leaving Half Moon Bay on a drizzly Wednesday morning, Reva and Britton (daughter, son-in-law/blog guru, and house sitters) waving goodbye, trading iPhone photos.

Today is Sunday, September 12th, Day 5.  The first several days are dedicated to visiting friends in the northwest.  We’ll begin the adventure of this 5 month trip when we leave Bellevue.  Then, the postings will be more interesting.

So here’s a brief review of our trip, so far:

Day 1 – Drove to Ashland, OR, visited with former LA friends Vivian Weston and Steve Brent.  Stayed with Vivian

Day 2 – Visited with relatives by marriage, Wally and Terry Burton in Medford.  Then drove to our friends Charles Ernest and Katy Fletcher’s in Bellevue, WA.  We’ll stay with Charles and Katy until we leave the area.

Day 3 – A day dealing with electronic challenges, GPS, iPhone, VW stereo – no big deal, just visits to Apple, Best Buy, an electronics store and a battery store.  We had dinner with my former MGM colleague, Ann Corley, and her husband, Mark, at Ivar’s Salmon House in Seattle.

Day 4 – We drove north to La Conner and met former LA friends David and Sondra Bayley who live on San Juan Island.  We had dinner with Charles and Katy at Cafe Flora in Seattle.

Day 5 – Went for a walk in a forest with Charles and their 4 delightful dachshunds.  Spent the rest of the day preparing to leave, hanging out with Charles and Katy