Sunday, August 23, 2009

Pacific Coast or Bust...

California from Donner Pass!

Donner Pass has a famous note in history. Driving through this illustrious area was a breeze for us compared to this crew of 1846/47. Check out this link. The story is amazing and in our future time peril, our trek was much more about 'California drivers getting there' than winter and terrain and cannibalism.

I'll preface this entire segment by saying that once we hit Truckee, the terrain change was so awesome and welcoming that we enjoyed the sunset over the California border more than any other. Truckee is a very homespun, last western spot before you really enter California. It feels like they mined for gold there. I will admit, there were some trendy little niches, but the main street might as well have had gunslingers or gold diggers fighting in the streets. The mountains hover, the clear air invigorates and the pine trees are beautiful.

We stopped for gas and headed downhill. Now mind you, the entire way across country, we saw 2000 miles of construction zones where no one, ever, not ever, not once was working. Everyone slowed down (from 85-75) and then blasted on through the state. California, with all its budget woes and traffic woes has a different way of dealing with this. Not even a mile out of Truckee, the constructions signs were up, and yes folks, there was road construction.

Let me tell you a little bit about this stretch of road. For two hours and probably about 100 miles, its all 6% grade. What does that mean? Well, if you have a hill near your house it means you put the brakes on for a few seconds near the bottom. Here? Two hours of putting your brakes on non-stop with constantly curving roads around hills into canyons (where you don't have a clue what's around the next sharp curve-but that doesn't make you slow down!) and there is no shoulder (road construction) and there are semi's screaming their air brakes the whole time and there are tourists from Squaw Valley trying to get home to L.A. before dawn going 75 miles an hour. Get the picture? I think not. Remember that reference to construction? California pays its Sunday (at 9 pm) workers to work on this stretch of road where you come around a bend and come to a dead HALT! The traffic is backed up a half mile, a full mile, into eternity? I feel grateful we didn't die. There have been powerful wrecks there. It wasn't our day.

It didn't stop me from having, yet again, one of my heart failures....I won't go into the details but the fact that I'm still here and Richard still loves me is a testimony of 'how deep is your love'. He should have tossed me out..I would have walked, but there was no SHOULDER to walk on!

By the time we got to Sacramento and it was reasonably flat we weren't even talking. I was emotionally drained. We had breakfast in Wyoming. Now we were dealing with the 11 pm rush hour on a Sunday night and I soon knew how CRAZY California drivers were. You have 6 lanes. Do you have to dodge across them all, ALL the time at 75 miles an hour??? I was punchy. He was punchy. We just wanted to get to San Jose. Finally, we followed our directions, got to Santa Clara, got off the exit and the road we needed wasn't there. We drove in circles for 45 minutes and finally I said (the words no man wants to hear), "Pull over at the gas station, I'll get directions." No cars, no people just one simple, very polite and nice woman working in the place who couldn't speak English. NEXT....stopped at a restaurant next to a hotel. The girl working inside actually went out to her car to program our destination in her Garmin. No good. Richard in the mean time called Oz and Kat (our destination, his sister and brother in law). They couldn't even identify where we were. We kept driving with vague, "I think if you go might get here." There was a place not far down the road where a cop was clearing up a fender bender. We pulled over, I asked directions and then, FINALLY, we found out their apartment complex was a few miles down, to the right. Thank you CHIPS.

2:30, Monday Morning, just shy of 68 hours, driving across country. We found our destination. We sat up with Kat until four, slept on the blow up mattress, met our new niece Anwen and crashed. What a ride it was indeed! Day Four coming up next.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Day 3...Wyoming to California

Metaphor: Tree of Utah (Tree of Life) Utah

Mural outside the Penitentary.

Sightseeing in Rawlins.
A great start to our day in Rawlins.

A good night's sleep made us alive and alert, time to keep going. We stopped at Penny's Diner, a wonderful little Sunday morning breakfast spot. The diner is vintage from the fifties and the employees were friendly and the food was great. The windows in the front look out on a beautiful view of the Rockies. The church crowd was filtering in and everyone seemed to be enjoying the sunny, not a cloud in the sky day.

We headed through town and since I had the Eastern Penitentary in Philadelphia pictures, I figured, why not stop at the only jail that ever held Billy the Kid. The hour was too early for us to go in so we walked around the grounds and took some photos. Rawlins is in the middle of a very rugged area. We imagined what it would have been like all those years ago to be hauled to this place to sit out a sentence for a train robbery. All the westerns I'd ever seen came to mind and it was pretty cool. We headed out of town and found ourselves back on I-80.

The song 'Home on the Range' became our companion for the next couple of hundred miles. We saw mountains, wide vistas with distance snow covered peaks and lots of deer and antelope. They were everywhere. Wyoming is such a wonderous state with all of its scenic landscape. The 75 mph speed limit again was our friend and before we knew it we were seeing signs for Utah.

Let me clarify the drive a bit so far. Nebraska slowly brings you on a steady but barely noticable incline to the mountains. Once you get across the continental divide you have to start navigating the big things and other than once or twice going through mountains in tunnels, the rest of the time you go up, up, up and down, down, down. Salt Lake City and the surrounding area is breathtaking. The mountain passes are steep, the traffic was heavy and everyone was going 80. For the first time in our trip, I thought RTC was going to dump me out of the car. I kept saying slow down as we raced around curves in four lane traffic, semi brakes screaming alongside of us and yet we kept going. I thought I was going to have heart failure.

In between my nervous moments we were awed by the beauty of the area. As you approach the suburb towns of Salt Lake City the houses were splayed across the mountainsides in a very interesting way. The neighborhoods looked as if they had been planned to produce a relaxed, integrated area. The house colors all blended nicely with the terrain and were painted in natural colors. Salt Lake City itself was nestled between the peaks around it as if it were a sanctuary. I can well imagine why it is the place where so many Mormons settled. After the long journey across the mountains, it is a natural place to find a haven from weather and what was to come in the next twelve hours.

We took a number of pictures of the Great Salt Lake and the land flattened out somewhat as we headed toward the Great Salt Lake Desert. One hundred and one miles of desert seemed like such a difference from where we had just come. The last gas station until Nevada sported a group of vintage cars that had just crossed from the other direction and we filled up the car with gas, grabbed a couple of cold drinks and watched some hand gliders floating across the edge of the desert. The temperature was starting to climb into the mid eighties so we headed out.

We found some interesting phenomena in the desert. First of all, it's not really sand near the highway. It looked like brackish water in places and you could see where vehicles had done some pretty large donuts along the side. The highway is divided by a large desert area between the lanes going east and west and for the duration, that 'ribbon' of highway is striking to see. We had our first experience thusfar with the 'mirage' thing and yes, you can photograph a mirage! The other fascinating thing is the strange messages made with dark rocks that people write in the sand along side. Hundreds of messages were written, some as simple as 'I love you Jason' and others as profound as 'Peace to all in the world'. About half way across we saw this sculpture that is called 'Metaphor -Tree of Utah'. It is on the eastbound side of the highway and you can't stop or pull over, although the woman in front of us did, with little shoulder to move to. An explanation and picture of it is at this link...

It was an amazing thing to see. We continued on, marveling at the immense distance of the desert with railroad tracks and trains seeming tiny when compared to the vastness of the land we were traveling through. On the trek back, it was just as cool.

By the time we saw the sign for the Bonneville Salt Flats and Wendover, Nevada, just on the border we were ready to stop for a bit. Casino time! We drove down main street, picked out a place with glittery lights and spent our $40 bucks and almost two hours. It was perfect, just what we needed. I'm used to the Connecticut version of casino time. Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods are large absolutely beautiful buildings inside with very classy design. Nevada was smaller and everyone looked bored! I guess that's what happens when there are slot machines in every convenience store. We waited out a vicious lightning and rain storm in the Burger King as we ate a late lunch and then tackled the rest of the state.

I thought Nebraska was dull....Nevada is a REALLY long drive with not a whole lot to see. Four hundred and ten miles to be exact if you pay attention to the mile markers. A few herds of cattle, some horses and plain landscape. The Sierra Nevada Mountains wind throughout and we were on the lower end. They looked inhospitable and it became apparent to me how difficult it must have been to search for Steve Fossett when his plane crashed in them last year. The folds in the hillsides and canyons were never ending. Everytime we came to another town (and there weren't all that many along the highway), we noticed the letter of the towns first name was emblazoned larger than life on the hillsides. That was a good diversion. They also had lots of prisons. Good place for them. There isn't much else out there. The US Gov't occupies a good deal of the land as training and gunnery ranges. Good idea. We decided if you ever wanted to dispose of a body, this would be the state. Not many people, lots of hiding places and inhospitable climate. Enough said about all that.

Hours later we saw the signs for Reno. That meant California was just a heartbeat away. Of course our destination wasn't but we had made it! The fun part was just coming up. I was ready to throw myself out of the car before Richard did. The Mountain refrain.....what goes up, must come down. Donner Pass was coming down....

Monday, August 10, 2009

Day Two...Rawlins, WY

The view out of our hotel window

Our first glimps of the Rocky Mountains in WY

North Platte, Nebraska Archway

The Refinery. You could see it and smell it from a few miles away. Rawlins is located on the Continental Divide. Yes, we drove to the top of the world and would be heading toward the Pacific tomorrow. The population of Rawlins lives and literally breathes the refinery life as its mainstay. Trains constantly move in and out of town somehow involved in delivering the lifeblood of America to points east, west, north and south. We were staying in this place, one way or another. We took one of the three exits for Rawlins to find a hotel.

There was the usual strip of motels and restaurants found on just about any exit of I-80 and sure enough, the sign said, 'special $69 a night". I went inside to see if there were vacancies and luck was on our side. I asked the gentleman at the desk (who had no front teeth but was very pleasant) if we could have a second floor corner at the back in order to avoid the sound of running children, loud partiers and other noise. He checked and sure enough, a room was available. Irony, is such a wicked bedfellow. I swiped the card, got the key and headed out to the car. As I walked to the side parking lot, I noticed that the wind was blowing incessantly and it reeked of diesel fuel. This was the life of all Rawlins residents I was later to discover. We drove around the side, walked up the stairs, a little concerned because from the outside, this well known chain hotel looked, well, seedy. We opened the door and low and behold, it was meticulous, comfortable and roomy. Nice!

We set down our things, looked at the clock and decided to go down to the 'OTB and Sports Bar' attached to the hotel. It was about 6:30 and we thought an hour or two of relaxation, mingling with the locals and checking out life in Wyoming was in store. Every state has its own laws about gambling. Wyoming likes Off Track Betting. The lounge was large, with sofas and small tables near a tiny bar. We ordered a draft beer-Bud or Bud light (the bartender apologized that the 22 oz beer had gone up from $2.50 to $2.75 recently. Much better than Philadelphia I remarked where a 16 oz beer was $7.00. I heard that story repeated three times as we sat there. A little more casual conversation with the four locals at the bar told me a few important things. Everyone works or is connected in a supporting way to the refinery. It's ALWAYS windy and not too many people end up leaving town.

A juke box from the seventies was over by the far wall and I can never pass up some music. The bartender came over and apologized again, said the CD's that were hand written wouldn't work because they were homemade ones but the others were fine. They hadn't changed the CDs since NOW 14 and much of it was country which kind of left me hanging. The bartender put in a dollar and said to play A14 and C12 and whatever else I wanted. Since I didn't recognize most of the albums I settled on Kid Rock from long ago and Pink, her first album. The bartender had played Johnny Cash and some local bootscooter band. I never even saw a CD with Johnny Cash's name on it so that was lost to me.

Richard and I relaxed in the comfy chairs, listening to music and enthralled by the six large screen tvs that were showing dog and horse races from all over the country. He knew little about it and I knew more so I explained the mechanics of this OTB phenomena to him. One lone fellow sat looking at the screens and would periodically go up and place a bet in the corner with a fellow sitting behind a machine. Half way through our big beers, a wedding party of bridesmaids started filtering in to smoke and check out the action in the bar. Not much was going on, believe me. Someone came to deliver a pizza to someone at the bar and then an Asian man delivered Chinese food at the Inn I guess. So much for our exciting night in Rawlins....not even a cowboy showed up. The highlight of the evening was when a guy walked in who was dressed and sort of (without my glasses on) resembled Kid Rock with the leather hat, studded jacket and hair flowing out from beneath it all. The bridesmaids took immediate interest.

We got another beer (our Ambien for the night, even though we were already doing our share of yawning) and I put another dollar in the juke box. I found a Red Hot Chili Peppers and a Bon Jovi song and forced myself to play Garth Brooks. A local everyone knew arrived with a massive German Shepard on a leash and the place was jumping. Richard and I plotted our next leg of the journey, watched the horses being paraded on the screens for a while more and because we couldn't stand the excitement for another second, finally went up to our room.

It took us all of about ten seconds to fall asleep at the crazy hour of 8 p.m...not sure what time zone it was, must have been mountain. Oh, about that room in the back...the rail road tracks were just behind our room and we listened to trains for about five minutes and decided to crank the air conditioning. It took care of the pervasive smell of diesel and the sound of trains on tracks. We slept for ten hours. It was the best night sleep I'd had in ages.

Day Three, coming up next. Can you stand the excitement!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Day Two - Midwest, Iowa to Wyoming

Breakfast had given us enough of the fuel along with a four hour power nap to drive on with a goal. Cheyenne, Wyoming was our hotel destination. The atlas had become our friend and what's another 500 miles after all? We were out of Iowa and into Nebraska in a heartbeat. The sun was up, it was 74 degrees, the cd player in our car was playing all of our favorite car songs and we were heading west! Omaha flew by in a jumble of what could be dicey exits in rush hour but was relatively quiet on a Saturday morning.

It is 499 miles from Omaha, Nebraska to Cheyenne, Wyoming. I feel as if I should put a disclaimer on this part of the trip. Everyone we met along the way in Nebraska was friendly, nice, welcoming and polite. I'm sure there are many, many people who love Nebraska. Driving 499 miles along a flat, relatively uninteresting terrain was pure agony for me. Of course, at this point we hadn't been to Utah or Nevada yet. RTC and I did a lot of talking, realizing that we can have excellent conversation for hours on end. I wrote my poetry prompts for the poetry website I contribute to for the month of August. Productive. I wrote out postcards to my kids. I drove for four hours while Richard slept. The one thing that was best about it? You could set the cruise control for 80 mph and it was a flat, steady drive. Other than that, couldn't wait to get out of Nebraska.

There was a stretch of highway that was absolutely bizarre. As we drove, it sounded as if there was a song or humming coming from the road. We varied the speed a bit and the tune changed. I have no idea why it made that sound other than a sign that claimed it was an experiment by the state to use asphalt that had recycled tires in it. Go figure, it was a nice diversion. We passed beneath the huge North Platte Archway which houses a history of the western expansion museum. We didn't stop on the way out and as we were returning, we tried to stop but the museum had just closed. Next trip perhaps. There were many signs for 'pioneer' like attractions. Just coming off my museumed out trip in Philly, I wasn't interested in setting foot in one for a few days. I kept making a joke of every attraction, "here's the exit, turn now, come on, we need to stop....WE NEED TO STOP.." but of course we just drove by. Time for that later.

As we drove we literally came a stones throw from Colorado, but continued on, anxious to finally be done with this leg of the trip. The terrain in the western part of Nebraska started to change and became a bit more of an incline, a few more hills with the highest point in Nebraska coming just as we were about to enter Wyoming at a height of 5,424 ft at Panorama Point.

Wyoming is a beautiful state. The changing land around every turn is lovely and the sight of the Rocky Mountains was something to behold. I've seen them before, but each time is just as awe inspiring. We found ourselves in Cheyenne by three p.m and decided to get some gas and food and just stretch. We stopped at the first exit after the Port of Entry where you have to declare your livestock and happened upon T-Joe's Steakhouse and Saloon. We sidled up to the bar, ordered hamburgers and a beer and enjoyed a relaxing conversation with the owner, who happened to be bartending. We found out about local Cheyenne politics, liquor and smoking laws in Wyoming and a host of other familiar topics. The decor was very familiar, with tables and chairs crafted out of wood stumps and branches, TVs showing the races and a pool table occupied by two fellas in camo gear. Felt right at home. Those from Wyoming have a bit of a twang in their voices. It became more obvious as we headed west. Interesting.

We finished our meal and since we felt a bit refresed decided to drive a bit more and spend the night on the Continental Divide in Rawlins. We were treated to some amazing views of the mountains and canyons in Medicine Bow National Forest. The colors and variety of scenery was a nice change from our trip throughout the day.

The exits for Rawlins found us just after the dinner hour and we were ready for a good night's rest. The first thing we saw as we approached Rawlins was the refinery. It stayed with us one way or another the entire night. Next time you'll hear about all that...

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Iowa in the Dark...

Our home away from home as we slept in the car


Uptown and downtown Elk Horn, Iowa at 6 am

Iowa Sunset over the Mississippi River

I started driving just east of Iowa City. We had chased the sunset for a while and it was a beauty. Richard decided he needed some sleep so I gladly took over. The road was straight, the weather clear and the speed limit nice and quick for cruise control. Did I mention we had only six hours of sleep or so the night before and had already driven twelve in alternating shifts. It took me about an hour to realize (as he snoozed next to me in the passenger seat) that this was going to get dicey. I kept on in the dark with very little traffic to occupy me until about twenty minutes from Des Moines. My vision got shaky and I knew it wasn't going to work. We still had WAY more than a thousand miles to go and our big plan to sleep/drive/sleep/drive were not the best plan.

Now, I'll preface this by saying, Iowa is a big state with a fair number of miles between exits. I let Richard keep sleeping as I slogged along watching for a rest stop. I came upon a sign that said, "Don't stop for hitchhikers, prison area." A quarter of a mile later I see the sign for the rest stop. I kind of felt like I was driving into a slasher movie, but I stopped anyway. I pulled down to a lighted area near where the truckers were happily snoozing in their semis and turned off the car. Richard stirred, I explained why I stopped and we decided to power nap for a while. An hour later, we had stretched, changed seats and it was his turn. No slasher, although we did have a chuckle about the concept.

We flew through the Des Moines area and motored on in the darkness, a few semis or cars were our pals, but not all that many. As we got into the western part of the state we saw massive numbers of red lights, as if runways on either side. Since it was so dark, we couldn't make out if they were telephone towers or what, it looked very much like an alien runway. Strange. We noticed the gas tank was getting below a quarter of a tank and so watched for an exit for gas. We learned our first lesson about the western states. The economy has hit hard in those places and although there were lodging, food and gas signs at the side of the road, there were blank spots where the locations should be. Many businesses have gone belly up in the war of gasoline, economics and livelihood. We kept a wary eye on the gas tank and one on the road for a place to stop. Finally, we found the sign for Elk Horn. Gas, Lodging, Food and the Dutch Immigrant Museum. We pulled off the exit at about 1:30 am and were dismayed to see a sign pointing to the right with the mile 7 next to it. As we turned, the low fuel light turned on....yikes.

We drove the seven miles in pitch blackness, but for some amazing fields of fireflies, and found ourselves in Elk Horn. We passed a closed gas station, drove by a hotel with lights blazing and a parking lot full of cars and across the town's only intersection to the only other gas station, also closed. Okay, this was now becoming not cool. We backtracked to the AmericanInn or some such name and decided to stay for the night if we could get a room. A lovely young woman was apologetic and understood our plight, but they were sold out without even a broom closet to spare. She invited us to help ourselves to the rest rooms, coffee and even breakfast bar if we wanted to but it looked like the car was our bed. She said it was fine if we parked there. We took advantage of the bathrooms but then headed out into the cool night air. We wandered over to a field next to the hotel and stared at the billions of stars that were above us. You can see what's hiding behind all that ambient light in the cities when you find the midwest. It was awe inspiring and between the stars and the fireflies, we felt lucky to have stumbled into this tiny hamlet if only to experience the beauty of it all.

Settling into our reclined seats, (thank goodness I brought pillows and blankets) we were thankful the little car gave us plenty of sleeping room. Just as we were nodding off (about 2 am), my daughter called to tell me about the horrible thunder and lightning storm that was happening at home (probably the one we had in Chicago). She was housesitting our house and her boyfriend's as he and his family were gone on vacation. She was alone with the barking dogs and crazy weather. I told her about our unexpected stop and we commiserated for a bit. I guess we both had that ESP thing going. It made me feel better to speak to her. It didn't take long for us to fall asleep.

5:57, my eyes snapped open. I shook Richard and told him it was almost 6 and the gas station would be open. We wandered inside to throw some water on our faces and wake up. It had been a short sleep but long enough. The same woman bid us a pleasant farewell and we filled up, took some pictures of the windmills from the 1800s on the main street and headed back the seven miles. Onto 80 and heading for Nebraska, we found out what the aliens were....hundreds and hundreds of windmills. Not your historic ones, the green kind. They lined the highway for miles. We found an exit down the road about thirty miles that had breakfast and we were delighted to get some great coffee, awesome conversation with a very knowledgeable waitress and the first real meal in over twenty four hours. We were recharged and ready to tackle Nebraska. We decided that Cheyenne, Wyoming would be our hotel stop. About five hundred miles. We must have been nuts. Day two was starting out on a decent foot.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

On the Road Again...

June 19th, 8 a.m.

Retrospect is an interesting thing. Had I known how long this first day was going to last, I might have cried a little. We picked up our Chevy Cobalt at the local Enterprise place at 8 and by 9:15 were barreling down Rt. 77 headed toward I-79 in Meadville. Naturally, RTC hadn't bought my Diet Coke so we did a little stopping on the way for snacks and drinks and a box of tissues for the car. I mention the latter item because it will play into the long tale later.

We found Grove City and the I-80 exit and this would be our new home for 2,450 miles. The egress from PA was easy and relatively short, we found ourselves cruising past Akron in no time and the excitement of starting a new trip wasn't wearing off yet. We drove for about three hours and stopped for a bathroom/stretch break just as the first rainshowers began just east of Sandusky. We weren't sure how big the gas tank on the Cobalt was and the needle was on a quarter of a tank so we decided to get some gas. Gas at home was $2.60. Gas on I-80 in Ohio was $3.09. Ouch. We filled up, wrote down the mileage and headed back out into the rain. Traffic was a little heavier in spots and by the time we hit the Indiana border, it was a steady stream of people driving at about 75 miles an hour across a very flat, rather mundane landscape. We found out a thousand miles later that Indiana ain't quite as mundane as other places.

Life moved on in the car, talking, listening to our car song CDs, snacking on some trail mix, just happy travelers...until Illinois. Maybe it was the summer, the day, the month, the moment but we to this day are sure Illinois hates us. Gary, Indiana traffic became heavy and as we approached all the interchanges for Chicago, it became rush hour and rather obnoxious. We moved in tiny increments along the four to six lane highways and then stopped. There were many, many construction zones throughout Illinois and never, EVER did we see anyone working, however the lanes narrowed down and everyone had to do the merge dance over and over again from Gary to Joliet, Ill. After about two hours of this (nice entrance to the Midwest) we recognized the source of the hold-up. Not construction, not rush hour, no, a wicked accident with two semis and a car. One of the semis was a twisted burned mess. Both sides of the highway were nearly shut down to one lane and we quit whining, grateful it wasn't us.

Through Joliet, we picked up speed and started noticing how awful the sky looked. Slate grey and low to the ground, lightning started sparking all over the place and then the rain began. I learned the first lesson about my husband at this point. We stopped to get gas, I had been driving so we switched seats. Gas mileage...37 mpg....not too shabby. Back on the highway and within about ten minutes, the worst torrential rain that you could imagine. Lack of visibility was not a problem for RTC though. He kept driving as quickly as possible to make up the lost time. I nearly had heart failure. If you are reading this as a friend, you know my weather issues when it comes to driving. Snow and torrential rain are not my pals. I held on, put my brakes on and nagged him to keep slowing down for a good twenty miles. When the wind was blowing barrels from the construction zones across into our lane, I think he realized it was a bit hazardous and rather than see me fall apart any more, we took an exit off the highway. We parked in a service area and ate some things we had packed and hung out for a half hour or so until the rain slowed down. At this point, about nine hours into our trip, we realized it was going to be a long ride.

Illinois fell behind us and just as the sun was hanging in the sky toward sunset, we crossed the Mississippi in Davenport, Iowa and saw only blue sky ahead. In terms of beauty, Illinois on I-80 was not very stellar. Iowa however, became my favorite state up to this point. The crops were growing, the gently rolling land and large vistas were beautiful. They also have the coolest rest stops of all the states we visited. Free internet at all stops and the outsides are decorated with very cool sculpture type pillars and walkways. Clean, neat and informative with their radar screens and hi-tech maps, it felt like a nice place to stop. While they had vending machines, they did not have the fast food joints that lot of the states sport and no gas. We had a stretch and headed back into the car. My turn to drive. I'll save the fun stuff for the next installment. To be continued.....

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Interim

I have my notebook full of notes from the Cross Country trip on the heels of TAH. I've had time to rethink my time zones and recalibrate my sleeping habits and now I start with the cross country adventures of myself and Richard (AKA RTC and Mystery Man). My suitcase was full of clean clothes, washed in Philly the night before and at about nine p.m we finally got home. We promptly went to Sue's Mill for a real Philly Cheesesteak and conversation about the trip. When we got home I looked around the house, grabbed what needed to go to California and spent the hours until about two a.m talking to my daughter about it all, spending what little time we had to just catch up. The alarm clock was set for seven and the rental car would be waiting at eight. I slept like I hadn't in a week and when the morning arrived we were ready to go. Stage two, heading to California. More to come on that...lots more.