We just got home from a 10 day trip visiting friends and family. We hit most of the SE going thru AL, MI, LA, TX, OK, MO, IL, KY, TN, NC, SC, Ga and back to Fla. I think we logged about 3500 miles. A few big picture observations:
1. Almost no motor homes on the road. The last time we made a road trip of this magnitude we were amazed at just how many motor homes were on the road. Now, none.
2. All the corn fields across the top of Miss and Louisiana and Texas were burned up. Fields and fields of tall, dead corn. All the corn fields across Missouri, Illinois, and Kentucky were tall, green, and healthy looking. So you can sure tell where the drought is and isn’t.
3. The Dallas area is one, huge road construction zone. And one huge traffic jam. By Dallas area I’m talking a 50 mile radius around Dallas.
4. Interstate 40 from Tennessee through North Carolina is one of the nicest, most scenic interstate drives around. I prefer off interstate driving but this is one big exception.
5. Quilting is becoming bigger and bigger. For the first time there are actually billboards along the road advertising quilt shops. I think that’s over the top; Nancy thinks it’s a sign of progress.
6. South Carolina peaches are the best in the galaxy.
7. People drive faster on I-95 in Florida than anywhere. If you try to hold it at 75 you will be passed on the left, on the right, and have some jerk pushing your rear bumper.
8. Portable GPS navigators are a 98% solution. Except in South Carolina where they’re a 48% solution. I was glad I stuck a couple of AAA maps in the glove compartment just in case. At one point we ended up on a dirt road through a car junk yard before I reached for the old standby. I was tempted to pitch the unit when it had me making a hard left turn in the middle of a bridge but Nancy saved it. It redeemed itself by finding Holloway’s Country Store in nowhere Tennessee.
Highlights of the trip were:
1. Luke and I beat Nancy and Mary at bridge one evening. If you add up 3 days, we sucked gas again but just that one night, we reigned tall.
2. Tommy’s living quarters in Columbia passed muster. He is helping his college guy tight budget by foregoing haircuts. It works for him.
3. Discovering a squirrel nest under our hood. In Kentucky I decided to check the oil and did a scan around under the hood. Up by the windshield on the passenger side I spotted what appeared to be a large bird nest. I pulled it out and noticed that the critters had eaten through a piece of flexible wire conduit and eaten away the insulation on one of the ground wires. No other wire was bared so luckily we weren’t shorting out. My nephew Ali repaired the damage in SC and we noticed that a deep depression on top of the engine block was full of wild cherry pits. It was a cavity maybe 4â€ x 4â€ x 2â€ deep and was chock full. We were able to work a vacuum hose down to suck them out. We’re probably very lucky the whole mess didn’t go up in flames.
4. Attending the Christening of our great-great niece, Grace Marie. Aside from me, we finally have a nice little Episcopal person in the family. No lightning or alarm bells when I passed through the portals. And she basically slept through the event even with 3 cups of water being dribbled on her head.