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I had said that I needed to make a trip out to the left coast.  Two of my grandsons (ages 10 and 7) live in a suburb of Seattle Washington (used to be in Silverdale, but now in Bremerton).  A lot of the people on this forum seem to live out west.  The man who studied with me back in the 70's lives in San Diego.  The uncle of my 8-year-old grandson lives in San Diego.  My grandfather's youngest brother moved to Pima County,  Arizona many years ago and many of his descendants now live in Arizona and Southern California.

 

My wife wanted to visit our two grandsons.  We discussed flying but she was just too nervous to fly.  Although I did all the driving when we were younger, my wife gets nervous when she rides with any else driving, and since I have a pacemaker which gets irritated by the seatbelt on the driver's side, my wife does basically all the driving now.

 

We set up Google Maps to guide us on the way.  We drove out Interstate 20 through Atlanta all the way to Birmingham, HWY 78 from Birmingham to Memphis, interstate 55 from Memphis to St Louis, MO, interstate 70 from St Louis to Kansas City, interstate 29 between Iowa and Nebraska all the way up to Sioux Falls, SD, and interstate 90 through South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho and all the way into Seattle, Washington.

 

It was a 39 hour drive time, we had a few stops for gas and rest and had car trouble which delayed us.  A piece of plastic came loose on the front of the car and started dragging the ground.  I managed to use duct tape to get it to stay up for a while.  My wife saw a car dealership and stopped to get the piece put back on better.

 

With all of the that we still managed to make the trip in a little over 50 hours. (That will tell you what kind of tough woman I married.)  My wife is 64 and I am 67 and she did all the driving. We left on Sunday evening and arrived on Tuesday evening.  My wife refused to stop for any long periods of time.

 

At one point my wife ran across an oldie station that was playing songs we liked.  We got a little silly singing along with those old songs. But the trip was not all fun.

 

I knew that my wife hated heights but I did not know that she would get very anxious driving on a road between two high mountains. We discussed how good the roads were built and how safe they were (nice, wide roads) and how people traveled over those roads safely every day in order to keep her anxiety level down.

 

We stayed at the "Best Western on the Beach" in Silverdale for a week.  We had the grandsons in the room with us over the 3-day weekend from September 3-5.  We stayed Monday Night to rest and left early Tuesday Morning coming home.

 

My wife had heard that there were fewer mountains if we traveled down interstate 5 all the way to interstate 10.  We did not stop to visit any of the people that I mentioned earlier in this post. 

 

When we got close to Phoenix we stopped at a Comfort Suites in Goodyear, part of the Phoenix metro area.  We enjoyed it so much that we spent the morning swimming and enjoying ourselves.  They gave a late checkout time at noon and we took all of that time.  It was great.  The next day we stopped in Deming NM at a Comfort Inn.  It was not as nice but it allowed us to rest.

 

We stopped at my sister's house in Kilgore TX and stayed overnight. We went to Cracker Barrel to eat breakfast with them before moving on. We then stopped at my wife's sister's house in Alabama. (My wife's sister is presently battling cancer.)  We stayed there that evening and some the next morning to visit.  We then left and arrived back home on Sunday afternoon two weeks from the day we left.

 

My wife and I have never done a lot of traveling but we have now been across the continent and back. There was good and bad but all in all, it was a good trip.

My wife says that in the future if my grandsons want to visit, she will send them plane tickets so that they can come out to visit us.

 

 

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Overall sounds like you guys had a pretty nice trip.  We are well familiar with all of the places you mentioned out west, except Sioux Falls SD. Where were the tall mountains on both sides...I-90 East of Seattle ?  If you ever have a chance to see the west coast again...you will enjoy the Orca pods in the San Juan Islands and the coastal highway 101 starting at Astoria Oregon as far down in California as you can drive, it's pretty awesome. Lots of Sea lions on the coast. San Diego is gorgeous most any time. Goodyear is packed out in the winter with large Nascar and drag race crowds.

 

Just wondering if you have any pictures you took along the way that you would like to share with us.    >:D<

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13 hours ago, Precision said:

Overall sounds like you guys had a pretty nice trip.  We are well familiar with all of the places you mentioned out west, except Sioux Falls SD. Where were the tall mountains on both sides...I-90 East of Seattle ?  If you ever have a chance to see the west coast again...you will enjoy the Orca pods in the San Juan Islands and the coastal highway 101 starting at Astoria Oregon as far down in California as you can drive, it's pretty awesome. Lots of Sea lions on the coast. San Diego is gorgeous most any time. Goodyear is packed out in the winter with large Nascar and drag race crowds.

 

Just wondering if you have any pictures you took along the way that you would like to share with us.    >:D<

 
 

When my wife speaks of seeing anything out west again she usually adds, "maybe in the new system."

 

I took pictures with my phone.  Will try to get them uploaded later.

Edited by Witness1970
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The USA is a great place to go for a drive!

 

In my three trips I have revelled in the ease with which you can do it, the way the US presents visitors with economical travel, the plethora of things to see and do and the scenic beauty which is available both on and off the beaten track.

 

Basically, you can't see anything while you're flying in commercial aircraft, save for an occasional tall mountain or similar. It's only at ground level where you can appreciate the majesty and beauty of creation and soak it up properly.

 

One of the really good things driving the US offers is the ready availability of comfortable overnight accommodation, though it seems you didn't stop on your westbound trip.

 

We always called in at the 'Welcome Centers' as we crossed into each state and got the 'hotel coupons' magazines so we were well-armed with knowledge about what there was ahead of us. Or me, in the case of my second trip. Need a laundry in the hotel tonight? Find one among the coupons with a laundry. Or a microwave.

 

Each trip was an adventure. Our first saw us drive through 28 states and cover 9.600 miles in a pickup truck. I bought this not only for the trip, but to ship home full of car parts I could later sell:

 

24_Exjanetintruck.jpg

 

As we'd never been to America before it was all new to us, one of the real wonders being the abundance of autumn colours...

 

13_1012fallhousecolours.jpg

 

...especially in upstate New York. But in late October they were plentiful enough in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois and Indiana as well. Not forgetting Vermont and New Hampshire, where for the first time we saw a covered bridge:

 

11_1012bnngtncoveredbridge.jpg

 

Simple stuff, but things unseen at home. Of course we hit the desert and canyon country...

 

24_1112_BC8.jpg

 

...and zig-zagged all over the place. There was always something to see and as Janet wrote in her travel diary, at times "every turning brought a sight to take your breath away." By the way, that travel diary was a great thing to keep during the trip, the further we went the more detailed she became with it and it keeps the whole trip alive.

 

Which, sadly, Janet couldn't do. My second trip I did alone - save for three days during which my stepson joined me - and in nine weeks I covered 14,400 miles in a conversion van I bought for the purpose. I drove it through 36 states, into eight provinces of Canada and then parked it back in Spokane WA ready for my next trip. From there I drove yet another pickup to LA for shipping and added three more states to my log for the journey and putting a further 1,200 miles of US driving experience  behind me.

 

While the highlights of the trip included the 2014 International Convention at Detroit, scenically I added Pikes Peak...

 

PP3.jpg

 

...(where you look down on the Rocky Mountains), a bunch of new country in the south and Yosemite...

 

yosemitegiantsequoia1.jpg

 

...to my memory banks.

 

Bumping into brothers and sisters was a big part of it too. Apart from at meetings, where wonderful times were had, spotting a couple of kids at McDonalds with their moms and wearing ties gave me a chance to tease them a little before we got down to discussing the convention and their territory. At one hall a sister said to me, after I told her I was going to Savannah, "Brother, if y'all are going to Savannah, you just have to visit mah sister!"

 

Two days later I spent a couple of hours with Peggye, her husband and cousin and a 91-year old brother they'd invited to meet me. Emotions ran high, Peggye was so happy I'd called in and it didn't matter that the coffee went cold as we talked...

 

peggyeedwardsfamily.jpg

 

At her insistence, that afternoon I went to look at the venue for the Jacksonville Regional Convention they were due to attend a week or so later.

 

I had to go to Florida anyway, that was the deal with this trip. Janet and I had decided that if 28 states was good, seeing all the other contiguous states on our second trip would be a logical follow-up.

 

But I didn't go into any state simply to be there. There had to be as reason. For example, as I drove through North Dakota people kept asking, "But why did you come to North Dakota? There's nothing to see here!" And the scenery backed up their statements...

 

ND6wellfires.jpg

 

...but there are still silver linings everywhere:

 

ND2sunrise.jpg

 

My 'genuine excuse' for going there, however, was to see this:

 

NDErugbyobliesk.jpg

 

Oh yeah, that's my van. Don't worry, I fixed it, as soon as I got to the US I pulled out the automatic transmission and fitted a manual.

 

Another place where I needed an excuse was Maine. I could think of no reason whatever to go to Maine, but I remembered hearing Anne Murray interviewed on the radio 27 years earlier. "Where do you live?" she was asked. "Nova Scotia." "I hear it's pretty there..." "Yes, we have 12 acres and it's beautiful!"

 

I had to check out and see if she was being truthful, didn't I?

 

NS8annemurrayhouseandlake.jpg

 

It only took me a couple of hours to locate her home, all a part of the 'adventure'. As was seeing the Mississippi River in flood...

 

IOmississippiflood.jpg

 

...at Burlington, Iowa, and I saw a whole range of these beauties:

 

WY2sunandclouds.jpg

 

My third trip included six and a half weeks in Europe as well as six weeks in the USA and Canada, I drove 32,570km (20,242 miles) in all and I know I will never do a bigger trip than that. But there are more trips ahead of me, I will go back to the USA and Canada, I still have to discover New Zealand and there are more places in Australia to drive.

 

 

 

 

.

Edited by RaymondG
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