Saturday, June 3, 2017

LAST POST OF OUR 2017 CROSS-COUNTRY ROAD TRIP - LAWRENCE, KANSAS TO HOME.

We have been home since May 10th and I decided to finish off sharing our travels by putting two days into one post, the last day being one of them.  I hope you have enjoyed our cross-country road trip.  Some days I'm sure were a little boring but even those boring days will be interesting for us to read as we look back.  This is why I journal each and every day we are away.

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017



This morning our odometer reading is 55138, and the distance we have traveled is 6,963 miles.  We are leaving the hotel in Lawrence, Kansas at 6.10 a.m.

We are heading towards Indianapolis, Indiana.   An early start today. What precipitated it was that we were told by the desk manager last night that they were doing renovations, and the elevator would be shut off at seven.  We were only on the second floor but stairs and I have a history and when Gregg started taking our luggage down to the car at 5.45 a.m. I said I was ready to go. 

A cardinal greeted us when we got to our car. I love to watch them from our patio door.  This one was perched in a tall bush as I was looking out the front car window. A lovely start to our morning drive. 

6.21 a.m. Gregg is at Walmart buying our water for the trip, and also picking up cash. If you use your debit card, Walmart will give you up to $100 cash over the price of your purchases.  And we keep missing our bank on our travels. There are always ATM machines of course, but the trip to Walmart, a place that seems another constant across America, seems the easiest way to go.  We see them almost daily, and then there is always plastic!

Gregg is back. He was impressed with how everyone working in the store, as early as it was, said hi to him. A small world story.  He met another customer at the cashier desk.  The man apologized to him for holding him up with as much food as he was buying.  They got to talking.  He looked like a body builder but was buying all this junk food, large packets of candy, pork rinds, things he wouldn't have thought a healthy guy would purchase.   He was curious and said so.  The man replied that he always loaded up with sugar before a work out, and then asked Gregg where was he heading. When Gregg told him  Northern Virginia, the man said he used to live there 20 years ago with his parents, then he moved here. His parents still live in Alexandria, about an hour away from us. And then this is where the small world story comes in, he actually named the development we live in and where he had lived as a young boy.  Gregg told him we had just been to California and they started talking about house and apartment prices. He told Gregg that he pays $400 a month for a one bedroom apartment, and that the apartment was pretty large.  The purchases were bought and that was the end of their conversation.  

7.11 a.m. We have traveled 7,000 miles. 

Digital billboard letting everyone know the Kansas Lottery Ticket number.  Imagine if you are driving at 80 mph and seeing you had just won a million dollars? 

7.31 a.m. We are in Missouri now. We missed the sign.   We realized we were in Missouri when we were driving through Kansas City

9.00 a.m. Denise is driving.  This is Gregg.



9.14 a.m. crossed Missouri River


11 a.m. crossed the Mississippi River into Illinois.


We are driving next to fields that have been flooded and saw back roads under water. 



2.49 p.m. and Denise is back in the passenger seat.  600 miles to go until we reach home. 

3.19 p.m. We have gone 7,500 miles. 

At 3.58 p.m. we noticed we needed to change the clocks one hour ahead as we changed time zones. We are now officially on Eastern time.

5.31 p.m. stopped in Greenfield, thinking we were going to go straight into our hotel without booking. It was off this exit.  One time we don't call ahead!  We had dinner at the Cracker Barrel nearby and tried to book from the restaurant.  There were no vacancies.  There is another hotel 23 minutes away and we had no problem getting a room there. 


7.30 p.m. and we are settled in our hotel room in Anderson, Indiana

Not too many photos today.

We are going to try and leave early in the morning at 6.00 a.m.  Gregg said we should get home tomorrow.


Wednesday, May 10th, 2017



Our odometer reading is 55719 this morning.  The distance we have traveled so far is 7,544 miles.
We left our hotel in Anderson, Indiana  at 6.47 a.m.



A very misty morning, the first East Coast day we have experienced since we left home. 


9.02 the mist cleared in time for us to see an awesome sight, a big, beautiful Bald Eagle flew over us. 



9.04 a.m.  Chilicothe in 33 miles reminded Gregg of when he asked a taxi driver to take him to a friend's house for his wedding.  He had his uniform and sword so that he could take place in the sword ceremony as the bride and groom leave the church.  The taxi cab driver took him to a home miles from anywhere, as even though Gregg gave him the name and address, the driver only heard the name, which was very similar to the one Gregg had given.  He knocked on the door and gave the occupant a bit of a start, as he turned up with his luggage.  Fortunately the taxi driver was only backing out onto the road and Gregg was able to chase him down.  He arrived at his friends house a couple of hours late but was fortunately in time for the ceremony.  It was a comedy of errors and although I have heard the story before, it gets better for the retelling and we were laughing as we headed down the highway.  He had asked if he knew where Judge Mitchel lives and the driver said oh yes, I know him.  He was taken to Jud Mitchum's house instead.  This was 48 years' ago.

9.11 a.m. Stopped at McDonalds Washington Court House, Ohio.   Having my oatmeal and Gregg his usual, a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit.  At this rate we will be looking like Ronald McDonald!

Passing through Londonderry, Ohio





I have been seeing several quilt barns but only had an opportunity to take this one.

1:19 PM: Denise is driving. We are in Bridgeport West Virginia. 203 miles from home.



3.22 p.m.  Stopped by a very pleasant stream to change over. Gregg will be driving now. 

We are still in West Virginia and I have just driven up and down more hairpin bends than I have ever driven in my life.  We kept seeing these gradient signs.








We met one crazy driver on one of those hair pin bends, on our side of the road and I had seconds to see that her eyes were down and she was looking at her cell phone, texting I think. Fortunately I was going at a crawl but she flew around that bend on the wrong side of the road.  She was young, looked like a teenager.  Very scary as she was within seconds of hitting us before she continued on. I looked and she didn't even raise her eyes.  I don't think she even realized how close she came to hitting us, because she was now on the right side of the road, going up the hill but I hope she slows down.  

Gregg took this video at that pretty little river when we changed over and we were off the mountain.  My hair is a mess because of open windows and he was taping before I could even put a brush through my hair, and then it was on  Facebook before he got back into the car.  Did I tell you Gregg is a big Facebook fan?  I know, many are but I could never get into it.  I think I still have an account but haven't used it for a long time.  Maybe one day!



On the whole I enjoyed the drive and helping Gregg out, but am glad he has taken the wheel.  That was one crazy drive and one silly young driver. 

3.54 p.m we just went through Romney, West Virginia

At 4.13 p.m. Our cross-country road trip has gone 8,010 miles. 



4.23 p.m. we are back in Virginia. 

6.08 p.m   
We are home, our journey is over.


My next door neighbor was in the garden as we rolled into the garage.  She gave us a lovely welcome home and we chatted for about 15 minutes.  She is retired and wanted to get together more often.  I told her that would be wonderful and I will look forward to it. 

When I walked into the house I said, "Hello House, I have really missed you!"  I told House that was from Gregg too because he doesn't talk to House, his nutty wife does it for him after a long journey, and yes I am smiling from ear to ear.  Does anyone remember Shirley Valentine?  Shirley talked to her house too.

And finally, I am finishing up with one of my favorite photos.  This you may remember, was taken not too far from the entrance of Yosemite National Park in California.



We drove 8,106 miles on this journey, and the following shows you our route across the USA.


Just for our own interest, but anyone who is interested is also welcome to take a look, I have made a list of our posts starting here.




57 comments:

  1. You had a fantastic trip!

    And it is lovely to have chronicled it here. Where you can always look back, and re-live it.

    No face book for me. I have heard too many horror stories, about all the political FIGHTING, which goes on there.

    My husband has one, simply to see pics posted, by family members.

    Gentle hugs,
    Luna Crone

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    1. Thanks LC, no doubt people get very heated in their comments on FB. Even hubby stays out of it. He likes the people on there regardless and there are plenty of other happier things going on that he is interested in, photos from family and friends, which he then passes on to me :) I have the best of both worlds.

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  2. I love the judge story and the curves in the road with all the beautiful trees and LOVE the misty foggy pics

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    1. Thanks Sandra, it does tickle our funny bone. I love the mist too.

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  3. I am sad that your journey is over, but happy that you are back home safe and sound.The driving scare was frightful! I will not go on hairpin curves anymore, or mountain roads without guard rails. And there are a lot around here! I LOVE seeing your video. You have the most delightful English accent, your voice is beautiful! My favorite photos are the barns in the mist, stunning! You should make a collage of them and hang it somewhere!

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    1. Thank you Ginny and I felt a bit sad too knowing that I was at the end of my journal posts. As my dear old dad used to say, there are times when you need eyes in the back of your head and an extra set would have been useful that day. I had no idea the roads would be quite so windy or steep. I'm glad you like the video. It always amazes me when I hear my own voice. I don't really notice anything until I have to listen to it, lol!

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    2. Great idea about the collage. I will do that.

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  4. It was so long and informative journey for me who lives in Europe. One day I am going to visit your country where my grandparents were born and raised. But i woud like to visit PA and MA.

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    1. That is very interesting about your grandparents Gosia. When you come here and if you would like to see the Washington DC area, you would always be welcome in our home.

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  5. Quite a journey! Those misty shots are my favourites.

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    1. Mine too and I have a lovely memory of walking down a quiet country lane in the mist. Quite magical!

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  6. That pre-work out binge sounds as if it would defeat the purpose. Loved the scenery (and the mist) and am so glad that the lucky texter avoided causing so many families lifetimes of grief. I do hope she learns better. Safely.

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    1. Thanks EC I agree with everything you said.

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  7. Well, Denise - where do I begin? I have always talked to houses. I have loved traveling along with you. We may do something like this after my husband retires. Thank you for taking us along and best for me was seeing our home state of Indiana. I teared up a little just seeing it. Hoosiers are usually a friendly and welcoming bunch so I hope you felt that. So glad you are safe at home and with wonderful memories. You are so wise to document your trip this way. I wish I had done this when we went on some of our trips. Smart girl you! Jackie

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    1. How kind of you to say so Jacqueline, I really appreciate your sweet comments. I didn't realize you were from Indiana. We loved traveling through this beautiful state and enjoyed the people we encountered. Look forward to going back one day and staying a little longer.

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    2. Dear me Jacqueline, I am not doing very well today as I accidentally deleted your latest comment. I went to read it and hit remove content instead. I am so sorry about that. This was the second comment today I accidentally deleted. Sometimes my fingers are faster than my brain :(

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  8. Denise!!!!!! It sounds like you took I70 through Terre Haute to Indianapolis! You were just half an hour from me! I have not even read your whole post...was afraid I would get distracted by the rest of it and forget to ask if that is how you drove...and if you went through St. Louis, my daughter was there....

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  9. I'm happy to see your route on the map of the U.S. Impressive. $400 for an apartment that is large is amazing. Our kids pay close to $1500 for a tiny (524 sq. ft.) apartment in Seattle. I guess location location location pumps the prices. Hope you have a great Sunday!

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    1. Thank you Ellen, our prices for apartments are similar here also. Happy Sunday to you :)

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  10. I certainly enjoyed your adventure.

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  11. Great trip, well-written travelogue.

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  12. Wow, what a trip. I enjoyed it. I didn't know that about Walmart.

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  13. i so enjoyed this trip and will miss reading about it. i enjoyed the video, watching you and greg interact, hearing your voices!!!

    you took some great pictures and chronicled this trip well. it must be good to be home as we all know "there's no place like home"!!!

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    1. Thank you Debbie, very happy you enjoyed it. It was indeed very good to be home :)

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  14. Wow that was some road trip. Well done.I wish I had been with you.

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    1. It would have been super to have you come with us Diane.

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  15. well that's certainly what's the most wonderful trip you add hello very scary with that young girl coming on the wrong side of the road. She doesn't realise how close you are to crossing a very bad accident.

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  16. I still have a Facebook account (I think) but never go near it now. I got tired of all the nastiness that can go on there. It opened my eyes about remote family members, though.

    Well, Denise, I must thank you for the most interesting accounts you gave of all your travels. Enjoyable and educational, I loved it all.

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    1. Thanks Valerie, so happy you enjoyed them. Seems we are the same about FB :)

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  17. Hi Both and thank you for such a wonderful journey into areas of America we are never likely to see, and my you have certainly covered some mileage. I bet it was wonderful to get home even though you have obviously had a super time travelling. Great posts to have been following. You have set the bar very high for your next posts. All the best, John

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    1. Hi John, yes it was fabulous to see home again. I don't think the next few posts will be as interesting. All the best to you too From both of us :)

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  18. Hello, Denise! I am glad you were not hit, sounds like a close call. The video is great, I like hearing your voices. The barn shots are wonderful, love the foggy scenes. Welcome home! Happy Sunday, enjoy your day and the new week ahead!

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    1. Thanks Eileen and glad you enjoyed the video and rest of the post. Happy Sunday and have a great week :)

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  19. Denise and Gregg, welcome back home. Enjoyed following your trip. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you for both of us Doug and you are so very welcome. I am glad you enjoyed it.

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  20. WOw....you did go all over! Nice. I loved the barn with the quilt block on it. I just have wood cut the other day for one I am going to do for my sis in law to hang on their barn! So glad you were not hit. Scary.

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    1. We did didn't we? :) I would love to see that quilt block you are going to make. I have always enjoyed your creativity.

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  21. It was wonderful following you and looking at the lovely scenery along your drive. Glad that you are safely back home and had a beautiful holiday.

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    1. Thank you Nancy, it makes me happy that you enjoyed our travels.

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  22. I enjoyed this final post about your cross-country trip, Denise, even if I didn't comment on every post. Thanks for all the commentaries and photos. The photo of yourself and Gregg is very nice and I can see why it's one of your favorites! I enjoyed your expressions in the video that Gregg shot after you finished driving on those hairpin turns.

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    1. Thank you Beatrice, much appreciated :)

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  23. I enjoyed reading a out your cross-country trip. What an amazing trip! Thank you for including the map that records your trip.

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    1. Thank you Linda, very happy you have been enjoying our travels. I asked Gregg to trace the outline of our trip on a map and thought it came out very well. We have been enjoying your trip also :)

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  24. Such a fantastic trip and 8,106 miles ...Wow.
    Yes, I like that last photo of the two of you.

    My good wishes

    All the best Jan

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    1. So kind of you Jan, thanks again and the same to you :) Denise

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