Roadtrek Roadtrip, Winter Edition

I left Vermont yesterday, January 28. Going to Connecticut and visiting the month old great-grandson was first on the list – and his mother, and aunt (to whom I was delivering mittens knit as a late Christmas gift) and his grandfather. I was good to see, and catch up with, that piece of the family – and have a chance to snuggle the latest addition! Then it was over to visit a friend. It was supposed to be a quick overnight, and leave this morning for Baltimore and southern Maryland – but the weather forecast made that seem very unwise. When the big trucks are asked to be off the highway by 6AM, I figure I should, too! So today was spent knitting, and being leaned on by Bader: 

We did go out to clean off vehicles, and so I could bring in the makings for dessert – and again when the men with the snowblowers showed up to get the vehicles out of their way, so they could clear the driveway. It was still snowing when it got dark.

Seed head on ornamental grasses

Better Late Than Never? Roadtrek Roadtrip Summary

Ah, yes. Life has been full, and I never put together the promised summary of my recent trip – even though I’ve been back for weeks!

Miles traveled: about 6277

Days away: 46

Money spent on camping: $10!! (Most camping was in National Forests, and free; otherwise I was mostly in driveways.)

Money spent on 313 gallons of fuel: $987 (Not counting the last fill up after I returned, because I didn’t record it.)

Average: 19.9 MPG – better then my usual 15 by quite a bit! I’m pleased with my van.

Meals eaten out: 2 (the advantage of having my kitchen with me!)

States visited: VT, NH, MA, CT, NY, PA, MD, WV, VA, NC, SC, GA, FL, AL, MS, LA, TX, NM, OK, KS, MO, IN, IL, OH, then back through WV, PA, NY, VT. Not quite half the states in the US! And I was only gone six weeks…

There should be some photo on this page – but nothing jumps out at me. I’ll make up for that as I post about what I’ve been doing since my return! I had a great time kayaking, visiting family, knitting, visiting family, kayaking, visiting friends, knitting, visiting family, camping in some beautiful places.

Roadtrek Roadtrip, Part 17: Pennsylvania to Vermont – Home Again, Home Again!

Sunday, December 5: I parked in a Cracker Barrel parking lot last night, as the campgrounds I wanted closed for the season two weeks ago. Grumble. I’m not sure why – it’s hunting season, hunters camp. And they don’t have running water anyway, so the possibility of it freezing is not an excuse. And there’s no snow yet, around there. But it was flat, and quiet, and dark enough. I treated myself to breakfast before I left, and still was on the road at 8:25. My route alternated between secondary highways and pieces of interstates, a good balance between speed (not that I cruise as fast as the speed limit, usually!) and interest.

Lewis Hardwood, in Picture Rocks, Pennsylvania – I wish I knew the stories these murals tell!
These two photos were taken from an overlook on old route 220. They would have been so much better if it had not been overcast and hazy, but the views were amazing.
The largest “Little Free Library” I’ve seen, this one was in New Albany, still in Pennsylvania. I didn’t browse the collection, as I wasn’t looking for books and didn’t have any in the camper accessible enough to leave.
Then I was into New York State, cruising through lots of forest and farmland, and on to Vermont.

This sculpture is probably by Anna Radocchia, of Bennington, Vermont. I’ve not seen a lot of her work, but this one I really like – even just leaning against a barn, not displayed to advantage. I bet when the sun hits it right, it casts really interesting shadows.

Tomorrow I’ll try to do a summary of the trip; the cat is demanding attention!

Roadtrek Roadtrip, Part 14: Santa Fe to Ford Lake, Kansas

Monday, November 29: My Roadtrek and my cousins’ Pleasureway said goodbye to each other – and I said goodbye to the family remaining in the house, and I and the Roadtrek headed east and north. My first stop was for fuel in Las Vegas – no, not the one famous for casinos!

Then on across the eastern part of the state, leaving the Rockies (some of which were showing snow) and out onto the high plains.

Then it was on into

And then Kansas – although there was no marking of that state line; for a while there seemed to be equal numbers of license plates from Oklahoma and Kansas, and then they were mostly Kansas. I was back in cotton country, and then back to wind farms.

I ended the evening at Ford State Fishing Lake

just north of Dodge City, Kansas. Kansas State Fishing Lakes are a reason to visit Kansas all on their own – free camping, on water, usually quiet and dark, with level spaces, and the chance to kayak if time permits. Yes, it does say self-pay station – but there isn’t one, and from previous experience, and their web site, I didn’t expect to pay. Although I would have been willing to; this is a great value. I got in too late – it was already dusk, and the sun had set – so I ate dinner, knitted several rows, and went to bed.

Tuesday, November 30: Up before the sun, I went down to the water, taking photos before the sun got above the trees.

Then I got the kayak back in the camper, and drove and drove and drove; it clouded over, and I didn’t make many stops – and they weren’t scenic. I ended in Warrensburg, Missouri, to visit friends. There was a good sunset, but no good place to get its photo.

Roadtrek Roadtrip, Part 11: Louisiana to Texas

Sunday, November 14: Leaving Uncle Dick’s campground, this bridge (with all its signs!) was only a couple of miles down the road. The Roadtrek is low enough so the height restriction wasn’t an issue. And this is what the bridge looks like:

Then it was out to the interstate, and on to Texas; I generally avoid the big highways (boring, and hard on the body), but today was a day to aim for my destination and get there before dark! I stopped for a good break at the Texas Welcome Center, calling to give an ETA in San Antonio, and eating breakfast.

Roadtrek through Texas

I stopped for fuel, and the place was lined with birds, waiting for some of that pizza?

I did have to call for directions when I got close – those I’d printed out were clearly misleading! But I still made it before dark, and was greeted by several humans, dog and cat – and the local deer –

And later that evening the resident spider came out; it works on its web nightly.

Roadtrek Roadtrip, Part 10: Florida to Louisiana

Saturday, November 13: Having started the morning in Florida, it wasn’t far to Daphne, Alabama. My mission was to deliver the piece of driftwood (shown above as it was transported in the Roadtrek) to the granddaughter of the South Carolina cousins. Except for the failure of the mapping program to get me around the gate between me and their house, this was a relatively easy thing to accomplish, and not much off my route. Then it was on across the short end of Alabama, and the same with Mississippi. The Mississippi Welcome Center had a collection of interesting sculpture, and I spent my walking around time admiring it.

The herons had a couple of these little guys hanging out.

Then it was on to Louisiana. Their Welcome Center featured an alligator under the fall themed tree.

I went north of New Orleans, listening to Creole music and French on the radio, waving distantly to the friends I wasn’t stopping to see in the area. There had clearly been a lot of storm/wind damage; there were a lot of trees down and a lot of blue tarps on roofs. There were crews out dealing with downed wood along several sections of the interstate highway, which seems to have lost some of its signage. It was relatively early when I stopped for the day, at a campground near Lafayette that had a boat launch, and I was on the water by 3:30. I will give that kayaking its own post tomorrow.

Roadtrek Roadtrip, Part 8: Moving Bears?

In Georgia, in the rain, next to me at a traffic light.

My plan had been to spend another night on the road, probably in southern Georgia – but the weather forecast was for a tropical storm to hit northern Florida and southern Georgia, so I decide to push on through. It made for a very long day, and more miles than my body was happy with, but I didn’t have to deal with the heavy rain and damaging wind that was coming, and causing cancellations of all kinds of events in that area. I got to New Port Richie, and my youngest granddaughter and her family, at about 8:30 or so.

Roadtrek Roadtrip, Part 3: Conway and Myrtle Beach, S.C.

This small neighborhood Decorates for Halloween. Two of the houses put an amazing amount of effort into it. If you can, zoom in on the porch shown in the daylight; there are things I didn’t see until I did that!

Today was a beautiful day, with comfortable temperatures; we spent a lot of time on the back deck, knitting, reading, throwing balls for Amber. When her humans went in, she lined them all up –

For dinner, we went to The Captain’s House in Myrtle Beach. We were met by a wooden Captain at the door. The food was excellent, as was the view: