Yes – this is the same blog, with the same title, I wrote during the year I was on-the-road, driving my 29′ Minnie Winnie cross-country. (Check out a few of the previous posts – some great photos of all the places I visited!)
I would love to still be living that lifestyle – deciding from day-to-day where I will call home for the next night, or day, or the next week, always excited to see what lies around the next bend in the road. I promised everyone who was kind enough to ‘ride along with me’ during that year that if I ever went back on-the-road that I would start writing this blog again. Well… here we go again.
From previous posts, you know I had to come home and toss out the renters I had living in my house. Then the market crashed and gas prices started going through the ceiling and I unexpectedly got a great offer for my Minnie – so I moved back into my little house by the sea.
Now don’t get me wrong, Wilmington, NC is a nice place to call home and my home is quite nice. I have this big river outside my window and an even bigger ocean just 3 miles from my door. Wilmington has a nice, medium-sized college that guarantees we get a good selection of continuing-ed classes; we are home to the longest-lasting community theater in the US, Thalian Hall; I have met and made a number of great friends whose company I truly enjoy. BUT…..knew that was coming, didn’t you?
Everyday is the same. The weather is basically always good, the golf courses are all flat, the community is mostly retirees from somewhere other than here, every Spring we worry about the upcoming hurricane season, every day the tide comes in and then goes out….and I am SO BORED!
I shouldn’t be. I lead an ever-growing group of women who’s passion for fine fabrics and sewing is the same as mine called The Sewing Fashionistas; I volunteer for several groups, I am on the Board of several organizations that take me to ‘the big city’ of Raleigh fairly often, I belong to a interesting book club, I free-lance write for several publications, I’ve learned to kayak, I even came out of retirement, organized and lead a tour of sewists to a big fiber show in Seattle in March. I try to interfere in my son’s lives but they’ve learned long ago to ignore my advice (neither are married, so no grandkids to spoil or baby-sit). I love to read, hike, kayak, and attend the theater, meet friends for drinks and dinner…so why you ask, are you bored? I blame it on being bitten by the wanderlust bug when I was very young.
My dad was a railroad man. Every vacation that we took of any distance was via the train. I loved traveling this way. I remember the first time I got to sleep all alone in the upper berth; the shining silver and freshly starched tablescloths in the dining cars; the white-coated porters. But best of all was the ever-changing scenery passing by outside my window. I wanted to hop off the train and explore and live, for just a little while, in every town we passed through.
When I got older and traveling to locations all over the world was part of my business, I continued to want to stay and live in the city I was visiting – at least for a little while. London, Dublin, Rome, Berlin, Brussels, Dubrovnik, Paris – anywhere and everywhere. But those pesky little things like responsibilities and family always got in the way. I actually did try and talk my dear, late husband into quitting his job, packing up the house and kids and moving….somewhere unique and wonderful and different….just for a little while. Unfortunately, that never happened.
So here I am, a ‘ semi-retired, soon-to-be-65-year-old widow who for the past year has been living what most would call a very good, normal life which I just can’t stand any longer. I’ve got to get out of here and once again hit the road.
The older I grow, especially as I reach the milestone Medicare-age, I need to see, do, travel, teach, learn, understand, grow, meet, touch and interact with the lives of people I have yet to meet and places I have yet to see. I just heard how the increase in gas prices are changing how we live our daily lives. I may sound crazy, but I would rather spend all my savings on multiple tanks of gas just so I can live the rest of my life driving along an open road.
I decided to lay out my ‘dream’ road-trip route for this summer. I went to a trip-planning website and clicked all the places I wanted to see. WOW – but guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when my route turned out to be 12,000 miles – which will basically take me in a complete circle along the edges of the U.S. and southern Canada.
My plan is to stay completely off any and all Interstates for the entire trip. I want to see our country and meet the people that live along the smaller highways and byways, not just get from one side to the other as fast as I can, with only man-made rest stops and off-ramp gas stations and restaurants to keep me going. I want to breathe fresh air and take all the time I want to stop and enjoy each minute of every day.
I have received 2 boxes filled with Tour Books and maps from AAA (I also renewed my Roadside Assistance insurance). I plan to take the hard-top off my 2001 Jeep Wrangler, put on the new KoolBreeze Bikini Top, and have requested as my birthday present from my boys the back Duster cover and the new Cab Cover to throw on when it decides to pour. Using a Gas Estimator App, I have calculated that I will need 48-50 tanks of gas to cover the miles I plan to drive. (Did I mention that on the northern loop I plan to go all the way to Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia before turning back south into Maine?)
I have approached several publications about writing a series of articles and will be keeping a daily blog as well. Thought I could cover subjects such as “Cross-Country Travel Tips,” ” Older Woman Travelin’ Solo,” “The Best Mom & Pop Diners, Restaurants, Motels, etc. (fill-in-the-blank) to be Found in the U.S. of A.” I even had someone suggest that I seek-out all the fabric stores along the way, stop in for a visit and see what America is sewing. It would be great to find a sponsor for my trip or a way to make a little money to help pay for those 48 tanks of gas! I’m open to any ideas and suggestions and also invitations for dinner along the way.
Right now I am preparing for getting my knee scoped next month (the result of getting off my bicycle at an odd angle) then recovering quickly so I can ‘shift’ the gears of my Jeep for those 12,000 miles.
Drop me a line and share with me all the places you think I need to see or eat and interesting people I should meet and interview along my route. In turn, I’ll take you along with me on this great adventure!
Until next time……