12,000-mile, 120-day, 26-State journey began January 8. You can see our tentative
route on the map on our home page. We expect to take about 4 months to make the circuit,
staying overnight in about 70 different locations. We’re going to try
and square dance in every
State we visit, see the best zoos along the way
and ride the fastest, tallest, scariest roller coasters we can find.
Two days before we left,
it began snowing. While it didn't accumulate much, maybe 1-2 inches in our
area, it was very cold overnight. The roads and our driveway were
extremely icy in the morning. That's not the weather we anticipated on
the day we left home. So much for The Farmer's Almanac prediction for cold
but clear and dry conditions.
If the snow wasn't enough
to cause us to worry, how about a rear-ender accident in the Tracker about
7:30 p.m. the night before our departure date? Yep, right there near home
a young woman hit us in the rear on our way to dinner!
Fortunately, we couldn't find a scratch on the Tracker (although the
little Honda that hit us was not so lucky and had to be towed home with a
bashed-in front and a leaking radiator). And we call it our Toy
Truck...guess it showed us what it is really made of. So with a
hopefully undamaged Tracker in tow, we decided to leave on schedule, and
our insurance agent would just have to track us down.
Tuesday, January 8:
Pocomoke City, MD
On Tuesday morning we
left on our adventure, with our first scheduled overnight stop in Pocomoke
City, Maryland. It was bumper to bumper traffic as usual on the Baltimore
Beltway, and we were looking forward to driving on America's less-traveled
roads. As the day warmed up, melting ice flew off our motorhome
roof. We finally arrived at the Pocomoke City Wal-Mart.
it was cold outside, we weren't worried about being comfortable since we
had a generator, propane and bottled water. We were all settled in a
nice cozy 75-degree motorhome with coffee brewing and Bonnie working away
on the laptop until, about an hour later, the generator died without
warning. No matter what we tried it just wouldn't restart. The
temperature in the motorhome plummeted from 75 to 50 in 15 minutes.
We thought "that's OK, we're at a Wal*Mart supercenter where they can
probably just fix the generator." Wrong. We found out
Wal*Mart doesn't do generators. So there was nothing left to do but
snuggle under the sheets, a blanket, the bedspread and a sleeping bag and
try to sleep.
January 9: Elizabeth City, NC
8 a.m. the next morning, we went to the Carlton Massey Ford dealer right
in Pocomoke City to get the generator fixed. What a pleasant experience
that turned out to be. Kevin wrote up a work order right away and Doug
started to work on it immediately. It turned out it needed a new
fuel pump, which was not in stock and they would have to locate
waiting for the generator to be repaired, we visited the Sturgis One Room
Schoolhouse Museum, which calls itself the only African-American one room
school remaining in Worcester County that retains its original integrity.
The school was originally built around 1888-1900 on land purchased for $25
in the countryside but was moved to Pocomoke City in 1997 to preserve it
and make it more accessible to visitors. The director, Ms. Sudie G.
Gatling, who taught fourth grade for more than 30 years in the Worcester
County school system, gave us a tour.
1:30 p.m., we had paid Chris and were headed down the road to Elizabeth
City, NC. Crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, we finally had a
chance to throw a "Flagger Bag" to our first Flagger; what fun!
night was a much more pleasant experience than the night before. We stayed
at a Wal-Mart again but this time we had a working generator!
Because of our earlier delay, we didn't arrive until late in the evening
so we just ate dinner, worked on web stuff, and watched a video.
& Fri, January 10 & 11: Morehead City, NC
we lost so much time waiting for the generator to be repaired, and because
it was pretty cold, we decided not to go down the Outer Banks.
Instead we left early for Morehead City, traveling down highway 17 which
took us through New Bern. We stopped on the way at the Tryon Palace, a mansion
built in 1769 for the Royal Governor of NC.
stayed at the Whispering Pines campground in Morehead City. We were
the only ones there except for some very friendly Mallards. Now that
we could finally hook up to water and electricity, we filled the tanks
and took hot showers! All clean and refreshed, we dined on seafood
at the Channel Marker overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway and were happy
campers again. Our waitress, Lindsey, even gave us a huge bag of
bread, so they were happy ducks too.
we went to the NC Aquarium and Maritime Museum, ate at Ottis' Seafood
& Produce, then square-danced with the Gulls & Bouys that
night. They made us feel very welcome
and we had a great time with them.
January 12-14: Myrtle Beach, SC
Wrightville Beach in Wilmington, we stopped for a late lunch at the Dockside Inn
on the way to Myrtle Beach. It was fun watching the pelicans and all the
boats come and go while we ate Cajun Shrimp Bisque and Mahi-Mahi sandwiches.
we got to take the Ft. Fisher to Southport Ferry, which was the first time
taken our motorhome
on a ferry ride. That
was cool because they put us in the middle of the ferry up front because
we were bigger so we had a great view during the 1/2-hour ride. Of course,
like all motorhome owners, we had to go up to the top deck to check out
decided to stay at the Lakewood Camping Resort for 3 nights in Myrtle
Beach, where we would have complete hookups including CATV and a modem phone line
right at our site for just $23 a night (gotta love those off-season
rates!) Took advantage of the faster internet connection on the
first night to finally
update our website and send email to friends.
next morning we visited Huntington Beach State Park and
went inside the Atalaya, an amazing
Spanish Mediterranean style "winter home" built by Archer &
Anna Huntington, during the depression period. It's an
all-brick 30-room home surrounding a huge courtyard, including about 10
servant's rooms, indoor & outdoor studios, stables, dog kennels, and
even a bear pen because Anna sculpted live animals.
there, we went to Pawley's Island where we found lots of shells and
interesting sea species :-)
The Hot Fish Club in Murrel's Inlet was our choice for dinner
where we had raw oysters, she-crab soup and a wonderful combination plate
of grilled grouper, scallops, shrimp and fried oysters in their Raw Bar
Monday, we hung out at the beach at our campground, did some shopping,
then went to the Sand Dollar Squares' 25th Anniversary Dance where we got
another dangle for our collection and a door prize!