Saturday, August 19, 2006

Primed for a 7 a.m. departure

By 7 a.m. Sunday, I'll be on my way north. So where am I stopping?

You won't find out until Monday. We're putting a one-day delay on all our vote results for security reasons. I figure most of you are pretty nice people, but having seen a grillion Law & Order segments, I want to be sure I don't end up as one of those true stories on which they base their plots. So we won't tell you where I've been until -- in Elvis speak -- I've actually left the building. Thanks for understanding.


Debbie Kowalsky said...

Congratulations! So excited for you! My husband and I have been road-tripping for almost 20 years now and I have done several alone (or with a teen in tow) for about five years, including several cross-country jaunts. You will be amazed--not just by the sights and sounds of this wonderful country--but by how friendly people are. Only one scary time--when I was alone with the boys who were 5 and 8 and went on a tubing trip in Delaware. After paying my money and parking my car (with Florida tags and all our money and belongings) inside a warehouse in Delaware, we were driven across the state line into Pennsylvania and dropped off with innertubes in our bathing suits. The man told us just to go downriver and promised (based on the flow of the river) that he would pick us up in two hours. I had a few scary thoughts as we were tubing down that river, but he was there waiting with the pickup when we arrived and the 5-year-old learned that real, live fish live in non-Disney rivers.

Anonymous said...

History:: Your mid-west travel will allow a few nice side trips. Look into homes, museums and libraries of Presidents Jackson, Truman, Clinton, Hoover, and Eisenhower.

You also would like to see a little Americana- specifically Mark Twain and Elvis Presley's homes. Mostly have fun

Gisela said...

Ms. Wooldridge, how about visiting Winter Park, Fl (if you haven't already passed it). It has the Morse Museum and all it's Tiffany items. Or doing some antique shopping in Mount Dora and Micanopy. Florida also has a Havana, north of Tallahassee, may be a one street town, but their web page is cute. I hear Nicholson's Farmhouse is worth the trip (@ SR 12, 3.5 mi w of US 27, 200 Coca Cola Avenue, 850-539-5931). Probably any plantation in northern Florida will be a nice change of pace. Check out gadsden county--just the web page looks calming. There's also a Frank Lloyd Wright house/home @ 3117 Okeeheepkee Rd. (It may be a private home.) Depending on how far west you want to see FL, you may want to pass by Seaside or any of the beach communities--haven't been, but hear it's nice.
In Georgia, check out the Blue Willow Inn Restaurant, 294 N. Cherokee Rd, Social Circle, GA, 800-552-8813. Web pictures are darling.
In addition to your audio books, consider comedy tapes. You know, listening to Robin Williams, Jeff Foxworthy, Alvarez Guedes and others makes the time fly.
I'm sure you'll have a great time! America is beautiful!!

G VanDoren said...

Good luck on the first leg of your journey! Florida does have some long and boring roads so hopefully you will have time to take "a road less traveled" like Highway 27, 441 or 19 and stop off at some pretty and interesting spot like Howey-in-the Hills, Sanford on Lake Monroe, or one of our beautiful state parks. Suwanee River State Park Located 13 miles west of Live Oak, off U.S. 90 is rich in local history. Wakulla Springs State Park and Lodge near Tallahassee is listed on the Natural Register of Historic Places and is designated as a National Natural Landmark. Whatever you decide to do we all wish you the best and we'll be vicariously enjoying your trip!

Wishful Thinking Ranch said...

Have a fantastic and safe trip. We will be following your progress. Call if you need a family voice.
Bob & Cathy

George Groneman said...

The KC Star said you were looking for the best BBQ. Try any Gate's location. Order a dry slab or shortend with fries. Get their sauce on the side not on the slab. Dip your ribs, fries and bread in the sauce. It's much better this way. The Steamboat Arabia Museum in the City Market is a must see in Kansas City. The museum tells the story of how a few ordinary people turned treasure hunters and located and excavated a fully loaded riverboat that had been buried for over 100 years. It also displays all of the diverse and beautiful odjects recovered from the ship. In fact the careful recovery and restoration process is still going on and you can watch as additional objects are removed from their original containers and prepared for display. The Truman Library would be second on my list. If you take I-70 west from KC you can visit the Eisenhower Library and go through Denver. While I-70 isn't very exciting I-80 is even more boring. From Denver you can take I-25 North to I-80 or continue on I-70 and take US 40 highway north. Have a great trip. George

Ted said...

I do hope you're planning on stopping to see some sites between Kansas City and Glacier! After law school, I spent a month driving around the country (mostly solo) – just like you, picking out the next day's route and itinerary only after I stopped for the night. This led to some wonderful and unexpected finds (who knew Utah had such amazing national parks?!). If you're out to see "America," I would recommend staying off the interstates. Yes, they're quicker, and in some places, like driving across the never-ending cornfields of Kansas, more practical. But you'll miss an awful lot of the small towns and quirks that make this country so interesting.

One exception: I-90 in South Dakota. Heading west from Minnesota, you'll start seeing signs for Wall Drug. The signs continue for some 300 miles - a throwback to the old Burma Shave billboards - until you just HAVE to stop and see what all the fuss is about (I'll let you find that out on your own). Once there, it's a short hop to the Badlands, Mt. Rushmore, and the still-being-carved Crazy Horse Memorial (a 360-degree monument being carved out of a mountain top). Then you can stop to experience some powerful history at Little Bighorn on your way to Glacier (and if you’re looking for company, there's a tiny little snack shop run by very friendly locals just as you leave the far edge of Little Bighorn Battlefield).

If you like pie ... there's this fantastic little place ("Oregon's Best Goodies") on Route 26 east of Portland, near Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge ... but that's for another post.

Finally - if you plan on stopping at more than one or two national parks, consider getting a National Parks Pass, which covers the entrance fee for all parks charging a fee (the big ones all do). Check out for details.

Happy trails!

B. Rush said...

I travel out west for two months every year and after 15 years discovered that the best way to learn about the folks who live west and northwest of us is to stay away from the obvious attractions. Yes, Yosemite and the space Needle are great to see, but the only people you will meet there are other tourists, not the genuine self-made westerners, cowboys and Indians who make up the real west. Through my own journeys, I discovered the joys of rockhounding, got adopted by an elder Navajo, made some wonderful new friends who wait for me every year and saw some scenery you won't find in those travel books you've got there. For starters, I would suggest you check out the Wind River Reservation on your way to the Tetons or Yellowstone or Montana. Meet the Shoshone, especially Mike Greywolf the medicine man and his partner Wanda who are both artists and who built the most spacious hogan with their own hands out of pine logs. Check out the bustling Gallup flea Market on Saturday mornings for Navajo herbs, reasonably priced gorgeous jewelry and roasted corn on the cob. Look into Window Rock, AZ to witness a modern day reservation, complete with cultural center, museum and library. Visit Taos Pueblo and look at a village that is thousands of years old. Maybe you will still be there when Grammy winner Robert Mirabal hosts his annual Halloween scare fest. When you get to the west coast, travel north of Reno to Pyramid Lake for stunning scenery, and then to Gerlach, the gateway to the Black Rock Desert.Say hello to Bruno Selmi who has been running the town of 350 since 1950. He's got the country club and hotel there and the best ravioli in Nevada. In Colorado, stop off at Salida to see a real interesting artsy mountain town, with buidings that date back to the late 1800's. It's got great motels,fantastic restaurants, and people whose hearts are as huge as the 14,000 foot peaks that surround them. You will have a wonderful and safe experience at all these places I've mentioned-and there are so many more! I've posted some photos on my blog at
Have a wonderful trip and drive safely! Bette

Jane said...

Thanks all, and keep coming back to visit! To those of you who suggested Florida stops, I do a lot of traveling in Florida, so we've by-passed most of the state in order to get to places I haven't been...thanks so much!