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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Random Thoughts on a 1400 Mile Road Trip

Florida to Michigan. A road trip of nearly 1400 miles. Nine states. Gallons of coffee. An overdose of fast food. Way too many traffic tie-ups. Monotonous highway fatigue. All leading to a weary traveler's quirky random thoughts, observations and no particular order.
  • The American highway system is obsolete, hazardous and just plain screwed up. There is simply not enough concrete to hold the massive amounts of traffic that traverse the interstate routes on a daily basis. When you have more vehicles than a road can accommodate, there's bound to be chaos.
  • The United States desperately needs an efficient, reliable, high-speed rail system like they have throughout Europe.
  • I resolve never ever ever to travel Interstate 95. Bumper to bumper from Florida to the Arctic. Numerous deadly accidents...each grisly scene we were forced to drive by at 5 mph.
  • Waldo, Florida...a very sneaky speed trap.
  • Stopover in Asheville, North Carolina...the San Francisco of the Appalachians. Where grungies and zillionaires co-exist in altitude-adjustment toleration.
  • Best breakfast ever...Tupelo Honey Cafe, Asheville.
  • Skyline chili...Cinncinnati's signature disappointingly bad and packs a wallop of indigestion.
  • Who knew the Amish dined out at Skyline Chili? An Amish couple pulled up in an older car, ordered chili and Greek salad and bowed to pray before they ate. Maybe their horse and buggy was in the shop.
  • If you lined up all the Interstate road kill end to end, it would reach the moon. Then the smell would obliterate it.
  • Nine times out of ten, the really, really slow car in the fast lane that refuses to move over, creating a long tie up behind a Ford Taurus.
  • Recipe to relieve boredom: DQ pit stop every afternoon.
  • The South seems to have more Dairy Queens than the North.
  • On average, Burger King restrooms are cleaner than McDonald's restrooms.
      • Clothing sightings along the roadside: 9 single items of footware...mostly tennis shoes. 1 pair of jeans. 3 shirts/blouses. 7 baseball caps. 1 fuscia rain slicker.
      • The mountain tops are literally being scalped by mining companies and developers.
      • I wonder who litters the Appalachian hills and hollers with old washing machines, broken down church buses and rusty tractors.
      • The South has the prettiest and longest spring ever...and the most pollen.
      • Nicest McDonalds ever: Van Wert, Ohio. Hip, edgy decor. Upscale ambiance. Leather chairs. Cozy fireplace. Outdoor patio seating. Ultra clean. Friendly service.
      • If I stuck my face out the car window going at a speed of 75 miles an hour, would my head blow off?
      • Michigan welcome sign: "Pure Michigan". Yippee. All the snow is gone.
      • The scenic shoreline of northwest Michigan along the big blue lake with its towering cliffs and magnificent views, reminds me of the California Pacific coast.
      25 hours after we began our trip...home sweet and sound. It's good to be back in Michigan. Our own cozy bed never felt so comfy.
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      Coffeypot said...

      How did you get to Michigan via I-95? You almost had to go I-75 thus putting you within 10 miles of my house. I would have bought you a cup of coffee to add to y'all's gallons. Maybe next time.

      Steel Magnolia said...

      From a fellow road warrior who has driven coast to coast multiple times and from north to south more than I care to remember ... cheers! Your insights are spot on. And no, if you stick your head out the window at 75 MPH it wouldn't blow off but your lips and jaws will flap and catch the random bug in flight plus you might lose an earring. I know my hair would look like Bridet Jones after her convertible ride. I'd still be brushing it out. Welcome home ;-)

      Boomer Pie. said...

      Where bouts do ya live, Coffeepot?
      We zig-zagged from Gulf area across central FLA to I95 then across to I75 cuz we stopped in Asheville. Would've loved to shared java and chit chat with ya.

      gayle said...

      Yea Ashville,NC

      Coffeypot said...

      I'm in Woodstock, GA. Going up I-75 you passed I-575 which goes to the area where I live. Maybe next time.

      Boomer Pie. said...

      Hey, Coffeepot...we were practically neighbors. We used to live down the road in Peachtree City and up the road in Blue Ridge. Eventually, Hotlanta got too sultry for us so we moved to cold country.

      Anonymous said...

      I live in GA too, the other side of where you were driving. But I love your blog! Always a good read here. Thanks

      ReformingGeek said...

      I would love to go to Ashville.

      I agree that we need a rail system!

      Glad you are home.

      Sarah said...

      yay! this means all the repair works in your house are done. nothing is better than sleeping on your own bed.

      Boomer Pie. said...

      Sarah, you are so insightful. The carpeting is being replaced today and then all the flood damage remodeling should be complete. Thanks for your good wishes.

      Boomer Pie. said...

      Steelxmag: so glad I did not attempt such a risky move. Your description is hilarious and probably true!

      Janet said...

      sounds like an eventful trip--glad you are home safe and sound.--Janet

      Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

      I don't envy you the long journey, but I really would love to visit Asheville some day.

      And what? Invest in the infrastructure? Mass transit? Oh, that would make too much sense!

      J.P. Travis said...

      I'm thinkin' those weren't Amish people. I'm thinkin' they were either Mennonites - the loose-livin' cousins of the Amish - or environmental whackos celebrating Earth Day.

      The bike shed said...

      I really enjoyed this post - the distances are not so great in Wales, but many of the issues much the same.

      We get a lot of slow tractors - ad I mean really slow!

      Brenda Grolle said...

      Thanks for sharing your random thoughts. Interesting.

      Marla said...

      Great observations. Glad you made it home. safe and sound.

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