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  1. #101
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia


    Quote Originally Posted by ll18 View Post
    We wanted to drive the Trace last month, but all we found was the Land on Either Side of the Lakes. We took a detour off I24 between Nashville and St. Louis specifically to drive the Trace, but we never found it off Hwy 76....
    Agreed, not easy to find. I went into two supermarkets to ask for directions, and the sign was right there, where the lovely (local) lady told me to look. LOL

    Lifey does not have any special sign reading skills

  2. Default

    Just dropped by to see how the big adventure is going. Geez you are getting around over there.

    Miss you in the forums back on Oztion.

    Looking forward to reading the next installments.
    Last edited by UKCraig; 08-28-2009 at 05:29 AM.

  3. #103
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Missouri

    Joplin cont.

    It was in the carpark behind the Red Onion Restaurant in Joplin that we met Helen and her husband. We were on our way to dine, when I spotted the Subaru Outback and decided to have a really good look at it. I had long been convinced that my Outback is very different from the Outback on North American roads. Unbeknowns to glc and I, the owners of the car were about to cross the road and only meters away. When I explained my interest in the car, they opened it and I had a chance to check it out.

    Helen and I hit it off immediately. The men talked their own language. Before we got to dine, Helen had invited either or both of us to drop by anytime we are in Carthrage. And so it was when I left Joplin, I headed for Carthrage to see Helen's creations in pottery. We had nowhere near enough time to socialise, but I know we will again, some other time.

    The dinner at the Red Onion was great and the meal the following night at the Red Lobster was absolutely delicious... even though I was not allowed to pay. :(

    Clever MO

    On my initial trip from LAX to Boston, I had met a couple of truckers at the truck stop in Harborcreek PA. They had convinced me that it was fine to stay there overnight, and guided me as to how to go about it, and where to park. It is to them I owe my confidence at truck stops. We exchanged contact details, and I was invited to their home if ever I should be out Springfield MO way.... provided they were going to be home.

    That is how I found myself in Clever MO on Sat 22nd August. The husband and wife truckers were home for around 18 hours, to celebrate grandson's third birthday. It was good to see them again, and I was immediately welcomed into the family circle of two daughters, a son-in-law and three grandchildren. What a delight that evening was, to be able to sit at the table with the whole family, eating a wholesome home cooked meal and celebrating that third birthday. We talked for many hours about ever so many subjects, and because of the heritage in a part of this family, I learned much about the history of the Native Indians of North America. It is not possible to create or plan these precious and unforgetable moments which I cherise so much.

    Early next morning I was off again, bound for Melbourne KY.

  4. #104
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default "Heart warming"

    It's refreshing to hear about the kind folk out there who are willing to share there table etc to 'relative' strangers, it makes a nice change in this day and age where most stories regarding us lot are of a 'negative' content. The fact is there are more good'uns than bad'uns amongst us.
    I take my hat off to you Lifey in the way that you engage yourself with the locals on your fascinating journey !

  5. #105
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default The heartbeat

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    I take my hat off to you Lifey.............
    Thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    ............. in the way that you engage yourself with the locals on your fascinating journey !

    It is the only way I know of, to put my finger on the pulse and get a feeling of this nation's heartbeat . It's great to see all the sights, but absolutely magnificent to get to know the thinking at the grass roots.

    The disturbing nature of some of my discussions has been the number of people who have approached me with requests for help to emigrate. I encourage them to be happy with where they are, until they can be where they want to be.

    Lifey who wants to understand the land where her grandchildren are being raised
    Last edited by Lifemagician; 09-01-2009 at 01:16 PM. Reason: typo

  6. #106
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia


    The Mother Road

    East of Springfield MO, I-44 covers part of the Mother Road - route 66. Here, as along the route from Carthage to Springfield, I stopped and photographed some of the tacky Route 66 tourist attractions. Back in 2007, in Albuquerque NM, I purchased enough (tacky) Route 66 souvenirs to last a lifetime.

    The St Louis Arch

    Ended up going right through the centre of St Louis, having missed the bypass turnoff. I had being told that there is no facility for lone travellers who are not able to walk from the parking garage to the Arch, (only wheel chairs which need someone to push them) I had decided to give it a miss. And this is as close as I got to the Arch.

    This photo was taken while stopped in bottleneck traffic.

    Took I-64 through to Louisville and I-71 to where it meets I-75, from where I would find my way to Melbourne KY. I-64 is a pleasant and relaxing road carrying minimal commercial transport. Downside is that there are also few truck stops. Guess you can't have both!

    In the absence of detailed area maps, I employed my satnav to take me to the town I was seeking to check out. Easier said than done. Not for the first time did it take me into unknown and irrelevant territory. Am I doing something wrong??

    Stopped by a house where a farmer was at the gate, and asked for directions. Told me to go to the end of this road, turn left (satnav was telling me to turn right) and then 5 miles or so. When I had gone about that I figured I best ask again. But where?

    Here were all private properties along this narrow winding road, with absolutely nowhere to pull over. Eventually I saw a parking area, and decided to pull in. There was only one building, but I had not really noticed what it was. I went in....

    In the semi-darkness I could see half a dozen men sitting at a bar with their drink of choice in front of them or in their hands. The barmaid was pulling a beer. One guy looked up, and seeing the map in my hand, said, "Oh! oh! someone's lost." They were kind and helpful, wanting to know where I was from, and told me in no uncertain manner that I had been heading AWAY from Melbourne ever since I turned off highway AA.

    After receiving directions I felt confident and left. He knew what he was talking about. Even though I had been in that pub for less than five minutes, I came out reeking of cigarette smoke, and took quite some time to get it out of my clothes and hair.

    Melbourne KY

    Such as it is... with its couple of dozen houses and handful of commercial buildings.

    The gentleman at the post office told me that he regularly receives mail, which has been mailed in the US and is addressed to somewhere in Melbourne Aust.

    He was a most hospitable gentleman and we chatted for quite some time. I was filled in with all the details of Melbourne... the only school is run by the Catholic Church,

    and in Garfield Avenue there is a building (house) which serves as....

    Having seen all of Melbourne KY in the 60 or so minutes I was there, my focus was back on Boston.
    Last edited by Lifemagician; 09-02-2009 at 08:09 PM.

  7. #107
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    In the absence of detailed area maps, I employed my satnav to take me to the town I was seeking to check out. Easier said than done. Not for the first time did it take me into unknown and irrelevant territory. Am I doing something wrong??
    I don't think yo'ure alone here. Based on pretty much any time I've had someone use satnav as their main way of finding a location thats even a little bit out of the way, the computer is very often going to take you down a bizarre path to get there.

    This is why I get a chuckle whenever we get the occational person who comes through the forum saying Sat Nav is great, you don't need anything else and/or it is better than a good map.

  8. #108
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Pennsylvania

    I-71 and I-70 took me to Bedford PA. The interstates through PA carry a massive amount of eighteen wheelers and seem to always have mile upon mile of road works going on. Yet there is something soothing about the atmosphere. It was not until this time that I noticed it is not just the rolling hills with a new view over every crest... it is the wonderful absence of those hideous roadside advertising signs. The few signs which are roadside are to inform about services and accommodation... but little else.

    Yeah! Pennsylvania is a great state to leisurely traverse and enjoy.


    The $27 (incl. tax) coupon motel in Bedford was clean and comfortable, with fridge, microwave and wifi thrown in. (Even though the motel at which I chose to stay was listed in my satnav, the directions took me to the Hamilton Inn.)

    Covered Bridges of Bedford

    I had seen a sign about the covered bridges of Bedford, and having missed out on seeing any in Iowa, thought I would spend some time here. Next morning bright and early, I was at the Visitor Information centre where I obtained details of a self drive 30 mile tour. I was not disappointed.

    Checked out 8 of the 9 bridges on the tour,

    all but one were on paved roads

    and two of which were not open to traffic.

    The others are all in daily use.

    I so wanted to take down the new sign, and see what was underneath. How long ago was it that one had to pay the princely sum of $5.00 for either going to fast or being too heavy? I was also left wondering where those extra three inches had gone.

    There were other tours as well, but knowing how I linger at sites I enjoy, I figured it was not going to help me get to Boston on time if I were to do another one. There is always next time.

    Gravity Hill

    As part of this tour, there is a very small side attraction called Gravity Hill, where your car will actually roll uphill. Admittedly, the grade is not immediately apparent but it is a definite uphill grade. Put the car in nuetral and it will roll uphill for a short distance. There are two spots on this tiny road where this happens. They are marked. Just to be sure I was not being fooled, I put down a ball, to see which way it rolled. It confirmed that there is definitely a grade there. One of those quirky unexplained events. If I had had a compass with me, I would have checked out whether it worked. I figured maybe there is a magnetic field on that hill somewhere, like you get in some mountain spots where the compass will not work.

    Then on to Altoona to check out one of the features of 'a tour to cure what ails you'.

    When I get to any urban centre I prefer to have a paper map of the place, so I set about looking for the visitor information. Now together with all the instructions which were posted, as well as those which well meaning friends send me, and a satnav... I am blowed if I could even find 17th Street to start. Stopped by Maccas and had a bite to eat, then went on my way again. Guess the rain didn't help... yeah, it rained again. Thankfully I had a fine morning doing my tour of the bridges.

    I-99 to 80 to 81 and onto Gibson... in the pouring rain with miles and miles of road works., but at least I knew what lay at the end. It was a truck stop at which I had stayed some time before.

    Not to be daunted about not finding the cure on the previous day, I put the word 'viaduct' into my satnav, to find another cure. But alas!! It told me to head south for two miles. Now I knew what I was looking for was near Lanesboro, and that was north, so I set out up north. Still I was not happy with ignoring the satnav, and gave it the benefit of the doubt. I exited at 223 and did as I was told... followed highway 11........ south!!

    The Viaduct

    It was quite some miles before I got to some viaduct over the road, but with the blind bend in the road and the huge pile of gravel and the men working at the roadside compound, stopped only briefly to take some (not-so-good) photos. But still that satnav was sending me further and further south and my ambivilence grew - shall I, or shall I not persevere and see to what gem it may take me.

    I persevered! And the reward was unbelievable.

    Right there, where highway 11 meets 92, many miles south of where I had started that morning I chanced upon the Tunkhannock Viaduct.

    I was gobsmacked. I would have to agree with Mr Dreiser. How magnificent it would be to see a steam train atop this majectic structure.

    I wished I were able to climb the path, which I assumed leads to the top. Of course I took ever so many photos, from every possible position. Even dared a short walk along the road to get to a good spot.

    Hwy 92 was to take me back to I-81, but I had not realised that it actually passes beneath the viaduct. And there are houses right below it.

    How I wish I could have eliminated those ugly power lines.
    {I could do that for you-- but it takes too long....Mark}

    Absolutely elated and awestruck, I shot up I-81 > I-88 and decided at this hour it was going to have to be the Masspike once again. :( The satnav was sure to help me avoid missing the turnoff this time.... but alas, how wrong I was. It actually instructed me to exit at route 20, and take that through numerous towns to the Masspike. On the outskirts of Albany I decided to ignore it, and took I-90 all the way to Newton, and my wonderful family.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 09-03-2009 at 12:42 PM.

  9. #109
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default That's all till I get to California

    Having now had a relaxing time in Newton, another visit to the acupuncturist, and an unplanned visit to the ER, I am ready to wind up. All there is left to do is visit the family in New Jersey for the birthdays there, make my way back to St Paul to drop of the car, catch the train to Emmeryville (San Francisco) and visit family members in Santa Clara. From there I will take up my road trip to LAX via the intersection where James Dean lost his life - and associated sites. But until I do that bit... there really is not much more to say.


    If I get around to it, when I get home, I will post just how much the 174 days have cost and where the money went. At this point I only have a vague idea.

    Lifey who is starting to look forward to home

  10. #110

    Default An Epic Journey


    I've thoroughly enjoyed your travel journal entries, particularly when I could overcome pure jealousy that I cannot at this point in my life take such a trip.

    I see you're headed to Cholame, CA, to the James Dean Memorial Junction. If your visit happens to be on 30 September at 5:59pm local time, it will be 54 years to the hour from the wreck which claimed his life (but I don't know how local adoption of Daylight Savings time affects this, nor if CA was on DST back in '55). If you have not already done so, you can readily find pictures of the area, the intersection, and even the wrecked vehicles on the Internet. The store/cafe' nearby features a sculpture which I didn't know about when I did my spur-of-the-moment drive-by in November 2007.

    A good friend of mine was born on 30 September 1955. He claims a spiritual relationship to the late Mr. Dean. I rather doubt it.

    Safe travels,

    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 09-03-2009 at 12:41 PM. Reason: in-line navigation

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