So the adventure has begun. Monday morning, around 9 AM we set off in the Doodle, Carol, Ben and I. And Harper the doodle dog This trip has been months in the planning and it is hard to believe that it is finally here. As I write this it is early on the morning of day three, sitting in the driveway of my older brother Dan’s house in Lincoln, Illinois. Monday was a driving day. We drover just about 700 miles passing through and into seven states, moving west and trying to get miles behind us. I am not a fan of this kind of travel but a schedule has been set by design and circumstance so we planned the first two days as long days of driving, and the plan held up. We arrived here in Lincoln, Illinois about 7:30 last night and had a great visit with Dan which we will continue this morning with coffee. Let me recap the first two days. Leaving Rhode Island was an easy task.
Everything at home has been worked out, Carols’ plants have been moved to our friend Kathy’s house where they will be well taken care of, mail has been stopped, a lawn care guy has been hired, police have been notified and our daughter Megan is going to be in the house…and our neighbor Chris is going to be looking into things.. Thanks to all who are helping out back at home, you guys are making this trip possible for us. Traffic was light heading down toward New York, this is why we left when we did, to miss the NYC commuters. Route 95 south through Connecticut toward NY can be a real mess at certain times of day. We had a couple of slowdowns, which always happen, but nothing memorable this time. Soon we were rolling over the Tappan Zee Bridge and into New Jersey and then into Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is a long stinking state. The miles rolled by, we listened to music and audiobooks, Carol and Ben chatted with friends the the miracle of modern technology, Harper slept in her doggie bed between the front seats, and I drove on. We stopped from time to time for food or fuel and to stretch stiff joints, and Harper filled her nose with new smells and is always curious about new places to explore,
by late afternoon rain happened. Lots of rain happened. We were traveling in western Pennsylvania when the rains started in earnest - we had light showers off and on for a while during the afternoon, but nothing you could really call rain, but it became a frog choking rain with little visibility and kind of set my nerves on edge. Our stop that first night was a Cracker Barrel in Zanesville, Ohio on I-70, arriving there about 11 PM. Oh and by the way, I have never seen so many long haul trucks in my life, what a busy corridor I-70 is! We got the Doodle all set up in the rain and snuggled in for the night. What a nice thing for travelers that you can stay in the Cracker Barrel parking lots.
Morning came way too fast but we were all ready to keep moving, It takes just a few minutes to tidy up and get ready for travel. We started the day with a hearty breakfast at the Crackerbarrel (there goes the diet) and were on the road before 8 heading for Peebles, Ohio and the Great Serpent Mound. This was the first thing on Ben’s travel list
We were all curious to see this great effigy mound, the largest in the world. We drove in a steady rain for the two hour drive down to Peebles but as we approached the mound the rain cleared. We had a great time there chatting with the museum lady and hiking the grounds. This is an amazing site, The mound was built, likely, by the Adena people about 2300 years ago. It is over 1400 feet long and have a lot of astronomical significance. This weekend id the summer solstice and there are big doings at the mound. By noon we were back on the road. We determined that we had averaged 18 miles per gallon through the hills of Pennsylvania, but Ohio gave us only around 16 MPG, as we were traveling slower, twisting, hilly, rural roads. We drove on. It was actually an easy ride, long, but an easy ride. Illinois is just as flat as I remember. The scenery looks like home. Distant farms moved slowly by as the crops along side of the road whizzed past. It looks like the plant must have been delayed this year, I know it has been a wet spring, the corn and beans look small for mid June.
It was so very good to visit with Dan, and I regret we didn’t have enough time in our schedule to visit with my brother David who lives a couple hours away, maybe on the way home. We had a great time with Dan, chatting of old times and catching up. Ben and Dan had a great time too as Ben hod only met Dan once before, several years ago. It is good that he can get to know his Uncle better. We shared stories of our childhood and family relations, watched some music videos and ate good food. Today we will be moving west, across the Mississippi.