Road Trip Day 15 – 800 miles across 4 states to home

I didn’t plan to drive nearly 800 miles in a day, but that is what I did. I write this from home, where I slept last night. I have been writing this blog in the evenings, but last night I was pretty exhausted. This morning, I am sitting in my happy place, drinking coffee.

I didn’t leave the Secret Lodge Bed and Breakfast until 9:30 am, because I wanted to have breakfast! and it was satisfying, as was my stay there. The view is unbelievable.

The previous couple of days I had been looking around for a place to stop on my last night – I was thinking Baton Rouge area. But I had nothing, so decided to just drive until I got tired, and get a hotel. I set the google map to home, and headed south.

The weather was clear, the road was primarily straight, and with minimal stops for gas and bathroom, (I ate my leftover Mellow Mushroom pizza in the car as I drove) I found myself crossing the Mississippi in Baton Rouge at 5:30. I had two more hours of daylight, I felt good, and I kept going. By then, I was sure I would drive all the way. There were no sights I wanted to see except home and husband.

I drove straight towards a beautiful sunset, made even more so with the reflections off the water in the Atchafalaya Basin. No pictures except the images in my mind. I broke my rule about driving after dark, knowing that the rest of the way home was familiar territory on Interstate 10 to Houston. I entered Texas around 8 pm, and it was only 2 1/2 hours til home. I was sustained by apples from Massachusetts and cookies from Chattanooga.

I broke all records, mine anyway, on this drive. I hardly stopped except for necessities. The only other time I had driven a long way without stopping for a real sleep was when I drove my oldest daughter to Chicago to go to college, circa 2005. That distance is 1100 miles, and on the way back, I drove all night, stopping at rest areas for short naps. My youngest daughter was with me in the back seat, but way too young to drive. That was really just stupid. This time, I knew I would be home by 10:30, or I would have stopped.

The worse part of the drive was through the city. Had it been daytime, I would have taken more northern roads to avoid it, but it felt safer to be on the interstate after dark.

It was wonderful to be greeted by my loving husband, and sleep in my own bed. I have no pictures from the road yesterday, so here are some flowers blooming in my yard.

Road trip Day 14 – Through Tennessee, a corner of Georgia, sleeping in Alabama tonight.

I enjoyed the loft in Elizabethton, but the bed was like sleeping in a marshmallow. I packed and left early, found a coffee shop down the street, and hit the road. The mountains of Tennessee are really beautiful, but I didn’t stop to take pictures because I wanted to get to Chattanooga by lunchtime.

I did take a short detour and went to an antique store in Sweetwater. I bought a little figurine, but it is in my car and I didn’t take a picture of it. I liked these two displays:

I spent two months in Chattanooga earlier this year, for a contract job, and really enjoyed the old part of the city, the restaurants, and the parks. I would love to return for an extended period. It’s not the same, just passing through, but I went to my favorite haunt, Niedlov’s Bakery, and got some cookies. Being a Monday, and a holiday to boot, the place I wanted to get Italian food was closed, so I got a Mellow Mushroom pizza, knowing that it would be good, and I would have leftovers.

Then I got here. I am at a bed and breakfast called The Secret Lodge.It was built in 1965 and was considered a mansion at the time, with a rooftop pool. It is perched on top of a mountain in northern Alabama, and has the most gorgeous views. I’m just gonna put a bunch of pictures here.

I’ve got my pizza, a complementary glass of wine, and a gorgeous view. Perfect!

Road Trip Day 13 – South through Virginia to Tennessee

It was a misty morning in the little corner of West Virginia where I spent the night. I had decided to get on the road as early as possible, so packed my gear and lugged it down the twenty steps. I could hear a creek, so took a quick walk, but couldn’t get close to it because of the foliage, but I did see cows.

I grabbed a cup of coffee and an apricot bearclaw at this coffee shop down the road in Winchester, VA.

It was a beautiful drive, too misty to see much, but it gradually cleared and I enjoyed my drive through the Appalachians very much. I stayed on the interstate, not stopping much, and did manage a couple of pictures.

I’m in Elizabethton, TN tonight, staying in a studio loft in an old building next to the Doe River, which is a branch of the Watauga River. I can see the river and the covered bridge that the town is famous for, from my window. I took a little walk through town to get some food (disappointing) and walked through the bridge.

I’m really loving going to new places and seeing new sights, but I am also so ready to be home again.

Road Trip Day 12 – Five states to West Virginia

After enjoying morning coffee and a sunrise on the fabulous patio of my airbnb in Chester, NY, I got on the road and made a deliberate detour to New Jersey, because it is a state I’ve never been to. I took back roads and went through Port Jervis, NY, where I had to stop and take a picture of this restaurant:

The little piece of rural New Jersey, was really beautiful and I did manage to get a few pictures:

Still on the backroads, I entered Pennsylvania and stopped for a bit here:

I knew I’d be driving all night if I didn’t quit stopping every few miles, so got back on the interstate. I drove through a corner of Maryland, then got to West Virginia, and took the back roads again for a bit, and had to listen to John Denver sing Country Roads (take me home)!

The views of the Blue Ridge Mountains are astounding, but the roads were narrow so I didn’t stop until I arrived at another wonderful airbnb in Bunker Hill. Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to get some pictures.

Road Trip Day 11 – On the road again, through Connecticut and back to New York

It was bittersweet to say so long to my two precious kids. But we had a great visit, just the right length, really, to catch up and hang out. They are both happy in their lives – although adulting is hard. We had breakfast together, then I hit the road.

I made a new friend, the lady who rents a room to my daughter. She and I had a lot in common, and I hope to keep in touch. We traded books and she gave me this:

I had planned a fairly short drive for today, so I could arrive a little early, and just enjoy chilling out. The drive was easy, and I arrived at my airbnb around 4. It is close to Goshen, NY- just perfect, with a lovely patio just for me. I picked up a couple of bottles of wine along the way, and plan to open one, and hang out here all evening.

Addendum: I was just finishing this post, and my host came out. She has chickens and a little garden, and gave me some eggs and fresh produce.