Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Day Eighteen Stats

As of Day Eighteen...

6977.4 miles of driving, at 33.1 miles per gallon, at an average speed of 47 mph. Love that interstate, bringing the numbers back up after all the city driving brought them down!

Day Eighteen Photos

All these photos were taken from the Virgina/West Virginia area. Such beautiful country.

Day Eighteen

Now that was more like it! Today was a scheduled 8.5 hour drive that took almost exactly 8.5 hours. Love it when things go to plan! Today, I started in Elkton, Maryland, and I wound my way down through Baltimore and around Washington D.C. Surprisingly, traffic was light in both cities, with only a small amount of congestion that slowed things down. I'm sure I would have experienced more had I gone through the hearts of said towns, but I knew that would be bad idea jeans. After D.C., I got into Virginia and West Virginia. Such beautiful states! It was like being back in the northwest part of the country- winding roads, beautiful mountains, and gorgeous views. These mountains were not snowcaps, however, they were completely tree covered. Hell, almost everything I saw today was completely tree covered! 99% trees with an occasional house or town breaking through the foliage. There were also a number of expansive valleys along my route, so expansive that I used a couple of four letter words to express my astonishment. Absolutely gorgeous. I ended my drive in Charleston, WV, where I am resting tonight. Tomorrow, I make the final push into St. Louis, where I am spending two nights and relaxing with friends and family. Just three more days and this whole adventure will be over... I wonder which "R" I will feel more... relief or regret? See you tomorrow!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Day Seventeen Stats

As of Day Seventeen...

6503.5 miles of driving, at 32.1 miles per gallon, at an average speed of 37 mph.

Day Seventeen Photos

(click on images for larger size)

This is Lexi.

...and she's a good girl!

It was rainy and cloudy in the early part of the day...

...but it cleared up very nicely later in the afternoon.

Downtown Philadelphia

This was a few minutes away from my hotel.

And this is a tribute to my Eight State Drive today!

Day Seventeen

Blech! I don't even want to get into today's details! It was a 12 hour day from hotel to hotel, when it was only supposed to be 8-9. There was traffic, rain, a lowly inflated tire, wrong turns, and all sorts of silly things. I'm sure no one wants to hear me talk about all that, so here's the main bullet points of the day. I left Boston, visited with my Aunt Laura, Jojo, and their dog Lexi in Attleboro, MA, made the drive through New York City and Philadelphia, and ended the day in a little town called Elkton, Maryland. The stat of the day- I was in eight states today: Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia(edit) Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland. That's a record for me! I have just a few photos to share with you, and then I get ready for tomorrow. Tomorrow I head for Charleston, West Virginia, and the next day is St. Louis!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Day Sixteen Stats

As of Day Sixteen...

6105.8 miles of driving, at 31.1 miles per gallon, at an average speed of 34 mph.

Day Sixteen Photos

View of Boston from the south.

A shot from the Big Dig underneath Boston.

The Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge over the Charles River in Boston.

A foggy Atlantic Ocean. It was freezing cold with the wind coming off the water and the drizzle falling from the sky, but looking out at the ocean always entrances me. Today was no different! To be able to say I saw both the Pacific and Atlantic within 11 days, and that I drove from one to the other, that's something I'll be able to treasure for a lifetime.

Day Sixteen

Day Sixteen was a planned rest day, where I actually get to sleep in the same bed two nights in a row. Funny thing happened on this rest day... there was very little resting! Much fun was had today! I started out with an early morning session of candlepin bowling at a 24 hour bowling alley. At 8am, I was the ONLY person bowling in the entire alley! That was an experience. After that, I took a side trip up through New Hampshire and into Maine, two more states I get to check off my list of states I've been to. I turned around in Kittery, Maine, where I found out that Kittery is the oldest town in the state. Pretty historic. I returned to the hotel, where I stayed for about... 10 minutes, after which I met my Aunt Laura, who lives about 30 minutes south of Boston, at a soccer pub to watch the US Soccer Team take on Brazil. A disappointing 3-2 loss, but we drank some great beer! After leaving there, we went for my second round of candlepin bowling (I mean, how many times do I get up here to the northeast, the only place they have the game?). It was Laura's very first time candlepin bowling, and she did pretty well! I got back to the hotel around 7pm, which meant I was going non-stop for about 11 hours. Some rest day!! I've got a few photos to share from my drive today, and then it is time to start packing up for tomorrow, when I start my journey back home. See you then!

Day Fifteen Stats

As of Day Fifteen...

5919.2 miles of driving, at 32.0 miles per gallon, at an average speed of 34 mph.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Day Fifteen Photos

These guys were hanging out in my hotel parking lot this morning.

Eastern NY/Western MA is very reminiscent of the western part of the country, with the trees and the mountains and the twisting roads. It was a great change of pace from the urban environs that dominate from Chicago eastward.

Been a while since my last panoramic. So here!

This and the next two photos were taken on my side trip up to Vermont. Beautiful country!

The Dr. Seuss Memorial Sculpture Garden in Springfield, MA.

More from the Sculpture Garden.

Getting close to Boston...

...and here it is! This shows you the fog I was talking about. Tops of the tallest buildings could not be seen.

And this is the site of the end of Route 2o. There used to be a sign showing "Route 20 END", but it looks as if it was removed during the re-construction of the intersection in the last year.

This shot of downtown was taken from the Massachusetts Ave bridge heading over to Harvard.

Day Fifteen

It is official: I have driven US Route 20 across the country! This afternoon I drove triumphantly into Boston, and just north of Fenway Park, I completed the last mile of the longest road in America. It wasn't the most beautiful of days- the city skyline was shrouded in fog (as you will see in the photos I post). But that could not dim the excitement... and the relief! Months and months of planning coupled with a few years of dreaming has finally borne its fruit. It actually hasn't set in yet that the task is done, probably because I know I still have some driving yet to do. So no bittersweet feelings yet, just sweet ones!

As for what actually happened during the day, I started out the day near Albany, NY, and I made my way into Massachuestts. I took a short detour off of Route 20 to cross the border into Vermont (another state I can check off my list), then headed towards Springfield, MA where I visited the Dr. Seuss Memorial Sculpture Garden. Afterwards, I made the last drive into Boston, where I snapped some photos, and then shot up to the Harvard bookstore where I bought me a souvenir (the Harvard campus being just a stone's throw away from the end of Route 20. It was either that or some Red Sox stuff, and I wasn't about to do something silly like that!). I fought some of Boston's famous traffic on the highway down to the hotel. I mean, seriously. 4:30pm on a non-gameday Saturday afternoon. How the hell is there a traffic jam at that point of the week?? Oy. But through the traffic, the fog, and the drizzle, I made it to the hotel, where I rest for the night. Route 20 is done, but the adventure still continues... See you tomorrow!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Day Fourteen Stats

As of Day Fourteen...

5674.4 miles of driving, at 32.9 miles per gallon, at an average speed of 38 mph.

Day Fourteen Photos

WARNING: You will only like a large percentage of today's photos if you are Cardinals baseball fan. A sports overload is coming. You've been warned, non-sports fans.

Early in the morning.

Also early. You could see the rays of light clearer in person, but you can kinda see them here!

The central part of New York state is really gorgeous.

I read that for a great hamburger in Cooperstown, you come to the Cooperstown Diner. It only seats 24 (and that is pretty cramped), so if you are lucky enough to get a seat...

...THIS is what you get! I mean, holy crap. Scary thing is, this is only the second largest burger I was served on this trip. (I'm still kicking myself for not taking a photo of the Pilot Butte Drive-In burger. I think I'm still digesting it. Here is a photo from the web that shows a Pilot Butte burger: http://tinyurl.com/o8ef2n)

And now for a bunch of photos from the Baseball Hall of Fame. These all center on St. Louis Cardinals players and memorabilia.

Back to reality. More of beautiful New York state.

And more.

And me getting tricky with the camera again.