So we're leaving on Monday for two weeks. Our Ecuador home exchange partners will be living in our house for ten days, so we decided to take a springtime road trip to Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia.
We'll be visiting cemeteries for my genealogy exploration, dropping off seven copies of our book at Vet Centers, staying with seven couples we've never met, listening to Appalachian music along the Crooked Road of southwest Virginia, and visiting Polyface Farms.
We fly to St. Louis to start our road trip. Here's the plan for where we'll be each night:
Monday, April 16 - St. Louis, with Evergreen Clubbers Tom and Julie.
Tuesday, April 17 - Clinton, KY, with Evergreeners Walter and Sue.
Wednesday, April 18 - Waverly, TN, with Couchsurfer hosts Tom and Joan.
Thursday, April 19 - Shelbyville, TN with Evergreeners Gene and Wife, after dropping off a book at the Vet Center in Nashville. I'll be the speaker at Gene's Lions Club meeting that night. "You can talk about anything you want," he said.
Friday, April 20th - Books to Vet Centers in Chattanooga and Knoxville, TN with hosts Dave and Ruthie.
Saturday, April 21st - Book to Vet Center in Johnson City, TN, then on to Bristol, VA with hosts Joseph and Marilie. Maybe a concert at the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons.
Sunday, April 22nd - Floyd, VA at Ambrosia B&B - our first night without hosts! An afternoon music jam at the Floyd General Store.
Monday, April 23rd - still in Floyd, with a day trip to Polyface Farms and a stop at the Vet Center in Roanoke, VA.
Tuesday, April 24th we head into eastern Kentucky. That night we'll be staying at the Benham Schoolhouse Hotel - used to be a school, now a lodging place. I'm hearing faint strains of the theme to "Deliverance", but that's my own ignorance, I'm sure. This is where my grandmother's family came from; they were farmers and coal miners, mostly.
Wednesday and Thursday, April 25th and 26th. The lodge at Jenny Wiley State Park in Prestonsburg, KY. We got the last room. I expect to meet some Kentucky families.
Friday, April 27th - Somerset, KY, with Evergreeners Christine and Keith, after a stop at the Vet Center in Lexington and the Appalachian craft centers in Berea.
Saturday the 28th we'll visit Mammoth Cave and several family cemeteries in Bowling Green, KY, spending the night at a Fairfield Suites.
Sunday the 29th we'll drive across the rest of Kentucky and spend our last night at a green B&B in Makanda, IL.
Monday the 30th we'll drop off our last book at the Vet Center in St. Louis and do a little sightseeing before catching a 6:00 p.m. plane home.
This is the plan, anyway. Even to me it looks busy, but I don't see anything I want to skip! It's about 1900 miles in 14 days - not a heavy driving schedule - but a lot of nights of being hosted. We're experimenting with finding the perfect kind of trip. Last year we did a three-week trip where we were hosted five nights and in motels or B&Bs the rest of the time. The hardest part of that trip was the long driving days - four of them were 400-plus miles. On this trip, most of the days are fewer than 200 miles. On the other hand, last year we only stayed in eight different lodgings, so we had multiple days of no driving. This year's trip we only stay more than one night in two places. We'll see how it goes.
I plan to blog when I can.