Thursday, April 12, 2012

All clear for our road trip

The opthalmologist says I'm coming along nicely. I can get back to my regular life except no eye makeup for another week, and no swimming or hot tubbing for another month. But I can go back to my exercise class, back to my gym, and I can bend over again. In six months I get to check back and see if my other eye's cataract is ready to be removed.

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.


DJan said...

Sounds great! I hope you enjoy seeing your first 3-D road trip! And of course you will take pictures. I look forward to your adventure, too.

Olga said...

Hope you have a great time and clear weather. You may be surprised how long it takes to drive 200 miles on some of thos mountain crooked roads.

Arkansas Patti said...

Olga has a point. I remember thinking 30 miles meant 30 minutes in the mountains. Not so.
Your schedule is awesome. You always make me feel like a slacker.

Nezzy (Cow Patty Surprise) said...

Wow, what a wonderfully busy yet interstin' schedule that is!!!

I've got a feelin' we're gonna benefit from this too! Heehehehee!

God bless and have the time of your life sweetie!!! :o)

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Congrats on being cleared to travel, that's great news as it sounds like you're off on a wonderful adventure full of business and pleasure activities. Always nice to meet new people and I'm sure your hosts will be gracious.

Its your own book tour my friend!!! Woo hoo!

Meryl Baer said...

Sounds like a very ambitious schedule. Good luck and hope you have time to recover once you get home!

Sally Wessely said...

I agree with Patti. You make me feel like such slacker. I envy your ability to plan out an itinerary so well. This sounds like an awesome trip. Have fun.

Bob Lowry said...

What a great trip. Pictures and blog updates are required!

Murr Brewster said...

My accelerator leg is feeling the pinch already! You're getting close to some of my old stomping grounds there.

Friko said...

Have a great time!

Suzanne said...

Hi Linda,
New to this whole blogging community thing, but loving it so far. Your trip sounds very ambitious, and wonderful at the same time. My husband and I are becoming pros at the Road trip thing and have found that anything over 4 hours driving time tends to be a bit much, especially on an extended trip such as yours.
Your friends are right about driving in the mountains - it's slow and tedious at times. I wish you well and look forward to lots of pictures.
Nice to meet you. Please visit my site when you feel like it. We're in Florida and the terrain is so flat here that you can cover 100 miles in the blink of an eye. Not as pretty as your drive is going to be though - well, it is along the coast.