How We Roll

On Sunday morning we headed east again. The trip from Chicago to Clarks Summit took us two days. We got there on September 15th and left three days before Halloween. It was a great visit (see my previous blog, Spotlight: Scranton, PA). But we were still feeling a little stressed with one more stop to go.

Then we booked it east to Pennsylvania, a 2503-mile trip. We didn’t know exactly how long it would take so we started with 5 marathon days of driving, which got us as far as Chicago. Because of our mini-marathon, we ended up with a little extra time, so we decided to visit friends in Chicago. It was just dumb luck that they were all available on the same weekend. We visited three couples, one Friday evening, one Saturday morning, and one Saturday afternoon. Another whirlwind visit, which left us a little more exhausted that we had been already.

Around the Country in 150 Days

Once we are settled in Arizona (where we are spending the winter) we intend to plan a more leisurely trip for 2016, still visiting everyone, but with fewer travel hours per day and with sight-seeing stops built in. Any recommendations?

Ok. This wasn’t the best idea we’ve ever had: A whirlwind tour of the country via our kids and their families, trying to have a good visit with everyone in a very short time. 

So we basically raced from one stop to the next. We drove from Charleston to Vacaville, CA, a 2878-mile trip in 6 days. We generally stayed overnight in Wal-Mart parking lots but found an actual campground after three days or so to drain our tanks and get cleaned up. We had a whirlwind 3-week visit, then headed north to Woodinville, WA, a 782-mile trip which we would have driven in 2 days but we stopped in Yelm so we could visit my sister and brother-in-law, so it took us three days. We spent three weeks in Woodinville, then headed south to Vancouver, WA (192 miles), which was only a one-day trip. We stayed in Vancouver for three weeks, then headed west to Spokane, WA (356 miles), where we stayed for a month since there are two families there. 

*Boo Math Note* The trip here described is on average about 50 miles per day for 150 days. :)

We decided not to make any sight-seeing stops between Clarks Summit and Charleston (773 miles). So we arrived in Charleston the day before Halloween and stayed through that weekend, one full week, and one more weekend. (We truncated this visit since we had spent so much time there earlier in the year.)

That was a complete circuit of the United States (a total of 7,484 miles) from just before the first of June through almost the end of October. We were glad we saw everyone, but wouldn’t recommend this particular method of socializing on a regular basis.  

She didn’t need us all that much (she’s very independent) so we decided to go see everyone else. A look at the calendar told us that we had only 3 weeks per family, with maybe a little longer in PA to make up for not having visited them yet in our motor home. And we had to head south before the snow started falling.

We had stayed in Charleston for about six months while Jessica went through her chemo, radiation, and surgery number one. BTW, she wrote a really funny (in a black humor sort of way) blog about her experiences. If you’re interested you can check it out here.

Here's what happened.