Thursday, November 01, 2012


US Hwy 60 Missouri toward Poplar
Bluff MO
This is a self-help personal guide, written primarily based on trial and errors of previous vacations including some humorous, and some not at all humorous.

We have traveled for pleasure or daily need, primarily by our own wits in personal vehicles our 43+ years of marriage, and even as adult singles. We were neither married until the ages of 32 and 33.

US Hwy 60 in Missouri toward
Sikeston MO
Over those years we were relatively safe drivers with a few warning speed tickets and one ticket (Me) which we paid. My husband had one wreck which was not his fault, nearly totalling a little Subaru truck, after we moved to Arkansas. He was not at fault. 

Roadside Rest Stop I-57 in Illinois
Two Trees and Two Cabs
heading toward Effingham IL
Actually there were 3 cabs linked
together, but the 3rd one was
not visible from my stance.
I had a couple of fender benders mainly from backing up. Damages were slight.

To sum it up we agree he is the safer and better driver, but I am a fairly good navigator and enjoy the responsibility of routing, especially after the GPS became a viable vehicle accessory. I'm techie of the two of us.
From Arkansas to middle Ohio we drove
in rainy weather, off and on. Not stormy,
but often heavy, all the area we traveled
needed rain; evidence of drought
was everywhere.
AS we approached retirement, we mutually made our decisions to safely prolong our driving privileges without unduly endangering lives. This process primarily began at age 65,  more or less. Some evolved or morphed into different decisions as we become even older.

If I had my druthers, I would fly. My husband dislikes flying, and even more so because of safety rules after 9/11. 
My husband does most of the driving when we are together, unless he is ill.

Early on he and I discovered (1) I am too easily distracted by things I see  along the road, (2) too much conversation with passengers and my reaction time as well as sight began a slow decline earlier than his.

Related to the above paragraph, we have kept our eyes in the best condition possible. We both have had the usual cataract surgeries. However, I also have glaucoma. In our late 60s we both made the decision that driving after dark was only in extreme emergency, or only in our little town. This curtailed some of our social events--but better than endangering lives of others.
Cross entering Effingham, IL claims to the be t
 largest cross in the world at the Crossroads of U.S,
intersection of I57 and I70. [Terra Haute IN east of
Effingham, inside Indiana state line, on I70 also
claims to be the Crossroads of U.S.]
I do drive in daytime when I shop alone or have other commitments.
(1) No driving after dark, except emergencies; even then if a medical emergency the ambulance is called for the one with the medical problem. The other carefully drives to the medical facility.

(2) We have set slower top speed driving limits, but not so slow others are cursing us. We stay in slower lanes where available. I personally know my reflexes and reaction time are slower, and I have glaucoma which means peripheral vision also is becoming more narrow.

In the rain again, leaving Indianapolis IN
headed toward Columbus OH on I70
(3) After a near disastrous event in 2011, we have coordinated our duties as driver and navigator. His hearing is a determent to perfect communication, so if he misses a turn because he did not hear me OR the GPS 'voice,' which is feminine on both our GPS devices, he is NOT to have a panic attack, slam on the brakes on the Interstate or any other road, byway, etc., but to calmly proceed to the next legal place to exit, turn around, etc.  I am to calmly, not screchingly, say 'you missed the turn but go to the next exit, or light, or block where we can safely correct our miscue.'

In Ohio and also New York
there were stretches of Interstate
with walls of stone, brick or blocks
partitioning the divided Interstate
(this was a tad scary not knowing
what may crash through into your
lane). Other "walls" blocked views
of theimmediate landscape,
either blocking blight or perhaps
blunting traffic noise/fumes from a
residential neighborhood. I have
seen one such wall near Conway AR
where an effluent residential closed
community is being developed.
Reminds me of the old pop song
of my teen years (1956):
 Behind the Green Door.
The above procedure worked nicely on our 4000 mi. trip through 11 states. And I am sure we have eliminated most other drivers' cursing those 'old people should not even be driving' or other profanities and/or gestures. We also try to limit mileage to 500 mi. per day, only daylight hours.

Yes, this means more motel stays, which I either make in advance, or along the way as my navigator job.

We pack one suitcase with what we need for a one night stay. The other luggage contains the clothing and necessities for the destinations that are longer. No computers, just a cell phone and my Kindle are unloaded for one night stands along with an oxygenator (me) and a nebulizer device (husband). We both have respiratory problems.

Long Elegant Brick wall near
Cleveland OH [See comment on
White wall photo above.]
So having boarded Luckie at her favorite spa for three weeks, where she also would receive her annual shots and teeth cleaning, we set forth on our journey to Plattsburgh NY. Luckie would also ultimately need three teeth pulled as a result of her dental exam while she was boarding.

We traversed Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York enroute; after the reunion we also traveled through Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee before arriving home. We spent nights in Indianopolis IN, Erie PA, and Latham NY before arriving in Platsburgh, NY, Comfort Inn for U.S.S. Henley Reunion. Later we also spent nights in Harrisburg PA, Waynesboro VA, Shelly's sister's home, and near Nashville, TN.
PVC pipe load as we entered Erie PA.
I love the circular pattern repetition
of pipe and rear reflectors.
From Erie PA we took the I90 Toll road to Albany exiting at a suburb, Latham, to spend the night. Here we encountered a personal highway design nemesis I detest: a roundabout. These golden agers went round about in the roundabout three times until we were dizzy, before getting in the right lane to exit to our motel destination.

The toll road segment is void of photos as I was not feeling well. Also we got our first taste of NY sticker shock when we bought two vender-wrapped chicken salad sandwiches, (not fresh made) for $15!

Photos in this post were enroute. Some were snapped in moving pickup truck and little out of focus; some were at various rest stops. None outstanding, just things that caught our eyes. I have enlarged only one so I could get more in post. All can be enlarged by clicking on them [I hope].

PHOTOS: NitWit1 unless otherwise attributed.



Grandma Yellow Hair said...

I am sitting here wishing that I were with you on these trips that you guys take.
It is wonderful after all these years together that you still enjoy your vacations. 4000 miles is a lot of territory.
I am impressed that you have both figured out what must be done to keep you and others safe and that your doing it.
Keep healthy and keep having fun

Genie said...

What a great time y'all have and such wonderful scenery. I am a way bit envious. Would you please send me the name of the Photoshop Workbook. I would love to order it. The more I use my different modalities when I am studying the better I bet the info into my head. genie

Genie said...

What a great time y'all have and such wonderful scenery. I am a way bit envious. Would you please send me the name of the Photoshop Workbook. I would love to order it. The more I use my different modalities when I am studying the better I bet the info into my head. genie

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

I wish more people would take the time and effort to assess their driving abilities and make adjustments to keep themselves and other drivers safe. Good for you for being responsible.

Beth said...

Wow! That was an impressive trip!!

Pat - Arkansas said...

I enjoyed your travelogue and photos. Good tips on touring for older folk. I don't do much long distance traveling these days, but I want to think that my wandering days are not over. I nealy always travel solo, so if there's a missed exit, I have no one to blame buy myself, not even a GPS.

Lisa said...

What great trips you have taken!! I still laughing the part were you say you had a few fender benders and then show a picture of trucks piled up. LOL! That's funny!