Friday, August 30, 2013

Your Favorite Interstate Exits: I-80 in Ohio & Indiana

English: West Beach, Indiana Dunes National La...
English: West Beach, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Portage, IN, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Interstate 80 enters Ohio east of Youngstown. After it passes through that town, I-80 switches places with I-76 and becomes the Ohio Turnpike. This switch is clearly marked by signs, but drivers should be aware of the situation. Drivers will pay a toll across all but a few miles of Ohio. This interstate joins Youngstown with the Ohio cities of North Royalton, Elyria and Toledo. I-80 then links the Indiana cities of  Elkhart, Mishawaka, South Bend, Portage and Gary. Interstate 80 joins Interstate 90 west of Cleveland and the two continue to the western state line. The two interstates remain together for all of their time in Indiana where the highway is also known as the Indiana Toll Road and the Borman Expressway.

Attractions near this highway include National McKinley Birthplace Monument, Meander Reservoir, Nelson-Kennedy Ledges State Park, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Lake Erie, Thomas Edison Birthplace Museum, Cedar Point Amusement Park, Kelley's Island, Seneca Caverns, Blue Hole, Hayes Presidential Center and the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

Please share with other drivers your experiences as to which exits are best for single travelers or anyone for that matter. Reasons for the choice may include the safety of the surrounding area, the availability of good hotels and restaurants or proximity to the interstate. Please make sure to give the exit number or a description of the location. For example, when I discuss I-40, I would recommend Exit 145 in Oklahoma City. Many hotels and restaurants were located at this exit and I felt safe in the area. This exit was very convenient for easily continuing west without the hassle of dealing with early morning rush hour traffic.

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

On the Road: Dealing with Illness

Open bottles of Extra Strength Tylenol and Ext...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Every fall, news stories have stressed the extent of the current flu epidemic and the precautions the public should take to avoid the illness. Nothing is worse than being on a trip and feeling lousy, but sometimes it can be more than that. While most people will consult a physician when they become ill, those same people will not look for a doctor if they become sick while on vacation.

I have been really lucky that in all the years I have been taking long trips, I have encountered a situation that required medical attention only one time. In 2012 while I was in California,  I experienced intense pain and I thought I would just tough it out until I returned home. Over-the-counter pain relievers helped a little, but did not solve the situation. Finally, I saw a doctor and received a prescription and thought that was the end of the problem. Since I felt better, I thought everything was fine, but my medical condition was still not handled. Two months later when I returned home, I was taken in for a medical emergency. My doctor lectured me about how close I had come to losing my life.

Even though I knew I was not myself, I let it slide because I was away from home. I ignored the importance of the pain and dismissed the episodes of dizziness and near fainting as side effects of dehydration. Sometimes I would have no energy for days, but I never looked at it as a warning sign.

Before I left on vacation I let my doctor's office know I was going to be away for an extended time. I checked with them for any special methods of contact in case of illness. In addition, I contacted my insurance company to make sure I understood what steps needed to be taken when securing medical assistance while out of the usual provider area. If I planned on staying in one location for an extended period of time, I made sure I knew where the nearest or best hospital was located and if it had a contract with my insurance provider.

Since I felt so healthy on the 2013 trip, I realized more than ever how ill I had been on last one. An illness such as the flu can knock travelers off their feet, but not all ailments will do that. My advice is not to tough it out and get help when you are not feeling well while on a trip!!
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Friday, August 23, 2013

Your Favorite Interstate Exits: I-80 in New Jersey & Pennsylvania

Raymondskill Falls, Dingman Township, Pike Cou...
Raymondskill Falls in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Interstate 80 begins its long journey of 2,899 miles across the United States in New Jersey. I-80, which is the second longest interstate, travels through the New Jersey cities of Fort Lee, Rockaway and Paterson, and the Pennsylvania cities of Stroudsburg, Bloomburg, Clearfield, DuBois, Clarion, and Grove City.

The highway travels through the Appalachian Mountains, so numerous ski lodges, lake activities and hiking trails are available. Attractions include Passaic Falls, the Hudson River, George Washington Bridge, Palisades International Park, Lambert Castle, Nescopeck State Park, Shenango Lake, the Poconos, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation area, the Appalachian Trail, Penn's Cave and the Hudson Valley.

Please share with other drivers your experiences as to which exits are best for single travelers or anyone for that matter. Reasons for the choice may include the safety of the surrounding area, the availability of good hotels and restaurants or proximity to the interstate. Please make sure to give the exit number or a description of the location. For example, when I discuss I-40, I would recommend Exit 145 in Oklahoma City. Many hotels and restaurants were located at this exit and I felt safe in the area. This exit was very convenient for easily continuing west without the hassle of dealing with early morning rush hour traffic.

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Your Favorite Interstate Exits: I-79 in Pennsylvania & West Virginia

Aerial view of Presque Isle State Park, Erie, ...
Aerial view of Presque Isle State Park, Erie, Pennsylvania.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I had the opportunity to drive on Interstate 79 this fall and it is a beautiful highway. I-79 begins its journey south from its juncture with I-90 outside Erie, Pennsylvania. It joins that city with Meadville, Grove City, Pittsburgh and Morrisville  and the West Virginia cities of Weston,
Morgantown, Clarksburg and Charleston. Just outside Charleston, I-79 joins I-77. Attractions located near this interstate include Lake Erie, Presque Isle, Perry Monument, Pymatuning Reservoir, Lake Arthur, the Ohio River, Stonewall Jackson State Park, Sutton Lake and the Allegheny Mountains.


Please share with other drivers your experiences as to which exits are best for single travelers or anyone for that matter. Reasons for the choice may include the safety of the surrounding area, the availability of good hotels and restaurants or proximity to the interstate. Please make sure to give the exit number or a description of the location. For example, when I discuss I-40, I would recommend Exit 145 in Oklahoma City. Many hotels and restaurants were located at this exit and I felt safe in the area. This exit was very convenient for easily continuing west without the hassle of dealing with early morning rush hour traffic.

(Photo taken in 2012)

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Friday, August 16, 2013

Your Favorite Interstate Exits: I-78 in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania

Statue of Liberty National Monument, Ellis Isl...
Statue of Liberty National Monument, Ellis Island and Liberty Island, Manhattan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Interstate 78, which begins its journey of 144 miles at Canal Street in New York City, is the road that travels through the Holland Tunnel. Although it is a short interstate, I-78 handles heavy traffic. In New Jersey it links the cities of Jersey City, Newark and Union with the Pennsylvania city of Allentown before joining Interstate 81 just east of Harrisburg. Activities available in the New York City area include Broadway plays, the National September 11 Memorial  & Museum, the Empire State Building, Chinatown, Central Park and Times Square. Other attractions near this interstate include the Spruce Run State Recreation area, Round Valley State Recreation area, Ellis Island National Monument, Statue of Liberty National Monument, the Holland Tunnel, the Hudson River and the Lost River Caverns.


Ellis Island as seen from Liberty Island, New ...
Ellis Island as seen from Liberty Island, New York City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Please share with other drivers your experiences as to which exits are best for single travelers or anyone for that matter. Reasons for the choice may include the safety of the surrounding area, the availability of good hotels and restaurants or proximity to the interstate. Please make sure to give the exit number or a description of the location. For example, when I discuss I-40, I would recommend Exit 145 in Oklahoma City. Many hotels and restaurants were located at this exit and I felt safe in the area. This exit was very convenient for easily continuing west without the hassle of dealing with early morning rush hour traffic.

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Preparation: Check out Recreation.gov

English: View from Zion National Park's Big Be...
English: View from Zion National Park's Big Bend. Exposure fused from three images. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
We had 17 straight days of rain last month. On the last day of the series, we had the worst storm yet which dumped three inches of rain on ground that was already completely saturated. I was lucky to make it home before the worst of it began. The tornado sirens went off, but fortunately the cells fell apart before they reached us. Just to be safe, I decided to stay in the basement and explore the internet to pass the time during the severe weather. Luckily, I was able to find a gem.

A British news site had displayed photos that the United States Department of Interior had posted on its Instagram account. The stunning pictures were taken in the National Parks and other government-protected lands. While looking at the website for the Department of Interior, I noticed another site called Recreation.gov. This website provides a wealth of information for those who drive or travel across the United States. It helps with planning trips and making reservations on federal lands. Categories on Recreation.gov include: day hikes, beaches, car camping, mountain biking, Civil War sites and whitewater trips. I had no idea this website existed!!

Vacationers can type in the names of places they wish to visit and the site will let them know what government land and attractions are in that area. Let me give a couple of examples. As part of a video presentation, the destination given is Las Vegas. Other attractions in the area are listed. Hoover Dam, Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park and Grand Canyon National Park are given as vacation options that are fairly close to Las Vegas. For another destination I used Stuart, Florida. In addition to the beaches and lakes, the site listed nearby wildlife refuges and camping facilities. Travelers were informed of availability of electricity at those camping sites and the mooring options for boats. In a category such as Car Camping, safety tips, recipes, ideas for trips and options for booking camp sites are given.

This is an interesting government website which is free for citizens to use. Vacationers can easily pull up this information on their computers as they travel and have all the information they need to explore wherever options they choose. I really wish I had found out about this site earlier since I could have used the information on this blog! Travelers should check out Recreation.gov. which will offer a valuable tool for their vacation planning.

www.recreation.gov
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Friday, August 9, 2013

Your Favorite Interstate Exits: I-77 in North Carolina & South Carolina

After a journey of 12 miles down a steep mountain in Virginia, Interstate 77 enters the flat land of North Carolina near Mt. Airy. This highway continues south through Statesville and Charlotte and joins them with the South Carolina cities of Fort Mill, Rock Hill and Columbia. Attractions in North Carolina include the Cumberland Knob, Lake Norman and the James K. Polk Birthplace. In South Carolina Lake Wateree State Recreation Area and Congaree National Park are near this interstate.

Interstate 77 ends in Columbia, South Carolina. South of this city I-77 joins I-26. When I would drive to Florida, I used to stop at Exit 50 in Statesville, North Carolina for gas and some food. That way I could avoid any traffic problems with Charlotte.

The section of I-77 in South Carolina was the last major part of this interstate to be completed. Before that was accomplished, drivers had to go through all the small towns on Highway 21. It would take forever. To be able to see the difference in drive times before and after the completion of this road makes me appreciate the Interstate Highway System!!


Please share with other drivers your experiences as to which exits are best for single travelers or anyone for that matter. Reasons for the choice may include the safety of the surrounding area, the availability of good hotels and restaurants or proximity to the interstate. Please make sure to give the exit number or a description of the location. For example, when I discuss I-40, I would recommend Exit 145 in Oklahoma City. Many hotels and restaurants were located at this exit and I felt safe in the area. This exit was very convenient for easily continuing west without the hassle of dealing with early morning rush hour traffic.

(Photo taken in 2013)

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Your Favorite Interstate Exits: I-77 In West Virginia & Virginia

Interstate 77 has a beautiful journey through the states of West Virginia and Virginia. Part of I-77 is the West Virginia Turnpike where drivers pay $2 at each of three toll stations. Congratulations to West Virginia for improving the turnpike. That task was not easy given the terrain of the mountains. The road used to be such a nightmare to drive, but now it is a pleasure. Parkersburg, Ripley, Charleston, Beckley and Princeton are joined by this road. Attractions near I-77 include the Kanawha River, New River Gorge National River, the Allegheny Mountains, Canyon Rim Visitors Center, Sandstone Visitors Center, Lost World Caverns and Pipestem State Park.

The Virginia cities of Rocky Gap, Wytheville and Fancy Gap are joined during the short distance I-77 travels through Virginia. For some of the way I-77 joins I-81 and that is a great place to get gas. This section of I-77 is known for the mountain at Fancy Gap. Drivers should use extreme caution in this area in foggy conditions. Weather reports may not warn of low clouds which cause poor visibility. I think this is the most dangerous section of Interstate 77 and deserves the complete attention of drivers.

Please share with other drivers your experiences as to which exits are best for single travelers or anyone for that matter. Reasons for the choice may include the safety of the surrounding area, the availability of good hotels and restaurants or proximity to the interstate. Please make sure to give the exit number or a description of the location. For example, when I discuss I-40, I would recommend Exit 145 in Oklahoma City. Many hotels and restaurants were located at this exit and I felt safe in the area. This exit was very convenient for easily continuing west without the hassle of dealing with early morning rush hour traffic.

(Photo taken in 2013)

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Friday, August 2, 2013

Your Favorite Interstate Exits: I-77 in Ohio

Ohio I-77 rest area southbound near Exit 37
Interstate 77 begins its journey south from its juncture with I-90 in Cleveland, Ohio. I-77, which is a scenic highway once it travels outside the cities, joins Cleveland, Akron, Canton, New Philadelphia, Cambridge and Marietta. I love the beautiful hills, valleys and forests along this road and I really enjoy driving it. This interstate joins I-76 for a few miles in the Akron area and also crosses I-271, I-480, I-80 and I-70 during its time in Ohio. Attractions near this interstate include the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Lake Erie, Great Lakes Science Center, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Inventors Hall of Fame, Pro Football Hall of Fame, First Ladies National Historical Site, Warther Museum, Salt Fork State Park and the .
Ohio River

Exit 137 in Montrose is a wonderful exit to get gas and food. To the west of the exit is a great choice of restaurants and hotels that are located on a hill overlooking the interstate. What drivers see on the hill is really all the west side has to offer. The east side has the gas stations, more food and lodging and also a mall which is just a few miles down the road. I love this exit and it is my favorite for shopping. Take the west side of Exit 111 in North Canton for food and gas. A good choice of hotels is available at Exit 109 near the Belden Village Mall. Exits 83 and 81 in New Philadelphia and Exit 25 in Caldwell are also good exits for travelers.

Ohio River I-77 Bridge
Please share with other drivers your experiences as to which exits are best for single travelers or anyone for that matter. Reasons for the choice may include the safety of the surrounding area, the availability of good hotels and restaurants or proximity to the interstate. Please make sure to give the exit number or a description of the location. For example, when I discuss I-40, I would recommend Exit 145 in Oklahoma City. Many hotels and restaurants were located at this exit and I felt safe in the area. This exit was very convenient for easily continuing west without the hassle of dealing with early morning rush hour traffic.

(Photo taken in 2013)

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