Friday, September 27, 2013

Your Favorite Interstate Exits: I-81 in Pennsylvania & Maryland

Interstate 81 travels south in Pennsylvania until it reaches Scranton where the highway then curves to the southwest. I-81 joins the cities of Hallstead, Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Harrisburg and York with the Maryland city of Hagerstown. Attractions near this highway include the Susquehanna River, the Poconos, Hickory Run State Park, the Appalachian Trail, Gettysburg National Military Park, Antietam National Battlefield, Hickory Run State Park, Eisenhower National Historical Site, Catoctin Mountain Park, Endless Mountains and the Appalachian Mountains.

The boulder field at Hickory Run State Park in...
The boulder field at Hickory Run State Park in Pennsylvania, PA, USA. (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.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Travel Tales: Fancy Gap Mountain

Years ago when I lived in Florida, I had to drive to Ohio to attend my Grandmother's funeral. Since I had to leave in a hurry, I did not bother to check any national weather report.  I began my trip in the warm weather of Florida and was listening to my own music and not the radio as I drove north. The rain began in South Carolina and I was not having any problems driving in it. When I was north of Charlotte on Interstate 77, I stopped at a rest area.

When I went inside the building, I noticed a group of truckers talking. I heard one of them say that the situation was too dangerous. I decided to ask them what was happening. They informed me that I-77 on Fancy Gap Mountain was being closed because there was an ice storm. I was not familiar with the area so I did not know where to stay. They told me where they were going and that is where I went.

When the interstate on the mountain opened the next morning, the truckers insisted I drive in formation with them. They told me how dangerous Fancy Gap Mountain could be and they were afraid some patches of ice could still be on the road. I had to drive in the left lane with a truck in front of me and one behind me. To my right were three trucks in that lane. If my little VW convertible slid, I would hit a truck and not slide off the side of the mountain.

The view on the drive up or down Fancy Gap Mountain is beautiful. On a clear day I really enjoy the experience. However, Interstate 77 on Fancy Gap can be a very dangerous place to travel. My most stressful moments of driving on I-77 have been on this section. When the rain is heavy or snow is falling, the drive can be difficult, but a fog bank or low clouds can make the trip dangerous. A national weather forecast may not inform those traveling through the area of the possibility of low clouds on the mountain. On March 31, 2013, three people were killed in a 95-vehicle pileup on this stretch of road. The link to a Huffington Post article describing this deadly incident is provided below this post. Travelers should be careful and vigilant while driving on this mountain.

(Photos taken in 2013)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/31/virginia-vehicle-pileup_n_2989782.html
Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, September 20, 2013

Your Favorite Interstate Exits: I-81 in New York

Interstate 81 begins its journey of 855 miles at the Thousand Islands Bridge in the state of New York. I-81 travels through the middle of the state and connects Watertown, Syracuse, Cortland and Binghamton. The St. Lawrence Seaway, Lake Ontario, Oneida Lake, the Adirondack Mountains, Onondaga Lake, Song Mountain, the Finger Lakes and the Thousand Islands are some of the many attractions that are located near this interstate.
English: The Thousand Islands Bridge is an int...
English: The Thousand Islands Bridge is an international bridge over the Saint Lawrence River connecting northern New York in the United States with southeastern Ontario in Canada in the Thousand Islands region.  (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.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Your Favorite Interstate Exits: I-80 in California

The Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco, CA a...
The Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco, CA at sunset taken from the Marin Headlands (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Interstate 80 completes its long journey of 2,899 miles in California. I-80 joins the cities of Truckee, Auburn, Sacramento, Rocklin, Vacaville, Vallejo, Oakland and San Francisco. This interstate travels over the Sierra Nevada Mountains after its time in the desert and uses the San Francisco - Oakland Bay Bridge to cross over the San Francisco Bay. The section of Interstate 80 in the San Francisco area is extremely busy, so travelers should be careful to avoid the area during rush hour.  Attractions near this highway include Lake Tahoe, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, Fisherman's Wharf and the Pacific Ocean. South of I-80 is Yosemite National Park, Angel Island, Napa Valley and Mount Diablo.

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.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, September 13, 2013

Your Favorite Interstate Exits: I-80 in Utah & Nevada

English: Mountain range outside of the Great S...
English: Mountain range outside of the Great Salt Lake Desert in Utah.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Interstate 80 joins Salt Lake City in Utah with the Nevada cities of West Wendover, Elko, Battle Mountain, Winnemucca, Sun Valley, Sparks and Reno. The Great Salt Lake, Bonneville Speedway, Deseret Peak Wilderness, Wasatch Mountain, Lost Creek State Park and Skyline Drive in Utah are located near this interstate. Nevada's attractions include Hole in the Mountain Park, Lake Tahoe, Pyramid Lake, Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge and the Ruby Mountain Scenic Area.

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.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Travel Tales: Akron to the North Carolina Shore

Usually when I go on a trip, I travel to visit friends or family. In particular, that is why I travel to Florida and California. North Carolina is an exception. I do not know anyone in North Carolina, but I love to visit the beaches. My daughter and I have had many of our favorite vacations in the Outer Banks. Since my daughter was working in North Carolina this summer, I had the opportunity to visit her at the beach.

The first interstate I used on this trip was I-77, which provides a beautiful drive through southeastern Ohio. After crossing the Ohio River, the interstate continues to Charleston where it turns into the West Virginia Turnpike. I remember when the West Virginia Turnpike was a nightmare to drive. However, things have changed for the better and now the turnpike is a pleasure to travel. Drivers pay a $2 toll three times on this road, so it is not as expensive as some turnpikes are.

My next state was Virginia and my driving time there was just over an hour. In this state I-77 and I-81 join for about eight miles and it is at this point that I like to get gas. The cost was $3.15 in that stretch while it was $3.53 and above in surrounding areas. That was the best price I found on gas during the entire trip at the beginning of the summer. At the end of the summer on my second trip, the gas was $3.09, which was still the lowest price. Over the years I had noticed the great gas prices in this short area, so this is not just a fluke. I do want to point out this was the only time I had to get fuel on my entire trip. The Honda Civic is great on gas!

Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina

After getting gas I drove down Fancy Gap Mountain, which deserves its own post. Once I completed the descent of the mountain, I was in North Carolina taking the very short Interstate 74 to Highway 52. I had never been on this road and it was a nice drive with great views of Pilot Mountain. I was able to get on I-40 in Winston-Salem, but had the misfortune to hit the stretch between Winston-Salem and Raleigh during rush hour on a Friday. On my second trip I traveled that section again during rush hour, but it was a Wednesday, so  I had no delays. Interstate 40 east of Raleigh was a great section of road and took me all the way to Wilmington. From there was was just a few miles to my destination of Wrightsville Beach.

(Photo taken in 2013)
Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, September 6, 2013

Your Favorite Interstate Exits: I-80 in Nebraska & Wyoming

English: Grand Tetons Barns The John Moulton B...
English: Grand Tetons Barns The John Moulton Barn on Mormon Row at the base of the Tetons. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Interstate 80 travels across the lower half of Nebraska connecting the cities of Omaha, Papillion, Lincoln, Grand Island, Lexington, North Platte, Ogallala, Sidney and Kimball. This is the only major interstate in Nebraska. The auxiliary interstates of I-480 and I-680 surround Omaha. Attractions near this highway include the casinos on the Missouri River, the Strategic Air & Space Museum, Arbor Lodge State Park, Lake McConaugh, Medicine Creek Reservoir and the numerous state recreation areas along the Platte River.

In Wyoming I-80 connects Pine Bluffs, Cheyenne, Laramie, Rawlins, Rock Springs, Green River and Evanston. Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area and Como Bluff Dinosaur Graveyard are located near this highway. North of Interstate 80 in Wyoming is Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park and the Snowy Range Pass.

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.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Your Favorite Interstate Exits: I-80 in Illinois & Iowa

English: Saylorville Dam, impounding Saylorvil...
English: Saylorville Dam, impounding Saylorville Lake, also known as Saylorville Reservoir. The dam is located on the Des Moines River, 11 miles upriver of Des Moines, Iowa, USA. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers constructed the dam for flood control on the Des Moines river and the Mississippi River, of which the Des Moines River is a tributary. The dam was completed in 1977. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Interstate 80 ends its time with Interstate 90 outside Gary, Indiana. It continues west linking the cities of Joliet, Morris, Ottawa, LaSalle, Princeton and Genesee. After traveling through the Quad cities of East Moline, Bettendorf and Davenport, the highway joins Coralville, Des Moines and Council Bluffs in Iowa. Attractions along this highway include the numerous state parks along the Illinois River, Mississippi River, Mississippi Palisades, Missouri River, Saylorville DamHerbert Hoover National Historical SiteHerbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, Des Moines River, Lewis & Clark Monument, Lake Red Rock, Sheeder Prairie and the casinos on the Missouri River.

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.

Related articles
Enhanced by Zemanta