Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Your Favorite Interstate Exits: I-85 in Virginia & North Carolina

English: The John H. Kerr Dam and Lake on the ...
English: The John H. Kerr Dam and Lake on the Roanoke River in Mecklenburg County, Virginia, USA. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers constructed the dam for flood control on the Roanoke River.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Interstate 85 begins its journey south from its juncture with I-95 in Petersburg, Virginia. I-85 connects that city and South Hill with the North Carolina cities of Henderson, Durham, Burlington, Greensboro, Archdale, Salisbury, Kannapolis, Charlotte and Gastonia. The Virginia attractions near this interstate include Petersburg National Battlefield, Appalachian Mountains, the John H. Kerr Dam and Lake, and Lake Gaston. In North Carolina High Rock Lake, Morrow MountainFalls Lake State Recreation Area, Lake Norman, Catawba Lake and Chimney Rock are located near I-85.

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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Friday, October 25, 2013

Your Favorite Interstate Exits: I-84 in Oregon

English: The Dalles Dam on the Columbia River ...
English: The Dalles Dam on the Columbia River between Washington (right) and Oregon (left). The city of The Dalles is in the far background on the Oregon side of the river. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
For half of its journey Interstate 84 runs parallel to the southern banks of the Columbia River in Oregon. I-84 joins the cities of Hood River, The Dalles, Hermiston, Pendleton, La Grande, Baker City and Ontario. Attractions near this interstate include the Columbia River, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, Oregon Trail Interpretative Center, Snake River and the Ontario State Recreation Site.

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, October 22, 2013

Travel Tales: On the Beach

My favorite vacations have always included trips to the beach. People assume I devote a lot of time to lying in the sun since I always come home with a deep and even tan. That really is not true. I get extremely bored sitting on a beach chair or stretched out on a beach towel. I want to get my sun and some exercise as well. That is why I spend all my time at the beach walking.

When I lived in Florida, I would park my car at one of the main beach areas and then walk down to the St. Lucie Inlet. That would take me at least an hour. I carried a beach towel with me as well as sunscreen, drinks, snacks, camera, phone and plastic bags. Here is a photo of my current beach bag, which has two zippered sections on the bottom. One section is a small cooler and the other is for small items such as sunscreen and valuables. I make sure I put my phone and camera in Ziploc bags so they will not get wet. The top part of the bag is for my beach towel.


When I arrive at the beach, I put my sunscreen all over my body. I walk to the edge of the water, take off my sandals and put them in one of the plastic bags, which then goes in the large part of my beach bag. I always walk along the edge of the water because the reflection of the sun on the water will help to give me an even tan all around my legs. The temperature of the water keeps me cool as I walk.

I have a couple pieces of advice for vacationers at the beach. Those who leave their belongings for a walk along the beach might consider using a camera phone to take a picture of the area. That could save time later in trying to remember where personal property is located in a sea of umbrellas, chairs and towels. Another helpful hint is to shuffle one's feet when walking into the ocean. Some creatures rest on the ocean floor and a swimmer who steps down on them might get a nasty surprise. Those who shuffle their feet will touch the side of the creature who will probably swim away.

I carry plastic bags for shells. Looking for shells as I walk provides an enjoyable activity for me. I never get tired of it. After this trip I brought back four bags of shells. What do I do with all these shells? I put them in tall vases and bowls and keep the rest in tubs for any craft project I might see on Pinterest. On some summer days my neighbor's grandkids come over and we go through the tubs and use my books on shells to identify the them. Then the kids get to keep their favorites. I can always find a use for the free souvenirs of my trips.

(Photos taken in 2013)
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Friday, October 18, 2013

Your Favorite Interstate Exits: I-84 in Idaho & Utah

Devils Orchard - in: Craters of the Moon Natio...
Devils Orchard - in: Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, Idaho, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Interstate 84 in the western section of the United States travels through Utah and Idaho before ending its journey in Oregon. I-84 joins the Idaho cities of Fruitland, Boise, Mountain Home, and Twin Falls with the Utah cities of Tremonton, Brigham City, North Ogden and Ogden. Attractions near this interstate include Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area, Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument, City of Rocks National Reserve, Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, Great Salt Lake, Devil's Slide, Wasatch Mountain and the Golden Spike National Historical Site.

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, October 15, 2013

Your Favorite Interstate Exits: I-84 in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania & New York

English: A view of Purgatory Chasm in Sutton, MA.
English: A view of Purgatory Chasm in Sutton, MA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Interstate 84 has two main sections. The eastern part of the United States is home to an I-84 segment which is 232 miles long and travels through four states. This interstate links the Massachusetts city of Sturbridge with the Connecticut cities of Vernon, Manchester, Danbury, Hartford, East HartfordPlantsville and Waterbury. I-84 continues into New York joining Lake Carmel, Newburgh and Middletown before ending just east of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Attractions near this highway include Streeter Point Recreation Area, Lake Candlewood, the Hudson River Valley, Purgatory Chasm State Reservation, Lake Minnewaska, the Poconos, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and Kent Falls.

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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Friday, October 11, 2013

Your Favorite Interstate Exits: I-83 in Pennsylvania & Maryland

Interstate 83, which travels for 85 miles in Pennsylvania and Maryland, begins at I-81 and ends at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore. This interstate joins the cities of Harrisburg and York in Pennsylvania with Towsen and Baltimore in Maryland. The Susquehanna River, Appalachian Trail, Gunpowder Falls State Park, Robert E. Lee Memorial Park, Druid Hill Park, Maryland Science Center, Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, the Inner Harbor and Fell's Point are some of the attractions located near I-83.

Inner Harbor, Baltimore
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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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Travel Tales: Wrightsville Beach

This summer I had the opportunity to spend time with my daughter in North Carolina where she was working. We both love the beaches in that state, so this was a great opportunity. She was staying in an oceanfront condo on Wrightsville Beach, so I had the great fortune and convenience of being right on the water. I have never been to a beach in North Carolina that I did not love and this was no exception. However, I was happy that I was able to avoid a few problems. First, the traffic to get to the beach during the season is extremely heavy. Second, finding parking during the season when vacationers get on the island is extremely challenging. Last, if a driver is lucky enough to find a parking place, he should be prepared to pay dearly for it. The meters were $2/hour or $12 for the day. I was able to avoid this by staying in a condo on the island.

Most of my walks were to the southern end of the island where I enjoyed the Masonboro Inlet. One day I decided to walk to the northern end to see the Mason Inlet and found that part was even more amazing. I took hundreds of photos that day and many were absolutely stunning. In fact, I ended up blowing up and framing many of them that are now on my living room wall.

The vast stretches of sand and shallow pools were incredible and so were the marches around the side of the inlet. This area was just breathtakingly beautiful on the days I was there. I happened to hit the right mix of tide and sky.

What I like about this beach is that it is not as commercialized as places such as Myrtle Beach. I met so many people on the beach and everyone was so friendly! Although I met some locals and many people from Raleigh, the majority of people I encountered on the beach were from Ohio. In fact, I met two really great people who live about ten miles from me. We spent the afternoon exploring the inlet area and beach while looking for shells. Thanks for the great day, Chris and Katie!!



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Friday, October 4, 2013

Your Favorite Interstate Exits: I-82 in Washington & Oregon

English: Mount Adams, Washington, United State...
English: Mount Adams, Washington, United States, as seen from Hood River, Oregon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Interstate 82 joins I-90 and I-84 and travels for 143 miles in both Washington and Oregon. The Washington cities of Ellensburg, Yakima, Union Gap, Sunnyside, Richland and Pasco and joined with the Oregon city of Umatilla. The Umtanum Ridge Water Gap, Mount Rainier National Park, Mount Adams and the Columbia River Gorge are located near this interstate.

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, October 1, 2013

Your Favorite Interstate Exits: I-81 in Virginia & Tennessee

English: An image of the Drapery or Flowstone ...
English: An image of the Drapery or Flowstone in Luray Caverns known as "Saracen's Tent". (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Luray Caverns
Luray Caverns (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Interstate 81, which spends most of its time in the state of Virginia, runs parallel to the Appalachian Mountains in this state and also in Tennessee. Winchester, New Market, Harrisonburg, Staunton, Roanoke, Christiansburg, Wytheville, Marion, Abingdon, Bristol and the Tennessee city of Colonial Heights are linked by this highway. I-81 joins I-40 just east of Knoxville.




Interstate 81 travels with I-77 for a while in Virginia and gas prices are really good in this area. Attractions near this highway include Skyline Caverns, Shenandoah National Park, Shenandoah Caverns, Endless Caverns, Skyline Drive, Woodrow Wilson's Birthplace, Grand Caverns, Monticello, Natural Bridge, Smith Mountain Lake, Dixie Caverns Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, Douglas Lake, Harper's Ferry, Luray Caverns and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Many excellent camping opportunities are available in this 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.

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