Mark & Karyn are LIVIN' travel blog

Cumberland was merely a night stay over on this trip through and we were within a 2.5 hour trip to Mark's sister's house where we would stay until October. On our way into Bethesda we compiled some thoughts about the first 3,000 miles and 14 days of our sabbatical:

The trip had been quick and we knew that we had flown across the U.S. to get to Bethesda by September 1st. But we had enjoyed the few places that we had actually been able to spend at least 2 days. We quickly learned that our pace was slower than we had thought when pulling the camper, we did not want to spend so much time each day on the road, and that we needed to focus on spending more time in fewer places once we hit the road again.

We had successfully weaned ourselves from TV during this 14 days - we had only watched about one hour and that was mostly weather (during the tornado) and sports (surprising, right?!). We did not miss TV at all.

Satellite radio (we have Sirius) has only a limited number of advertisers so you hear the same commercials over and over and over again. Most adverstising is for debt consolidation and gosh, one other thing I can't remember (oh yeah, memory aides).

We were both struck by how rural America truly is. We are a country of corn and soy. Surely the folks who live here cannot be worried about terrorism in their own backyards? They are not near any airports or big cities. We wondered what they are most concerned about (weather and the price of corn).

The interstates are BORING! In your own travels, we encourage you to stay off the interstates and use the back roads to really get a sense of the country. Interstates are only useful for making up time.

And, when you do use the interstates, you will find that most people really do not understand how to merge! We are hauling a camper and we cannot make sudden moves to avoid stupidity. So many people do not accelerate as they come down a merge, they are not looking to see who is to the left of them, and then at the very last second, they take a look to their left, see a huge camper, and they have to make a snap decision - do they slow down or speed up?! Ugh!

Also, all those signs for food on the interstate can make you very hungry!

Even if you have a GPS (which we do) you still have to know where you are going and pay attention to everything around you. Otherwise, you could take a wrong turn (thankfully it will recalculate your route if you do).

We saw signs for only one presidential candidate as we traveled from Colorado and it was the candidate we least expected to see signs for - Ron Paul. He either has a phenomenal group of volunteers or he is making some real headway with rural America.

It is amazing how quickly one adapts to living in a small space like our camper. We do not feel cramped, we have everything we could need in here, and we have not had to sacrifice anything for the sake of living in the camper. You make do with what you have.

The hardest thing to get used to is sharing a computer with each other.

And getting Mark to listen to talk radio has been a challenge as well. Sirius radio has a lot of music, but they really do play the same music on the niche channels over and over (they are not making any new 70s and 80s music anymore, you know!). So, I was quickly craving my NPR and Air America radio.

However, what we did find when listening to so much talk radio is (and this will come as no surprise) there is really not enough news to fill so many 24 hour a day news stations. You hear the same news story over and over throughout the day on every station(Michael Vick, Senator Craig, President Bush's plan for the subprime mortgage issue...). And each station has a newsperson that has this note of panic in their voice as they report the news to you (this is even more noticeable on the radio since there is no visual to distract).

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