Hank and Marilyn Coast to Coast 2017 travel blog


True story: Many years ago, when Hank and Marilyn were very young, there was a knock at their door. A young man was there, asking for directions to the local youth hostel. There being no hostels in the area, we invited this young man from South Africa to be our guest. He name is lost to time but his intention was to see the US by hitch hiking across this great land. After his time with us, Hank took him to the nearest rest stop on the NJ Turnpike where he could catch a ride with a long distance trucker. Hank said his goodbyes and came home. Ten days later our young man was back. He'd made it to Ohio before he ran out of funds and was compelled to return home. He said that he hadn't realized how big America really was.

I've thought a lot about this young man over the last 8, almost 9, weeks. We thought we knew the breadth of this country and that we were prepared for the traveling that would be required to complete this trip. But theory and experience don't always agree. We got tired. Tired of all the hours of driving, and after a while the "fun" setting up a campsite one day and breaking it down the next morning got old. (We haven't camped since we left Nevada.)

So along the way we modified our trip. We said goodbye to seeing Yosemite and Sedona. While we drove 66 in all 8 states that it traverses we chose not to drive the Mother Road from Los Angeles to Chicago. It had become a matter of duty rather than discovery. It was no longer fun.

The last modification was made yesterday. We had spent the night in Springfield, Illinois, the Land of Lincoln and went to explore the legacy of Abe through the many sites dedicated to him in this capitol city. We toured the only home he'd ever owned, with many of his family's belongings on display. We walked the perimeter of his library and decided we'd had enough. We actually walked away from his museum and the train station where he gave his emotional farewell speech, hoping to return, but being denied that desire.

Things were not going well, tempers were short. Decision was made to not continue on 66 and forget travelling rte 30 from Chicago to Atlantic City, then home on the NJ Parkway.

Instead, we traveled to and got on I-80 East which is a direct road to NY. Only problem was road work. 55 mph instead of 70, 1 lane open rather than 2 or 4. We finally got to our motel in Indiana just after 10 pm with enough time for Hank to see the Yankees lose the first championship game.

This morning we drove to Cuyahoga National Park in Ohio. A beautiful place to walk, hike or bike ride. After 4 days of sunless skies, we finally saw and felt the sun without a single cloud in the sky. We visited Brandywine Falls and walked part of the trail. We found a motel early so Hank could watch the Yankees lose again. We think we found a church to worship at tomorrow and then we'll continue driving towards home.

But here's the dilemma. Monday is the 16th of October, which means we've been traveling for 2 months. But Wednesday will be 9 weeks since we left home. To we extend the trip 2 more days to have a complete week?? Oh, the choices still to be made!



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