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Author Topic: Your 2014 Road Trips  (Read 8614 times)

The High Plains Traveler

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Your 2014 Road Trips
« on: December 23, 2014, 05:03:32 PM »

Please share your road travel accomplishments this past year here.

For me, it was my first full year of retirement, and I did do more road travel than in previous years. We had four major trips (week-plus), and a couple of shorter, regional trips pulling our travel trailer to familiar locations within about 300 miles from home.

This year, I completed clinches of U.S. 400, I-16, and the western I-84.  Our travel was extensive enough that we came within about 120 miles (the distance between Chattanooga and Atlanta Airport) of driving completely across the country during the year. States traveled in this year (in order of first entering them) were CO, KS, MO, IL, IN, KY, TN, GA, AR, NM, IA, MN, WI, NE, WY, UT, ID, WA, OR, CA, SC and NC. 

Our first trip was to the St. Louis road meet, and then we extended the trip eastward to Tennessee. On that trip, I extended my U.S. 50 coverage eastward between Kansas City and western Illinois, just east of St. Louis.  We got as far east on this trip as Chattanooga. Going east from St. Louis to Nashville, we stayed more easterly and visited Mammoth Cave. Coming back, we drove through the Missouri boot heel and northern Arkansas, then through Springfield MO, Joplin, and Wichita.

We went to a wedding in Minnesota in June, then north to the Lake Superior north shore. We drove up through Kansas City, then home through Sioux City. This was all familiar ground, but we did reach our northernmost point of the year, a stone’s throw from the Canadian border near the Gunflint Trail.

Our longest trip was three weeks, pulling the travel trailer northwest to the southern Washington coast, then following U.S. 101 south through Oregon and northern California before turning inland toward the Napa Valley. We stayed in Napa, visiting my wife’s cousin. Also, drove the Golden Gate Bridge and Bay Bridge for the first time in many years. On this trip, we drove all of I-80 between San Francisco and Cheyenne, except for the short distance between U.S. 40 and I-84 in Utah (which I drove oh so many years ago when 84 was still 80N).

Finally we took our first fly-drive trip in many years, and my first commercial flight in probably four years. We flew to Atlanta, and then rented a car to drive from there to Savannah. We then drove up the coast to Charleston, SC and Wilmington, NC before returning to Atlanta.  I thoroughly loved all those cities.

Other than a likely trip to South Dakota and Minnesota in July, we don’t have our 2015 plans set yet.  I’m looking at a trip – not necessarily for next year -  that started out as a kind of fantasy, but looks feasible if we can get away for close to four weeks. This would involve, first, a trip to San Diego and then the length of historic and current U.S. 395. Then, turn west and north to reach the BC coast at Bella Coola and take the ferry to Vancouver Island. I’ve worked on this enough to determine the timing needed to take this ferry, which only serves Bella Coola on about a twice-weekly basis during the June-September time frame. 
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Re: Your 2014 Road Trips
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2014, 06:19:06 PM »

Usually my family goes on one or two road trips each year, but this year we got a surprisingly nice number of three.  :)

1. Orlando, Florida in April. Route taken: I-75 to FL 91 (the Turnpike) to FL 429 to US 192 to the hotel we stayed at.

2. Hilton Head Island, SC in June. Route taken: I-75 to I-16 to I-95 to US 278 to the hotel we stayed at.

3. Destin, Florida in late July-early August. Route taken: I-75 to I-285 to I-85 to I-185 to US 80 to US 280/US 431 to US 431 south to Dothan to US 231 (went through downtown) to I-10 to US 331 (saw some construction as they are widening US 331 around the Niceville area) to US 98 to the hotel we stayed at.
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Re: Your 2014 Road Trips
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2014, 06:49:06 PM »

Like The High Plains Traveler, I've also been vigorously taking advantage of retirement.

My major road trips this year were:

(1) to the St. Louis meet, via south Texas and southern New Mexico; like THPT, that included a clinch of US 400

(2) to the Norfolk and Delmarva meets (just a weekend trip with one night on the road)

(3) to the New York City meet

(4) to the Quebec and Merritt Parkway meets via Maine and Detroit

(5) my August "road trip" to Canada's Nunavut Territory (just a little driving involved, around Iqaluit and Yellowknife in rental cars).

I also took my usual winter trip to Florida (extended while waiting out the snowstorms that whacked Atlanta); did some roadtripping along with a high school class reunion north of San Diego; and several day trips into various places in the Mid-Atlantic. 

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Re: Your 2014 Road Trips
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2014, 08:24:24 PM »

I've had a record-setting travel year, visited a full 323 counties this year, which is a new personal best.

Major highlights:

1) Finished clinching the Idaho state highway system, giving me Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, and Arizona fully clinched.
2) Took that giant, though breakneck, cross country trip in March, heading to the St. Louis meet via the Upper Peninsula and South Carolina almost entirely off-interstate.
3) Not really a roadtrip, but a roads trip, headed to NYC for the NYC meet via airplane.
4) Went to San Francisco over Memorial Day, clinched US 97 among other things.
5) Early January, took an ill-fated trip for a job interview to Rapid City, South Dakota. In April, took another ill-fated roadtrip to Wyoming.
6) Went to Seattle the week after Labor Day.

My distance travelling died off in August as I got a new job and moved to Helena. That being said, this job also allows me to accrue massive hours of compensatory time, and this summer will be a good opportunity to do some serious travelling, so it should be a great year.


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Re: Your 2014 Road Trips
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2014, 08:33:38 PM »

this year was marked by a drive from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas, and a trip to New Zealand (hard to drive over to there, but we did our best).  about 56300 miles driven (will have to check rental records for an exact amount).

I have no idea how many counties I visited, but I definitely did not pick up any new ones this year, having finished the lower 48 in Dec '13.  I did add one new Mexican state (Baja Sur), one new country (New Zealand), and I believe one new US freeway (some future I-40 opened in Bakersfield; I believe I first drove it in '14, but it may have been '13). 
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Re: Your 2014 Road Trips
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2014, 08:43:38 PM »

I went to Hampton Roads once for the road meet. After that I spent most of the year in the garage. I have another trip to Hampton Roads planned for Friday.
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Re: Your 2014 Road Trips
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2014, 09:08:16 PM »

Two trips to Florida, both involving routes that covered some familiar ground and some new routes. Knocked off the last segment of I-95 I had left other than the part north of Bangor and a segment in Massachusetts.

Clinched some Maryland routes.

Not much else, haven't had a lot of time.
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Re: Your 2014 Road Trips
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2014, 10:10:22 PM »

Finances really hurt my road-tripping this year.

I attended the Hampton Roads and Delmarva meets in March. I had to alter my departure plans because of a sick pet, but on my way to Hampton Roads I was able to shake up my route enough to clinch US 311, I-85 and I-95 in Virginia. I also was able to clinch US 258 and US 13 in Virginia while in the area.

I also had to adjust my trip home because the pet took a turn for the worse, and cut short my planned exploration in SW Virginia even more after cutting a day out of the trip. Unfortunately, the cat died before I could make it home.

The following weekend, I attended the middle Tennessee meet. No new territory was covered on that trip.

The only other trip I took was to the Guntersville, Ala. meet in October. On that trip I clinched US 231, US 72, US 74 and US 411 in Tennessee, and got new mileage on a few other US routes.

For the year, I only visited one new county.

My travel prospects for 2015 look even more grim than this past year's situation. There's a very strong possibility I won't be attending any meets next year.


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Re: Your 2014 Road Trips
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2014, 11:07:31 PM »

My significant other lives in Washington, D.C., so between driving down there roughly every other weekend and Pirates season tickets, much of the time during the fair weather months that I could be using for exploration gets eaten up.

I did undertake two significant road trips: the first was helping my brother move to Little Rock at the end of May, and the second was a late July Denver-San Francisco-L.A. jaunt. I also drove to Chicago and back for Thanksgiving, but that was an overnight just-get-there burner in both directions.

Other than that, I did manage to sneak in a handful of more serendipitous 12-36 hour trips, which had been a goal of mine coming into this year:
  • Wheeling/West Va. Panhandle (Feb.)
  • Centralia, PA (Mar.)
  • Tuscarawas River/Akron (Apr.)
  • Harrisburg/Lehigh Valley (Jul.)
  • Western Chesapeake shore/St. Mary's Peninsula (Aug.)
  • Upper Eastern Shore/Rock Hall, MD (Sep.)
  • Lehigh Valley/Lancaster (Nov.)
  • Wayne National Forest/Muskingum River (Nov.)


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Re: Your 2014 Road Trips
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2014, 01:57:16 AM »

I finally got to see Monument Valley this year, really enjoyed the US163 drive in the four corners region.
Day 1: OC to Laughlin, NV, which was quite dead for a Saturday night.  The old I-40 exit sign off I-15 that had greenout over a US 66 shield has been replaced with a new sign.
Day 2: Laughlin to Kayenta AZ (US160 at US163): AZ68/US93/I-40/AZ64 through the Grand Canyon/US89/US160
Day 3: Kayenta AZ to Las Vegas via Monument Valley and four corners: US163/US191/US160/NM597/US160/AZ98/US89/US89A/AZ389/UT59/UT9/I-15 (a long day of driving, too bad it was dark when I got to the Virgin River Gorge)
Day 4: Las Vegas, not crowded on a Tuesday
Day 5: back to Orange County


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Re: Your 2014 Road Trips
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2014, 07:39:43 AM »

I had quite a few Norfolk-Vermont trips as I prepped for my Navy retirement.  As a general rule, not a whole lot of new territory, but it did allow me to get some previously untouched state route mileage in New England, New York, and the Mid-Atlantic.

I also had a Navy-related trip from Norfolk to/from Mayport, FL.  Going down was uneventful (I-95), but we came back via Charleston, SC in a way where I snagged some SC mileage.

My big trip was late March/early April where I did a large triangular trip.  From Norfolk, I headed to Minnesota via the middle-Tennessee meet.  After a week home in Minnesota, my aunt joined me for a trip out to Vermont, via southern Michigan, southern Ontario, and Niagara Falls.  The last leg of the trip was from Vermont back to Norfolk via Newport, RI and Manhattan.

Since I retired from the Navy, I've had a few trips here and there...a couple down to Boston, one over to Maine, and the Quebec City meet.  But I'm now in the same boat as HB, where finances preclude many trips or longer trips.


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Re: Your 2014 Road Trips
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2014, 01:44:45 PM »

I got to do most of what I intended coming into 2014...

Jan - completed clinching the entire Delaware primary system

Feb - took a trip to Key West, then to Baton Rouge.  Finished I-95 south of NYC; finished US 1 south of Maine; finished US 27 south of I-40

Mar - Hampton Roads roadmeet.  Other than a few one-on-one meetings with Froggie this was my first roadmeet.

Apr - day roundtrip to Marion NC.  Fully clinched US 19W and US 221

May - day roundtrip to Cleveland, OH.  Fully clinched US 322, US 422, I-77

July - day roundtrip to Erie, PA.   Finished US 19 above 19E-W split; fully clinched US 6N and I-79

Aug - annual day roundtrip to Oneonta, NY for Brooks BBQ.  Fully clinched US 4, US 9W, and NY 17

Sep/Oct - 3 week trip to Vancouver BC; clinched I-72, I-82, I-86 (west); got about 1000 miles of the TCH; about 1000 more new miles of US routes (mainly US 30, US 35, US 36, US 52, US 81)

Nov - day roundtrip to Eastern Shore of MD; clinched 30-something MD routes and am now 98% done with MD east of Chesapeake Bay



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Re: Your 2014 Road Trips
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2014, 02:07:19 PM »

Three most significant trips this year were to Nashville in April, to Chicago (with a side of Wisconsin and a random unplanned dash of Iowa) in August, and to Quebec City in October.

Noteworthy achievements for the year:
- clinched the entire state highway system for Connecticut
- clinched all of NYSDOT region 8 state highways
- clinched all of I-95
- clinched all interstates for West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, and Maine (and by proxy all of New England)
- clinched all counties for Massachusetts and Maine (and by proxy all of New England)
- visited two new states (Wisconsin and Iowa), bringing my total to 39
- visited one new province (New Brunswick), bringing my total to 3

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Re: Your 2014 Road Trips
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2014, 11:25:29 PM »

I had a few significant trips in 2014, along with plenty of weekend jaunts. I am finding that a lot of my road trips are becoming destination based as opposed to just driving the roads themselves.

In April, I made a trip down to western North Carolina and East Tennessee, clinching the remaining counties I needed in NC during the trip.  I also saw many waterfalls and mountain summits as well.

I had the opportunity to spend a week driving cross country in early June. I live in Upstate NY, but my mother lives on the West Coast and looks for someone to go on the trip with her. I picked up a new state (Nebraska) along the way and visited the Tetons.

I visited the United Kingdom and Ireland for the first time this fall.  I didn't do any driving (but took a lot of charter buses), but I certainly would call it a trip.

Some other trips that I took include a weekend flight for the St. Louis meet (my attendance at the meet was hatched after a night of drinking), the Quebec City meet, a couple trips to Maryland and some travels all over New York State, New England, New Jersey and more.

I have a few trips planned for 2015, but I too see my time spent on trips dwindling over time. It's not necessarily due to finances, but rather that I want to invest more time in some other pursuits (such as hiking). But fear not, I am planning on remaining in the hobby.


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Re: Your 2014 Road Trips
« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2014, 05:52:57 AM »

I did CA-4, CA-70, and NV-2 end-to-end, and a portion of US-50 from Carson City to Austin, NV.
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Re: Your 2014 Road Trips
« Reply #15 on: December 25, 2014, 10:25:55 PM »

(1) Attended the meets in Hampton Roads, Delmarva and New York City and minimeets in honor of the newly widened New Jersey Turnpike and the new I-95 Express Toll Lanes in Baltimore City and Baltimore County, Maryland.

(2) Went to a conference in Denver, Colorado, and was able to clinch all of I-70 (including the section between Denver and I-15 in Utah).  Especially pleasing since I had never been on any part of I-70 west of Ohio before. Also clinched all of every I-470 in existence as part of the trip.

(3) Clinched the I-95 Express Toll Lanes in Maryland and the 95 Express Lanes in Virginia.  Not that there is much in the way of mileage associated with either.
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Re: Your 2014 Road Trips
« Reply #16 on: December 25, 2014, 11:18:30 PM »

This is just abysmal..

1) Almost clinched I-195 in NJ (IT'S THE LAST EXIT ON THE EAST SIDE I'M MISSING!  :ded: )

2) Visited Philadelphia

3) Visited Camden (and lived to tell the tale)

I'm hoping 2015 will be much more eventful, with me turning 21 in 30 days.
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Re: Your 2014 Road Trips
« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2014, 12:06:57 PM »

I had quite a bit of travel this year, some by car, some by train, and a lot by air.  I started out the year with a trip to Washington, DC for the Transportation Research Board annual meeting.  I am a member of the TRB Managed Lanes Committee; this was my first time ever at the annual meeting.  I flew into Baltimore and took Metrobus to the Greenbelt Metro station.  I got to see some of MD-295 and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.  In DC I used the Green and Red lines and either walked or used shuttle buses to get between the Washington Hilton and the Marriott. This allowed me to get real familiar with Connecticut Avenue in DC.  On my last day there, I walked through some of the neighborhoods between the Marriott and the National Cathedral.  Coming home, I used the Red Line and the MARC train to go back to BWI.

I do a lot of travel between Sacramento and the Bay Area and southern California.  When going to the Bay Area, I will usually use Capitol Corridor and BART.  If I travel to Los Angeles, I will usually go by air to Burbank and then take Metrolink.  This year, I flew into LAX a couple of times and used the FlyAway shuttle, which uses a portion of the I-110 express lanes.   This spring, California served as the host state for the annual meeting of the FHWA pool fund study group for managed lanes.  I was able to arrange for tours of the two express lane facilities on I-10 and I-110 and during those tours I was able to  clinch the entire length of the 110 express lanes and most of the express lanes on I-10.

This year, in addition to my several trips by air, I also took 3 road trips to southern California.  The first trip was simply for a vacation at Disneyland.  The second two trips were for me to attend the TRB Managed Lanes committee midyear conference in Irvine and then attend the annual Mobility 21 conference that talks about the future of transportation in southern California (I was a panelist at a session on tolling) for me while the wife and kids went to the home of the famous mouse).  We took I-5 all the way down and back on the first trip.  On the second trip, we took I-5 all the way down and used CA-99 for the route back to Sacramento, which allowed me to clinch the last 20 miles of 99 between I-5 and CA-58.  It also added an extra hour to the trip, which my wife wasn't too happy about.   On the third trip we used I-5 to I-210 to CA-57.  This allowed me to clinch all of CA-57, which I don't think I had done.  Coming home, I wanted to avoid downtown LA, so I used I-5 to CA-91 to I-110 to I-105 to I-405 back to I-5.  This allowed me to clinch CA-91 and I-405 (which was surprisingly uncongested through west LA).

We may be taking a big road trip to Montana this summer to visit my brother-in-law, who lives in Darby, which is on US-93.  On this trip we will most likely take I-80 to Wells, Nevada, and then go north on US-93 through all of Idaho and then into Montana.  Darby is just a little north of the state line. I could see us possibly taking 93 all the way up to Kalispell to visit my wife's uncle or possibly visit friends who live west of 93 in the Clark Fork Valley of Montana. 

I wish you all a safe and happy 2015. 

« Last Edit: December 26, 2014, 12:50:54 PM by jrouse »


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Re: Your 2014 Road Trips
« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2014, 04:41:42 PM »

In July, I rode on Interstates 80, 88, and 355 in Illinois and that's it.

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Re: Your 2014 Road Trips
« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2014, 06:01:33 PM »

I've been doing a lot of road tripping this year, probably the most since I lived in Wyoming and made quarterly visits to Atlanta. Most of these trips were comprised of visits to colleges, as well as visiting my sister at Georgia Tech. April was very busy, with a visit to the U of Maryland, a trip down to Ft Lauderdale for a cruise, and a bus trip to St Louis which allowed me to clinch all of I-64. Summer was fairly light, as I spent most of July at a summer camp at Lynchburg College. Fall was busy as well, with many trips to college football games (W Mich. at VT, Ga Southern at GT, GT at NC State, ACC Championship) and a big trip to the University of Illinois.

Destinations (trips longer than 100 miles):
  • DC / College Park, MD in Early April
  • Ft. Lauderdale, FL in Mid April
  • St. Louis, MO via bus in Late April
  • Blacksburg, VA in Early June
  • Lynchburg, VA in Early July, with side trip to Blacksburg
  • Atlanta, GA in Mid August, with side trip to Ellijay, GA
  • Blacksburg (again) in Mid September
  • Atlanta (again) in Late September, with stop in Columbia, SC
  • Blacksburg (for a third time) in Mid October
  • Champaign, IL in Early November
  • Raleigh, NC in Mid November
  • Charlotte, NC in Early December


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Re: Your 2014 Road Trips
« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2014, 11:47:49 PM »

The only roadtripping I ever do for fun usually only involves taking 1-2 hour drives into neighboring counties to clinch minor sections of state highway, and that hasn't changed in 2014. I added about 15 miles to US 30 in Iowa, 12 miles to IL-92, and all of IL-192 in two separate trips. I would have done more, but I simply didn't have time.

In addition to my annual trip from Davenport to St. Johns, MI and my many trips between Davenport and Valparaiso, I was able to drive solo down from Davenport to Greensboro, NC via Louisville for a music festival. I had been there before, but I took a different route this time. Now I have clinched all of I-65 in IN, and everything between Louisville and Greensboro via Lexington and Knoxville.


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Re: Your 2014 Road Trips
« Reply #21 on: December 28, 2014, 01:51:42 PM »

I went on several road trips this year. All of these trips happened to be on vacation so it was kind of a win-win situation. Next April I'm actually going on a road trip to Nashville which should be exciting.

Here are the big trips I went on this year:
April 2014- I went to California over Spring break and we drove from San Francisco down to L.A. with a day trip to San Diego. We used the Pacific Coast Highway for most of the time.

July 2014- I went on my annual Adirondack/Green Mountain trip. This isn't a very long road trip, but my favorite parts are probably driving on the Berkshire Spur and going on I-87 through the mountains.

The rest of my trips were all to places within a 100-200 mile drive so I wouldn't consider them very big road trips.



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Re: Your 2014 Road Trips
« Reply #22 on: December 28, 2014, 06:13:08 PM »

My 2014 state count finished out at 10:


My so-called extreme points:

N = Portland, ME
E= Portland, ME
W= Lemoyne, PA (west of Harrisburg)
S= Elkton, MD (barely 1 mile west of the DE border)

While nothing new was added lifetime in New England, I did add a chunk of the Pennsylvania Turnpike between greater Harrisburg to the US Route 1 exit in Bensalem near the Philadelphia line. I also added a couple of PA counties while riding roughly north and west from the Elkton, MD area to Lancaster and then onto Harrisburg from there. I was on Long Island (outside of NYC) for only the second time in my life.


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Re: Your 2014 Road Trips
« Reply #23 on: December 29, 2014, 01:36:53 AM »

Summer was fairly light, as I spent most of July at a summer camp at Lynchburg College.

Yes!!!! That's my alma mater (class of 2009). What kind of camp were you attending there? Was it Governor School?

What did you think of LC?

Disclaimer: All comments here represent my own personal opinion(s) as citizen Laura.

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Re: Your 2014 Road Trips
« Reply #24 on: December 29, 2014, 12:35:03 PM »

I did a few standard trips; nothing extraordinary:

NJ to FL and back, via 95.  As I go visit someone in The Villages in FL, when I get near Jacksonville I take I-10 to 301 South.  This year I took a different route in Florida that took me thru some of the open swamp lands FL is known for.  Interesting scenery.

Took 2 trips to the Cleveland area that mostly involved I-76 & I-80, including one which the sole purpose of the ride was to surprise our niece.  She was absolutely shocked when we showed up at her coffee house ...and revealing the entire point of the our 8 hour drive was to surprise her! (Actually, on facebook I termed it an 8 hour drive for a cup of coffee!) :-)

Amazingly, my wife took 2 more road trips than I did...a 3rd trip to the Cleveland area with her mom, and up to the Boston area, again with her mom.

Not really a road trip, but we flew to the DR this month and travelled on some of their roads near the Punta Cana area to/from the all inclusive resort.  I'll post some of the pics I got one of these days...


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