Stateside Road Trip travel blog


After an excellent visit with friends in Boise, I did the last long drive back to the ranch.

A few thoughts after a month on the road.

The best road scenery was the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Dramatic basalt cliffs close at hand, the big river just below.

Worst road scenery was downtown Cairo, Illinois. I have never seen such a rundown, dismal urban center. Dishonorable runner-up was the approach to Little Rock, Arkansas -- unbelievable number of unattractive billboards.

The worst food of the trip was Cici's Pizza Buffet. It might be worth half the price you pay.

The most fancy overnight was the Candlewood in Cheyenne, Wyoming. I had a booking.com coupon for $40 off a $90 room, so I went out of my league for one night. Complimentary laundry, in-room kitchenette.

Least fancy overnight was 11 hours in the tent at Pickwick Landing State Park, Tennessee. I have to admit, I was impressed by Ranger Tim. He drove up when I was puzzling out the check-in system (MUST have reservation), and proceeded to lead me to a decent campsite, to take care of all the paperwork, and to offer me firewood. Too bad I don't do campfires.

Biggest surprise was the extent to which I was willing to drive to see yet another mound site. Cahokia was worth a full day.

Second biggest surprise was how the cats seemed to be glad to see me when I got home.

Best rest areas, probably a tie between Idaho and Wyoming.

Worst rest areas, Oklahoma, if you could find one.

Best point of interest markers, Idaho. Well signed, plenty of warning, plenty of room to pull aside, big yellow headlines, easy to read.

I'm not sure I'd want to to this again. At one point not quite all the way to Florida, I was wondering how much it would cost to ship the car home and fly back.

Cost-wise, I spent just over $3,000, about $1,000 each for gas and lodging.

I am always asked where I am going next. I don't know. One of my friends told me he was surprised I'm still traveling after all the trips Mo and I have made in the past few years. He has a point.

I am going to be in The Nutcracker yet again this winter. I have agreed to reprise my role in Don Quixote in May. So, I'm probably staying close to home for at least the next seven or eight months.

Thank you to everyone who reads my little travel journal. If you have comments or questions, email me at james.eychaner@gmail.com or call me at 360-888-4301. I would love to hear from you.



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