The Great American Road Trip- East Bound

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August 16th 2007
Published: August 16th 2007
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The Road Goes on ForeverThe Road Goes on ForeverThe Road Goes on Forever

Maybe the Allman Brothers were right!!
Greetings to you all! This is the first of our travel blogs. We hope that you will enjoy following along with us as we explore some wonderful places both in the U.S. and abroad. It is our goal to work out as many of the kinks and master the learning curve of this site so that by the time we leave the country we will be comfortable with the process. Currently, getting the photos on the blog is proving to be quite the challenge! We will post more photos when possible........

Our plans will take us out of the country from September 16th 2007 to March 27th, 2008. During that time we will travel to Singapore, Brunei, Kuala Lumpur, Myanmar, Thailand. Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Bali, New Zealand, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Dubai, London, Amsterdam, Boston and back to Seattle.

So……grab your atlas and follow along with us on our travels

We will miss all of you.

Seattle to Ohio

As we pulled out of the storage unit after 8:00 p.m. on July 24th it became official. We had quit our jobs, sold our house and put everything in storage. This is a bit
Breakfast at Stuffy'sBreakfast at Stuffy'sBreakfast at Stuffy's

This place is fabulous
daunting until we realized that we had what we needed in the car: clothing, music, books, our computers, a cooler, and Miss Lillie.

It was time to take off on a great adventure. The first chapter included traversing a good chunk of the U.S. with Ohio as our destination. And so we left. We were incredibly weary; the past weeks had taken toll on both our minds and bodies.

The first night we had planned on making it to Salem, Oregon which was about four hours away. The reality was that we only made it to Kelso, Washington, staying at the same Best Western we stayed at only a few years before as it was close to Mt. St. Helens. We checked in and promptly collapsed…….

The next morning provided renewed hope and energy. We rose fairly early and I inquired at the desk if there was a local breakfast diner. The lady at the desk told us that there was a place not too far from the hotel called Stuffy’s. It proved to be an interesting place in that it was a local place with down home ambiance. The eggs were referred to as “kackleberries.” Seriously,
Covered Bridge in OregonCovered Bridge in OregonCovered Bridge in Oregon

We first saw these in Indiana and were suprised to see them in Oregon. Dave felt was living in the Bridges of Madison County.
we’re not making this up! They are famous for their “Hunk of Burnin’ Love” omellete. Stuffy’s makes the trip to Kelso worth while. It is a slice of Americana. The waitresses wear poodle skirts and ponytails. Marilyn and Elvis greet you at the door. They do not offer healthy or low cal fair but it is worth the experience. Portions are large and full of carbs. Oldies playing on the juke box.

We got in the car with full bellies and a sense of adventure. It was time to hit the open road and make some tracks, cover some miles, get on down the road. That didn’t last very long as we barely made it into Medford, Oregon. We found ourselves still worn out and tired. We checked into the Motel 6 and called it a night.

The next morning we went to see The Vortex in Ashland, Oregon. Ashland is perhaps better known for its Shakespeare Festival each year, but we were there to see something straight out of Ripley’s Believe it or Not. The site claims to defy the laws of physics as they demonstrated how items such as golf balls were rolled downhill, but actually would stop and roll back uphill. The Vortex was okay, but perhaps we were expecting more.

Oh well, onto to bigger and better things. We took an incredibly beautiful drive from Ashland to the northern California coast. We stopped in Crescent City California and had lunch at a park overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Quite scenic. Then on to Eureka to visit Mia and Ted, friends we had not seen in over a decade.

From Eureka it was on to Napa Valley, with a stop in Healdsburg, California, Healdsburg is quite lovely with its attention to the town square and ambiance which suggested a simpler time…..only in this case the people who live here are fairly affluent judging by the types of stores and the cars on the street. We had a wonderful time in Napa with our friend Kim, who has given up travel nursing (at this time) for a more settled life.

The next day was a long one as we went from Napa to Salt Lake City, Utah. We were road weary when we arrived, but still went to see the Mormon Church and surrounding edifices in downtown Salt Lake. The entire complex is quite
Napa Valley VineyardNapa Valley VineyardNapa Valley Vineyard

Gunbun Vineyard
stunning in its design and the grounds are meticulously kept.

From there it was a journey across the heartland of the country. We love road trips and it was great to drive through the Nevada deserts, the mountains in Wyoming and the farmland in Nebraska and Missouri.

We had picnics at roadside rest stops and ate in local diners. We took the time to look around and take a closer look at our surroundings. We have an amazingly beautiful country and it is great that everyone wants to live different settings. It never ceases to amaze us how strikingly beautiful this country of ours is and how diverse the topography is from location to location. Those geology courses have paid off!

Next stop was Louisville, Kentucky where we had a wonderful evening with Tom and Nora. (Dave’s Ohio State College friends)

On to Toledo where we spent several days celebrating a very special 80th birthday (Dave’s Mom) and had a great time with Dave’s family. We also got the chance to dine with the family at our favorite restaurant, the Beirut. It simply has the best Lebanese food in the entire world!

Our brother-in law Jeff and his son Mark took us out for a boat ride on Lake Erie and it was wonderful. It indeed is a “great” lake. It also afforded us the chance to get caught up with good friends Dale and Chris Kunkel, Chuck and Birdie Metz, John and Kay Pither, and George Wells. It is always great to connect with them when we visit Toledo.

From there it was on to Burlington, Kentucky to visit with our dear friends Art & Deb. Good thing they have a pool because it hit 100 degrees. It is warm in the mid-west this year and quite dry in places. We got to tour the countryside and enjoy their wonderful hospitality.

Next stop was Dayton, Ohio to visit Merry Jo’s family and drop Miss Lillie off at her new home for the next few months. She seems to be settling in and doing well. Again, we were very lucky to get to go out on Sharolyn and Rex’s boat. They have a lovely place near the lake with a stunning view. We really enjoyed Brookville Lake. It was beautiful and peaceful.

If you want to travel with your pets there are a lot of hotels that now allow them. Most have a $10 pet fee. Some have refundable deposits but the most expensive one we ran into was at the Best Western in Louisville, Kentucky where they charged $25.

As we travel along we decided to do an informal study on gas prices. So far the most expensive we have found is in Northern California at $3.80 and the cheapest was in Ohio at $2.58 a gallon.

We’ll sign off for now. We will be back on the road by the end of the week, heading our way back toward Seattle soon and will send one more blog before we leave the country.

Soon we will send information about purchasing an around the world airline ticket—should you want to book your own trip!!

Happy Travels, Dave and Merry Jo


16th August 2007

Lets Eat
Sounds like your having fun. If your looking for a place to eat check out It's a blog about places to eat all over the place. Might be fun to try one of them out. Happy Travels!!
25th January 2014

Chow hound
I was reading some of our older blogs this morning and smiled when I saw your message about chow hound. It is a great place to find those off the beaten path diners that will clog your arteries. We love road trips and life on the road so we will keep that handy.
16th August 2007

I know France and Thailand pretty well geographically, but have never driven across the US so thanks for a great description of what that's like. We look forward to more adventure stories.
17th August 2007

How wonderful
Sounds like you guys are having a wonderful start to the greatest adventure of your life. Keep the info coming looking forward to back seat traveling with you.
25th January 2014

World travels
Hi Geri, I was reading some older blogs this morning and came across your comment and smiled. Hope you are still following along on our travels. We've been so many places since we left Seattle in 2007. Hope you are doing well.
17th August 2007

Far and Close
Your travels may take you far from us but the blog keeps us close to you in heart! Your travel diary is a treasure!
28th August 2007

What fun!! I decided I was getting tired of Ohio again - like you have lived out of Ohio more than in it and took and job at Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles. Cost of living is through the roof, but I love, love my job. Outpatient cancer clinic - I work exclusively for two doctors four days a week. Biff is with me and the love of my life is Eddie my piebald miniature dashchund.

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