On Sunday, March 12, 2006, Corliss P. and Gail P. set out in their PT Cruiser, MobyWho, to take a little
tour of some new-to-them country. Leaving Burlington, they set off for New Orleans, Mobile, and
Venice. Logmeister Corliss will note the picky details; hours, miles, gallons of gas, doughnut stops,
etc. We gassed up today (Saturday) at precisly 20,700 miles on the odometer. The back window
wouldn't go up, but it was determined that we had hit the childlock button when we threw a bunch of
books-on-tape in the back. The seats are left up as we didn't want the two myer lemon trees that we
were returning to their native home to move around too much. So bags packed...
Go to New Orleans
|Tuesday, March 14 - Winchester, KY to Tuscaloosa, AL 8:37 am to 5:45 pm
Big Day...had free two eggs, toast and coffee for breakfast, then headed west and south
around Lexington. Whizzed past Lexington on the Interstate, then opted to take Rt. 68,
the road with green dots, until we picked up the Interstate again at (to be filled in).
Beauty comes at a price. The road twisted and turned as we looked to starboard and
saw the straight drop of close to 200 yards, down a coal-like slate cliff into a riverbed.
The yellow warning signs for curves ranged from 40 mph to 30, to 15 and one reached
10 mph – that was a tough one. Fortunately, there was zip traffic save one or two cars
that were strictly local and turned off as we approached them. We were in a canyon, for
heavens’ sake! Right outside the city!
Of slight interest was the fact that the south is known for sociability, yet in VT cows
spend their days in groups whereas here, they are scattered far and wide. Rarely did
you see two or more together. Go figure that out.
Most notable was the composition of the rocks here. Whereas northern ones are tightly
packed and large, the cut faces of the roadside were made up of very fine, narrow
sheets of rock and the striations are pretty horizontal. I guess Mother Earth just pushed
up a table instead of bursting skyward at an angle.
The general topography of Kentucky was quite unlike West Virginia. Whereas WV had
fairly large, rounded hills, these were pointy little bumps, more like pimples or zits. Many
had tufts of trees on top arising abruptly, like a Mohawk haircut.
Around noon, Kentucky gave way to Tennessee as we continued on down the
Interstate. It was far more commercial and industrial in this section. We passed by
Nashville with no indication that it was the music capital of Country, and slipped silently
into Alabama at a comfortable 80mph. (The traffic moves down here.)
By now, we had lost all the hills and vistas, and just cruised easily down a highway that
could have been Anywhere, USA. We enjoyed listening to The Friends of Eddie Coyle,
a particularly maudlin and gruesome account of gun running bank robbers, on the
talking books we’d taken from the Burlington library.
Passing Birmingham, we began to look for a place to spend the night, finally settling on a
Howard Johnson’s just south of Tuscaloosa on US20. It was OK. Went next door to a
Cracker Barrel for a dinner of flour and water (with itzy bitzy pieces of chicken.)
Supposedly dumplings. Ate the chicken, a corn muffin and a biscuit. And so to bed at 9:
48...early rising to leave for Trubee's. Good Night.
|Go to Panama City
|Wednesday, March 15 - Tuscaloosa, AL to Covington, LA 6:00 am to 11:00 am
Eager to get on with it, we rose around 6:00, packed the car, then went into the lobby
for breakfast. A girl was sitting at a table pouring over her papers and books. We
looked for food, when she spoke, “Breakfast isn’t until 6:00.” We spoke, “What time is
it?” Well, it turned out they are on Central Standard Time and we were an hour early!
So…being a Wednesday morning, we had our usual Wednesday breakfast at a nearby
MacDonald’s. You gotta love that place!
We figured on 6 hours to Trubee’s, so kept moving on into Mississippi, thence into
Louisiana on roads not unlike any we’d known in Florida. It only took us 5 hours, so we
exited US 12 a stop or two before Covington, gassed up and had the rather filthy car
Arrived at Trubee’s in time for a tour of the Tchefuncta Country Club Estates. It is a
lovely golf community nestled among tall southern pines (140 to 150 foot variety), live
oak and Spanish moss. The streets meander and the mostly low soft brick houses are
scattered comfortably askew throughout the woods. Every house was built to the
owners plan so there is no hint of sameness; some are graced with floor to ceiling
shutters; some are two story with impressive white columns; others are almost hidden,
tucked among the greenery.
We took a brief tour of the grounds, down to the waterfront area on the Tchefuncta
River where residents keep their boats in covered slips.
The trip concluded, we returned home to be greeted by Zeus, a grey-with-age muzzled
black lab who loves nothing more than lying at your feet and looking up with pleading
eyes, “Please give me a tummy rub.”
Trubee made us a big bowl of his chicken and anduille gumbo served with rosemary rye
bread, all topped off with fresh strawberry shortcake. We went to bed happy and slept
Home of Trubee & Peggy Racioppi
and their black labrador, Zeus
3 Honeysuckle Lane
Go to Next Page
VT to LA to FL to VT - Winter to Spring
|Monday, March 13 - Clearview, PA to Winchester, KY 7:30 am to 5:30 pm
OK - new day; clean slate, except that we have to back track for about an hour to get to
the US 99 we missed the night before. Oh well, that's life. Fortunately, the manager at
the Days Inn was kind enough to check our route on the Internet. Also, he had the
darndest waffle machine I've ever seen. It was circular and it pivoted. Not only that, it
Temperature 51 degrees and comfortably overcast. Some rain off and on during the
Reached West Virginia at 11:00 am. Boy! I thought southerners were slow, but they
MOVE! First, the speed limit was upped to 70. We went 75+ and were left in the dust.
The roads, US 79 and 64 were as fine as any we've ever seen.
Stopped at the Welcome Center - picked up one of those discount motel books, found
one just short of Lexington, and here we are at the Winchester Days Inn. Went to motel
restaurant and some really delicious fried catfish - and so to bed at 10:22.
Scribe Corliss took notes in the marbleized composition book, purchased at the Blue Mall
Dollar Store last evening.
"Ice still on the breakwater - no signs of spring. Left the garage at 8:30 am with a full
tank of gas."
Now, we remember when we were writing "Coastal Cruise.com" and all hell was breaking
lose. But we quickly learned that unless there was "news" there wasn't much to report.
So, as one thing after another went wrong, we rejoiced in the opportunity to pass it on.
This trip was no exception. Who wants to hear that we moved nicely down 22A, passed a
couple of tractors and melded smoothly onto the Northway? NO ONE!
So, absolutely absolving both and either of us any blame for errors, this is the way it went.
First opportunity to make a course decision - Albany. Pick up US 90 to 88 and head to
Gail: "Can you see that sign? Do we go right, West on 90?"
Cor: "I'm not going to Buffalo!"
Gail: "I think that's what we have to do."
So we bear left and head to New York City.
Still unconvinced, we ask the toll taker at the first booth (8 miles down the line.) "How do
we get to Binghampton?"
Toll man: "See that ramp up there? Take it. At the top, go left over the bridge and take
another left, come down that ramp where you see that van, pick up another ticket and go
back to Albany. When you get there, stay on 90 until you get to US 88. Have a nice
That was 11:30 am.
At 5:30 pm, we had clocked in 500 miles and passed thru Snow Shoe, PA. We began to
think that maybe this isn't where we should be.
At 6:00, we checked into Days Inn in Clearfield, PA - a full 45 minutes West of where we
missed the turn to get off.
If we had looked at a map (but we didn't have one - not entirely our fault - AAA gave us
the wrong ones) we would have realized that US 99 didn't cross US 80.
We broke out the bottles, had our nightly pop, then a sandwich at the motel, and hit the
hay at 9:30 pm.
Copyright 2006 Gail Patterson Hunter, all rights reseerved
|A 2006 Auto Trip
Florida's Big Bend