The package from AAA arrived today. I think they must be trying to save money, because for a 3000+ trip they sent the triptik accompanied by the Southeastern and Southwestern maps. It used to be you got a map of the US, the regional maps, and all state maps for the area covered by the triptik. Another matter of lesser quality is the triptik itself. Remember the long narrow pages, bound at the top? They were easier to read and easier to follow, and could tell you at a glance how far you traveled on that particular page as well as how far you had to go.
Now the maps are printed on paper approx. 5 x 8 and bound on the side. The individual pages aren't as easy to glance at when you are driving (with no navigator) as the actual area of the map itself measures less than 4" x 4". I could have printed these out just as well on my home printer, but I was thinking of the old style, bound triptik that I've known and loved for years. Is there any other reason to be a member of AAA if it isn't the maps and triptiks? I am really disappointed in the direction they are taking with this. For those of you who prefer to print your own maps in the first place, I say go for it! I don't want a bunch of 8 x 10 sheets that are difficult to handle while driving, or stopping at a rest area, for example. Lest I get comments chiding me for looking at maps whle driving, I will say that the old triptiks were so visually perfect it just took a quick glance and you could see what you needed to see. And I always look ahead before starting out in the morning, when stopped at a rest area or a fuel stop.
Sometimes if I'm traveling a route I've never been on before, I will print short concise directions in large print with a black marker. That way I can set it beside me on the console and see at a glance what I have to do. This is especially helpful when going through an unfamiliar city with converging interstates.
My decision to quit fulltiming does NOT mean that I am going to quit RVing. I'll still be out on the road again, probably as often as I am now, only with a smaller and more manageable rig plus the comforts of having a home base. I won't have to carry everything I own with me at all times. Actually, carrying it all with me hasn't posed a problem for me so far because of the size of my 5th wheel and the fact that any storage is all mine.
For some reason I am still not at all looking forward to my upcoming trip west - the travel part of it, I mean. I think it must be the first time in my life I haven't been eagerly anticipating a trip. I still can't figure out why, and maybe I never will, but I just hope it goes well. Looking at the route I wonder if I will stick with it, as there are certainly a lot of off-interstate highways. Those are usually my favorite kind, except when towing a 34' 5th wheel. I have a week to mull this over
and I will probably make up my mind within 10 miles of pulling out of Cockspur Island!