Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Gypsy Granddaughter

Today I am doing what gives me more energy and satisfaction than almost anything else. That is, I'm planning a trip! I spoke with my granddaughter today, and she told me she will probably be driving a car back to school - Sacramento to a small town in central Pennsylvania. A good friend of hers will drive with her and fly back, and there is a possibility her boyfriend will fly out to Sac and drive back with the two girls.

So I called my AAA membership and had her added to mine. They agreed to send her temporary card out today, and since my current membership runs to November, I won't get charged for her until the renewal. Then I started looking at routes and running mapquest for the initial mileage figures for various routes. When she decides basically how she wants to drive it, I will then call the Sioux Falls AAA and have them prepare a classic manual triptik for her.

I think they should stay on or close to the interstates, for safety as well as access to fuel, rest areas, food and lodging. I explained that she can always look at the map for a parallel stretch of highway, and get off the interstate for a few miles. That works exceptionally well in states such as Nebraska, where the roads are fairly straight and a parallel road is about 10 miles away, with a lot of connecting roads along the way.

Mapquest first showed a route that follows I-80 across the country, but that entails going around Chicago, Toledo and Cleveland, which are also toll roads with road work in many sections. So I thought they might drop south a bit from Davenport and through Indianapolis and Columbus, and then straight over into PA. I remember Indianapolis as being easy to drive around, and Columbus being pretty congested and the roads more confusing, but it would be a definite step up from the Chicago area.

Sooo, my little gypsy girl is gonna love it, I think. I will have all sorts of advice for her and she will humor me by actually listening to it, and then probably doing what she thinks best at the time. I get so excited and energized by this sort of thing that I probably won't sleep much tonight. It will be a great experience for her. By the time I was her age I had driven several times from Cincinnati to Washington, DC, as well as a couple of times to New England, and that was long before interstates. I know she will love it.

Meanwhile I haven't made any inroads into my own packing, but I did buy Pop Tarts for breakfast and snacks along the way. I need to vacuum out the pop tart crumbs from my recent trip to North Carolina. I've also made lists for foods to carry along in my cooler for snacks as well as in the motel room or campsite. I hope I can do some camping along the way, and I think my granddaughter and friends will definitely like to camp now and then.

We had rain off and on all day and I think the high got up to about 71 degrees, which was a welcome change. The temps will go back up into the 80's starting tomorrow, but this is a promise of better weather ahead.


  1. She just might surprise you and use all the suggestions you give her. Pop Tarts - that was Todd's breakfast at the race track in Lewistown. You guys are crazy.

  2. The bypass around Columbus is a great road - I-270.

  3. AAA is a great gift for any young driver.

    A couple of safety suggestions: stop for the night before dusk to really check out motels, their clientele, and surroundings.

    Also, if you touch the moving car symbol as your GPS is chugging along, it will show you your exact address and links to get directed to the nearest police, hospital and gas station - at least our Garmin does,and I imagine most other brands have something similar.

  4. Tell your g-daughter to take the bypass at Columbus, but make sure it is the south bypass. It's really easy.

  5. We've had good luck with Chicago but only if it's an early Sunday morning. Been messed up in Indy a few times because of construction on the west side. Like you, I like the excitement of planning a new trip. Love hauling out my big road Atlas & I also use Mapquest & Google Earth. Google Earth is actually great for checking out the layout of a destination before you get there.

  6. Currently, there is construction on I-65, I-465 and I-70 on the west side in the Indianapolis area. However, I have been through there several times this summer and traffic moves quite well. If she is going to take I-70, the construction is just maybe 2 miles on the west side if that long, 465, most of the west side and I-65 in Boone County Indiana. If she is cutting from I-74, cut off east at Indiana St. Rd 32 and go east to I-65 and take that south through downtown Indy to I-70 and then east. This coming weekend in Indy is the Brickyard 400 and motels will be at a premium and traffic will be horrible on the west side.
    I hope she has a safe and pleasant journey. Going through Lebanon, In, (this is where she meets I-65 stop into the Flying J and look for Donaldson's Candy right at the entrance. It is expensive, 16 to 18 dollars a pound, but it is made right there and is excellent.

    Rex from MO.