Cross Country




Notes from the road
Spring 05
DeAnza to Shangri-La
to Marienville, PA
and a side trip to IOWA

When traveling, I like to take my time and spend a couple of nights at each stop. However, due to some RV and dental work that needed to be done in Phoenix, I don't have that luxury and am pressed for time. So, if I want to be in PA on the agreed date, this is going to be a speed run with little or no picture taking. I will continue to make comments on my pocket recorder though.



The road planners in Yuma aren’t very creative; they have a road called Avenue 8 1/2!

Welcome sign at Gila Bend, Welcome to Gila Bend, home of 1,700 friendly people and 5 old crabs.

It looks like AZ 85 is being expanded to a 4 lane, divided highway. That will be nice when they finish it.


Exit 244 on Hwy 17 north of New River, Bad Ass Bar-B-Q! I’ll have to try that next time I’m in New River.

Heard on the radio: More PC; a new title, “Administrative Professional’s Week”, for what we used to call “Secretary’s Week”.

Hwy 17, mile 320, I’m at about 6000 feet and back into the evergreens when up popped a mountain with snow on top! First snow I've seen in a looong time.

Well, I can now say that I’ve stood on a corner in Winslow Arizona.

More Snow! There is a mountain in New Mexico with snow on the top!!! And it is definitely volcanic; I am driving through volcanic lava debris fields.

I just got passed by two “stretch” vehicles. One a Cadillac and the other was an SUV!

On the Highway in New Mexico, there is a road sign that was obviously made up by a very anal engineer. It said “Road Construction – Next 6.88 miles”.

I have been ahead of some kind of weather front ever since I hit Highway 40; there are very ominously dark clouds behind me and on both sides. I hope I can stay ahead of it.

Overnight the clouds caught up with me but there wasn’t any rain, just lots of wind. This morning on the road again it’s clear blue skies and still very windy. I considered waiting at Albuquerque until this front blows over but a quick check of weather conditions east of here on Hwy 40 showed that the wind wasn’t too bad after I got out of the canyon and back on the flat desert. So here I am, back on the road.

On the radio: "Cinco de Mayo is on the 6th of May". Oookaay.

I never knew Tucumcari was in New Mexico, but I just saw the sign.

I just passed through an area that was shown on the software map as “under construction – to be completed by May 05”. Not hardly!!! Maybe by May 06.

Mile 128, I’ve just seen my first “Rest Stop” in Texas; I’ve seen “Picnic Stops” and “Parking Stops”, but this is the first Rest Stop. The difference being the other two don’t have bathrooms and the Parking stops don’t have tables.

I just figured out why I just breezed through Oklahoma City and am now breezing through Tulsa, without any traffic problems, It’s SUNDAY!

Sign on the Turnpike, “Do not drive into smoke”. I wonder what that’s all about?

Now here’s something I didn’t know, there’s a Miami OK.

Gas in OK is $2.12/gal

Missouri must be having an infestation of tent caterpillars, the trees are covered with their “nests”.

Missouri is also the only state I’ve been in so far that has mile markers every 0.2 miles.

Now here’s something you don’t see every day, a women herding a bunch of goat up the road from her mailbox.

Gas in Missouri is $2.18

Did you know that Missouri is the “Cave State”?


Random thought: Why are car steering wheels on the left but boat helms on the right?

I’ve come to the conclusion that I-44 through Missouri is the worst in the country, it’s even worse than Mex-1 as far as smoothness.

Well, I now know that I’m nearing the east coast, I just saw my first White Castle, on the outskirts of Saint Louis.

I’ve just seen my first speed limit sign that mentions RV’s; “Trucks & RV’s – 55 MPH”.

Find out what the purple flowered trees are

Also the white flowered ones.

Gas in Illinois is $2.11

Well, I can finally up my speed a little, the sign says 65 – except trucks over 13 tons. Since I’m not a truck and I only weigh 10 tons I guess I can speed up a bit.

Gas in Indiana is $2.05, if this keeps up it’ll be below $2 by the time I get to PA.

A pet peeve: people that pass me and then pull into my lane but don’t turn on their turn signal until they are 2/3 of the way into my lane already. I guess they believe in “better late than never”.

In Indianapolis, where the speed limit is supposed to be 70 for vehicles and 55 for trucks, I’ve had to kick it up to 65 and I’m still getting passed, by trucks.

According to a sign, I just crossed “Nameless Creek”. But if they’ve given the creek the name of “Nameless”, then it isn’t nameless, is it.

Guess what, the “Big Blue River” is actually brown!

Gas has climbed back up to $2.17

That rain that has been a day behind me ever since I left Flagstaff has finally caught up with me here in Columbus. But so far just a light rain, nothing to worry about.

Boy you can sure tell that it’s very early spring this far north, the trees are still bare.


New twist on the “Buckle Up” sign. “Buckle Up for the next Million Miles”.

In PA they have “Beer Barns”. These are drive through beer distributors that also carry water, soda pop, ice, and some even have chips and snacks.

There is a town here in PA named Dubois, and that’s the way they pronounce it. “Du-boys”!, not “Du-bua” as in the French name, but “Du-boys”!

Arrived Marienville PA. Home for the next 6 months.

Exploration to Erie PA.

Well finally, gas at under 2 bucks!! $1.99 in Erie PA! (May 23).

On State highway 6 there is a town called Corry. They call themselves the “Town that Rocks”. Why? Because they build rocking chairs there, of course.

Also, highway 6 is called the “Grand Army of the Republic”. With a name like that you might expect something big, not just a 2 lane road.

Clariondon PA has a church that is made out of a real dark stone – and bright purple doors and window trim! Wow, what an eye-opener!!!

In this area, you see a lot of “camps”. These are not campgrounds or Church/Scout “Camps” but private vacation cabins. So a “camp” is just a cabin in the woods, some of which are more luxurious than anything I ever lived in!

Interesting placename in PA, Soapfat road. Must be a story behind that name!

This covers my little road trip to Eldridge, Iowa to pick up my new RV. You can read more about the Iowa stop and my new RV under the "New RV" tab on the left.

Interesting placename in Illinois, “Starved Rock”, - How do you starve a rock???

ON THE ROAD IN MY NEW COACH! From Eldridge IA to Marienville PA.

Gas in Iowa, $2.39, in Illinois is $2.59. 20 cents just from crossing the Mississippi River!

Gas in Indiana is $2.65!

General observation; A lot of the local radio stations in the heartland play the Star Spangled Banner at noon!

Has anyone wondered about the word “Middlesex” as in the town of East Middlesex? Doesn’t the word "middle" indicate that there should be two ends? Like Uppersex and Lowersex, or maybe top and bottom, or how about front and back? Start and end? Obviously, this drive is getting boring!

Arrived back at Forest Ridge about 4 PM. I really drew a crowd when I drove through the campground to get to my site. All the Seasonals and the park owners came running to see my new coach. What with all the gabbing and tours through the coach, it took about 2 hours to get set up. Of course, we had to move my porch and a lot of other stuff because, unlike the old one, the new coach laid out correctly, with the main slide on the left and the big awning on the right.

Well, back to work.