American Odyssey 2007 - A Continuation


America Revisited


The introduction to this, my second journey through the U.S.A. with Elisabeth - and the journal which follows it - will be a little different to the first one. After all, 2004 had been my first ever trip to the United States and inevitably everything was new to me, extremely exciting with the anticipation of seeing an almost life-long dream coming true in middle-age and I felt a pressing need to plan carefully as much as possible ahead of time - routes, over-night stops, etc., etc., at least as a framework from within which I could operate and manœuvre. There was also an element of vicarious pleasure and excited anticipation in entering into a world of what was soon to become a reality.

In 2004, we were allocated what I thought would be adequate time to deliver a car from San Francisco to Atlanta, leaving a day or two en route for sight-seeing. This was more or less so, except that in most cases we arrived at our intermediate stops rather late in the day and the sites we wished to visit were mainly closed and the following morning didn't open until a relatively late hour and we had, perforce, to be on our way.

Since I am a confirmed addict when it comes to travel and driving, the anticipatory excitement remained very much alive for this trip as well but the need to plan ahead became a little less imperative and essential because of the experience gained from travelling within the United States on our first visit.

On this occasion, Michelle and John, Elisabeth's daughter and son-in-law, who had relocated to Phoenix from Las Vegas, placed at our disposal their second vehicle - a Dodge pick-up - so we had theoretically unlimited time, restricted only by the serious budgetary considerations of enormous fuel costs (on average around U$3.50 a gallon - and at 17 m.p.g. this was no joke; in 2004 it was less than U$2 per gallon!). The one limiting factor in the time-schedule was the need to be back home six or seven weeks hence, for the expected birth of my younger son's first son, sometime after the 10th June - an enormous difference from the 9 days we had for our first trip, and a much more relaxed time schedule.

Elisabeth allocated at least one week with each of her two married children in Phoenix and Muncie IN and several days with each of her two cousins in Los Angeles and Navarre Beach, Florida. The rest of the time would be spent driving between destinations and visiting selected points of interest along the way - those that had necessarily to be ignored or by-passed in 2004 among them and some new ones that had been newly researched or "discovered" as time went by.
It is important to mention that I am aware that my choice of locations has been put together from bits of knowledge acquired during my lifetime - sometimes from as long ago as geography and history lessons in high school; on items that have caught my attention and interest throughout the years; from information picked up from perusing maps, web sites etc., and so on - and that I am totally aware that there is an infinity of locations that I do not know of, or that I know of but we had neither the time nor the budget to allow us to visit all of them (and the increased number of overnights incurred by such extensions would also play havoc with our financial resources), so - including places of Elisabeth's choice - our final visits are very subjective and to a large degree dictated to us by our route; readers should realize this and know that we acknowledge that other travellers would have made other choices. The U.S. is so vast and so full of interest that there is not enough time in one lifetime to see everything that calls the attention so we know that we missed much more than we saw. By the same token, the photos shown here are only the tip of the iceberg and a small selection of a total of nearly 500-600 that we have on disc - to say nothing of four hours of video!

The family visits also were more relaxed with more time spent at each place and it is possible that those periods will not be covered on a "minute-by-minute" basis as was the visit in 2004; I will see how the narrative unfolds itself and try to guard carefully against boring my readers.................

The original route I had been planning on since the inception of this second trip, was considerably more "adventurous" and comprehensive than had been the first, encompassing a journey from west to east through the northern States - Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, up-State New York (Niagara Falls) and down the east coast to Miami, then back west along the I-10 to Phoenix. This route remained relevant until quite a short time before our departure when time and money after all gradually forced me to realize that it was too ambitious a route and had to be abandoned. However we would be covering areas that had been missed on our first trip and spending more time in places that had been closed on our first visit. We would also be returning to Phoenix from Muncie by a shorter route than our east-bound one, taking a more-or-less direct route via the I-70, 44 and 40 and thereby adding totally new states and areas to our "catalogue" of "places visited" - Illinois, Missouri, Oklahoma, northern Texas and northern New Mexico.

And so, with this brief explanation out of the way, there seems little more to say other than to invite you to join us driving across the United States and visiting some of the places....... "where our caravan has rested."

This link will take you to my other, main web site Holy Land Tours

And this one to our first journey - American Odyssey