Shots like this are the reason you need a travel partner. I left Salem, Ohio on July 2, 2013 with no GPS and only the directions I printed off Yahoo Maps, avoiding all major highways and toll roads, and the atlas my sister gave me. So, I went old school and really old school. The drive through Ohio and Pennsylvania was beautiful, cool, and a little rainy. I passed through some of the prettiest mountain towns. I even stopped at a mountain lake to check my maps and take a rest.
I tried to stay away from most major cities. I did have to pass on the out skirts of Pittsburgh. It was an interesting looking skyline tucked up in the mountains. Another reason you need a partner to drive is that you think you are snapping shots and you are not. I have to laugh because I thought I had a lot more pictures than I found on the camera. Note to self, always find a driving partner. You can find traveling companions online through couchsurf.com and other traveling sites. You need to do this ahead of time.
As I was in no hurry, driving 35 to 45 miles an hour most of the way through Ohio and Pennsylvania, was actually nice and relaxing. I still made good time and arrived in the Virginia Beach area by 7 p.m. and this is where the trip started going wrong. I was supposed to go on to Virginia Beach and stay two nights. However, I got turned around in road construction and missed the exit several times. I finally just found a small hotel and turned in for the night.
I woke up the next morning in pain. My thoughts? “Oh what now!” I was mad I did not follow through on my original plans to stay at the hostel in Virginia Beach and now I was hurting and feeling not so good. You see I caught another cold just before I left and all the coughing was taking its toll. Buck up and roll on is all I can do. Besides this is what I love. The drive was still lovely. Once over the North Carolina border I turned east and headed to highway 17. Highway 17 runs south along the coast of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. It passes through small towns and cities like Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Savannah, and Jacksonville.
Aaaww! Care packages from my niece. I love that girl better than french toast. The anti itch cream came in handing later. I rolled on and tried to find the free and low-cost camp sites that I had printed off the internet. I thought for sure I could find one by 3 p.m., set up camp, and go sight seeing before tucking in. I did not find one. Took make matters worse my chest and back were hurting and the car was no longer comfortable. I stopped and back tracked a few times, only to get madder and madder. I am laughing now, because then I was cussing someone who was supposed to be with me. I would have given up, only that is not in me. I stopped across the bridge in Charleston to watch the fireworks, then kept driving. You see in all the states except Florida you can only stay for a few hours in the rest stops. I drove straight through to Florida. Once I crossed the state line I found the first rest stop and crashed for an hour.
I wish that I could have given everyone a better trip through those states. But at this point I was in great pain and needed to find the end of this road. I pulled over again about 6 a.m. and slept for two hours, which helped a great deal. I finally made it into Winter Springs at 10 a. m., to my cousin’s house. This is where I have been trying to recuperate for the last week. I hated to do it, but I had to see a doctor. I pulled the muscles in my back and chest from coughing. I also found some questionable bug bites in those areas that I have to follow-up on. You see, had I been accompanied by a travel partner I could have taken better pictures, documented the trip better, I would have not given up so easily on finding the campsites I wanted, and I would have rested better. Will this stop me? Heck no!! In some cases I like the solitude. It gives you time to think and get comfortable in your self. What do I prefer? I prefer a partner in crime. I know me and when I am really comfortable I am more adventurous.
Thank you for ready me. I will be posting more on this trip in the next days as I heal, yet again.