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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Destination: Route 66 in our '67 - the adventure begins

Starting time: 11:47 AM, EST, Southampton.
Starting mileage: 56640. 

I love road trips.

Packed and ready to go!
This dates to my childhood when our family vacations were always treks from our Southern California home back to the Midwest to visit our relatives. My mother and father, who had relocated to Southern California from Illinois and Kansas respectively, were the Western outposts of family that rarely traveled more than a few hundred miles. So every couple of years, we loaded up Dad's GMC truck with the jerry-rigged heating system into the camper shell, packed up the sleeping bags (for warmth) and munchies and prepared to set out. We always left at o'dark thirty in order to get over the Cajon Pass and through the high desert and Las Vegas before temperatures got too warm. None of us except Dad were morning people, but armed with a thermos of coffee for my parents and a box of warm freshly-made doughnuts as incentive for the rest of us, we pulled out of the driveway at about four AM and headed towards the rising sun.

Today, Chris and I left shortly after our full house of guests checked out at the far more civilized hour of noon, hoping to beat the traffic heading home fromThanksgiving weekend at Grandma's house. The Duchess has been packed since yesterday.We've been tracking ten-day weather forecasts overlaid on interstate highway maps (I love the Internet!) for days now. We're definitely heading more south than we've traveled in previous years.

The weather was a glorious 50 degrees as we cruised Sunrise Highway, then Southern State Parkway towards Manhattan. A contingent five hundred Harleys (a Rolling Thunder excursion?) complete with police escort passed us in Sayville, heading east. I tried to look it up on the iPad; no luck.

The leaping cat leads us westward!
Our goal today was Baltimore, and theoretically it would be a journey of about five hours. Uh-huh. Note to self: don't travel on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. And especially don't travel south on I-95. What was I thinking?! We didn't pass the New Jersey state line until well after four PM. All those Thanksgiving travelers were headed home after the holidays, and we were stuck in the crush with them.

The Duchess performed brilliantly in her first full day of touring, purring along at 70 MPH in the slow lane without the slightest rise in oil pressure or temperature as impatient drivers swerved aound us. We plugged old music mix tapes into the cassette deck and sang along with Heart and Prince and Pink Floyd and Juice Newton. We checked the traffic situation on the map function of the iPad, plugged in through a cigarette-lighter gadget bought at Radio Shack that allows two USBs to charge while driving. The contrast between modern and late 1960s design and technology is extensive and amusing. I love the wind wings windows but wonder at the design flaw that places their handles right where you need to see past them to the wing mirrors. Huh?

So...a long day, not too long a distance. So glad to reach our friend Andrew's house and enjoy catching up over a great meal at City Cafe. And now to bed.

Arrival: 7:41 PM, Baltimore


  1. Wind wings! I remember those. Sounds like you're off to a good start. We're getting rain until at least Thursday, so at least you'll miss that. Looking forward to your travel journal. I will be following.

  2. Hope you keep these up, Kim. It will be nice to follow your trip.

  3. Will be anxiously awaiting each new entry. Safe travels my lovelies and have fun, fun, fun!! xoxo