Monday, February 28, 2011

Frozen in time

Monday, February 28, 2011

MARION, AK — It rained heavily through the night last night, so when we went to catch our bus for the tour of Memphis and Graceland, we wore our rain jackets, but it stayed dry all day. What it did not stay was warm. As the day went on, it got cool and then downright cold – it hit 37 degrees, after a summery 76 yesterday!

Our tour took us to see the sights of Memphis in the morning and Elvis Presley’s home, Graceland, and related museums, in the afternoon. First we visited Beale Street, the vibrant bar-and-music part of town. A. Schwab’s was an old general store with worn wooden floors and counters where you could still buy embroidered handkerchiefs, plaster piggy banks and belts up to 80 inches long.

Our next stop was the Sun Studio building where Elvis cut his very first record. The owner gave a lot of fledgling artists a helping hand, including Charlie Pride, Jerry Lee Lewis and other rock-n-roll greats. We also saw the Pyramid, which is a former sports arena, the Cotton Exchange, and the Lorraine Motel where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. The famous balcony bears a white wreath at the spot where he died. A Civil Rights Museum has been built on to the motel, but we were not able to go in and see it.

We passed the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, a huge facility that cares for kids no matter what their financial means may be, and conducts research into children’s diseases. It was founded by entertainer Danny Thomas, whose body is entombed with his wife’s in a garden on the grounds.

We had a leisurely lunch at the Pork With An Attitude restaurant back on Beale Street with Barb and Janice, the two other full-day tour participants, who hailed from Australia but were probably the most-traveled people we’ve ever met! We asked where they hadn’t been, and they replied “Antarctica”!

Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley, is a gracious, pillared building set back from the road with a curved driveway and wide lawns. While some might call it a mansion, it was really just a large home with some opulent decorations, like a 15-foot white sofa in the living room set against a stained-glass doorway of brightly coloured peacocks that led to a smaller music room with a baby grand piano. The rooms reflected an eclectic decorating style of the sixties, including a family room with tiki-style carved wood furniture covered with striped fake fur, green shag carpet on the floor and ceiling, and a fake stone wall with trickling waterfall at the end of the room! We wore headsets that provided ongoing descriptions of each room, including the raquet-ball room where each of the high walls was completely covered with platinum records of dozens and dozens of hit songs Elvis had recorded and sold in the millions.

Outside in the Memorial Garden were the graves of Elvis, his parents and grandmother and a small memorial plaque for his twin brother who died at birth. All around them were wreaths and flowers from around the world.

The museums, displaying his cars, clothes, movie memorabilia and tributes were all on the opposite side of Elvis Presley Boulevard, so Graceland itself was separated from the kitsch. What struck us was the evidence of not only his prolific talent and output from a show-business viewpoint, but also his tremendous generosity. One wall had 40 cheques on display, signed by Elvis to charities and individuals, each in the amount of $1,000 — which at the time represented a considerable sum. He was known to give away Cadillacs to complete strangers who happened to be in the car showroom at the same time he was there (late at night to avoid crowds). He was presented with a huge plaque displaying some 50 charities and causes he had supported. We left with a new respect for an individual who had a humble start, achieved greatness, but remembered and cared for others.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tale of three rivers

Sunday, February 27, 2011

MARION, AK— A rumble of thunder and the patter of rain on our trailer roof woke us this morning, but with a travel day planned, a wet day wasn’t a big deal. At least the rain held off while we stowed stuff, pulled in the slides and prepared to move on.

Shortly before lunch we crossed the Tennessee River, which marks the dividing line between central and western Tennessee. It was wide, brown, and swift-flowing, and must have presented a major challenge to settlers journeying west when there were no bridges.

I didn’t mention the Nashville flood in my blog yesterday. Last year, on May 2, heavy rains caused the Cumberland River, which flows through the city, to rise several feet, causing extensive damage to many important buildings, including the Grand Ole Opry, which had six feet of water inside. There’s a major shopping centre near it which remains closed to this day because the insurance money hasn’t covered the cost of restoring it. We heard a number of flood stories during our stay there.

Our destination today was a KOA camp in Arkansas, just across the Mississippi River, which delineates the state line at the western extreme of the state of Tennessee. The city of Memphis sits on the eastern shore of this mighty river, and West Memphis is on the Arkansas side after you cross the bridge. The camp is a 15-minute drive from the city, so our plan is to take a tour from here to see Memphis tomorrow.

Val remarked that the Interstate 40 along which we were driving must have been covered many times by Elvis Presley in his early days, going back and forth between Nashville and Memphis to perform and develop his unique sound. This stretch is called the Music Highway, since it connects two major music centres.

We drove through Memphis to get to our camp; it’s quite a big and bustling city, and we actually got caught in a traffic slow-down for a while due to a closed lane. The 40 became a ring road around most of the city before guiding us across the Mississippi River, another impressive, brown, wide waterway that has inspired quite a few stories and songs.

The Arkansas landscape so far is extremely flat, with large expanses of farmland and sky. I spotted, in the brown stubble of a plowed field, a few white tufts still clinging to some stalks, which made me realize these were cotton fields. We passed a lot of them in the latter part of the day.

There also seemed to be a marked change from the relatively prosperous state we just left to one, in its first few miles anyway, where the roads and buildings were in really poor shape. We also passed a few small, dilapidated houses that looked more like abandoned shacks but were clearly still being lived in. I don’t think I’ve seen such poor housing anywhere in Canada or the US as what I saw today.

We encountered several rainstorms as we drove along, but nothing like a couple of days ago, thank goodness. Weather is a constant concern in these parts, as strong storms can blow in, sometimes accompanied by tornadoes. We’ve been given instructions both at this camp and the last of what to do if we hear the tornado siren go off: run to the nearest washroom building, because they are built of cinder blocks that should provide a safe shelter.

It’s actually pretty windy right now, and the trailer is moving a bit with each gust. The big weather news for us today was the thermometer in the truck, which measured an amazing 76 degrees! The warmest temperature we’ve had so far! I stowed away my new Binghamton boots and my winter jacket, hat and scarf in the deepest closet of the trailer. Won’t need those now!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Music, music, music!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

NASHVILLE, TN – It has been a grand day and a full one. A beautiful sunrise greeted us bright and early; we wanted to catch the morning bus tour of Nashville so we couldn’t waste any time. Fortunately, there was room for us on the bus, so off we went to see the sights.

There are some impressive buildings and parks in the city of music, as it’s called. The main park of Nashville has a huge map of Tennessee laid out on the ground at the entrance, and along one side are monoliths marking the centuries, standing next to a wall that records the major events of each in turn. Carillon bells at the north end of the park play well-known Tennessee tunes on the hour and half hour, and along the east side of the park are time capsules for each county that will remain buried until 2096.

Our driver, Bill Davis, told us about the various districts of Nashville; the commercial sector, the night life sector, the restaurant sector and the music business sector, and people staying for the afternoon portion of the tour would also see the homes of the country music stars, but this didn’t interest us because, except for a few really big ones, we don’t really know who they are!

We visited the Ryman Auditorium, home of the first Grand Ole Opry. The round shape, with curved pews in sloped tiers, made for near-perfect acoustics. We saw lots of spangled costumes worn by Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn and others, and old videos of their performances. Val and I posed for a picture, complete with guitars and old-fashioned microphone, against the backdrop of the famous stage!

The Country Music Hall of Fame was the highlight of this tour. Everything about the building was a tribute to music, from its architecture (shaped like a bass clef, with high windows made to resemble piano keys) to its amazing design, to its huge variety of stars, their lives, their clothes and their toys. It must have been a real challenge to figure out how to provide visitors with recordings of the various stars while keeping the sounds at each display from mingling into an indistinct cacophony. They did it by focusing the music through umbrella-shaped cones, and by building padded, curved cubicles that you walked into to hear the old classics. Amazing.

Equally amazing were the beautiful dresses and suits of the stars, embellished with rhinestones and embroidery in a rainbow of colours. The Tammy Wynette display even included her shoes and wigs, plus a collection of pig figurines! We also saw Elvis Presley’s Cadillac, finished with layers of paint that contained crushed diamonds, and equipped with gold-plated door handles!

Our last stop was at the Legends Corner, a bar where guitars signed by Dolly Parton and others decorated the walls and a fledgling band in cowboy hats blasted our ears while we sipped complimentary soft drinks.

When the tour was over, we went for lunch at Caney Fork, a restaurant founded by a local outdoorsman who decorated the inside with stuffed critters of every description: bears, mountain goats, possums, turkeys and even raccoons complete with garbage cans, plus a pond in one section where real live two-foot-long catfish sashayed through the water. Our lunch included corn fritters and stew made with beef and venison!

After lunch we went out to a big grocery store in the suburbs so we could stock our empty larder. It was challenging trying to find plain stuff like fat-free ham or pita bread, which we like, but interesting to see cans of grits, displays of prawns, and miniature pineapples for sale.

Almost as soon as we got the food put away, we had to eat and head over to the main office for our bus to take us to the show at the Grand Ole Opry. Crowds of music enthusiasts streamed into the new building, built in a similar style to the Ryman Auditorium but on a larger scale. It seats 4,000 and there was nearly a full house. The show is a live radio broadcast, so it included commercial breaks, but there were more than a dozen talented performers who wowed the audience for two and half hours of foot-stompin’, hand-clappin’ down home music. Vince Gill and the Doobie Brothers were the big name stars, along with many others of all ages.

It was quite a day. We will long remember Nashville, the City of Music.

Friday, February 25, 2011

A helping hand

Friday, February 25, 2011

NASHVILLE, TN — The only glimpse of sunshine we had today was a few rays hitting the hillside as we headed west again on the Interstate 40 from Harriman. For the rest of our short, 150-mile trek it was overcast, but we were spared from rain. Wind, on the other hand, we had plenty of, which meant Val had to keep a firm and steadying grip on the steering wheel.

Very soon after we left Harriman, we entered the Central Time zone, which provided us with an extra hour. We stopped for fuel near Cookeville, and greeted another motorist. “Hah, y’all,” he replied, and we started to chat. When we said we were from Canada, he said “you won’t find any strangers here,” which has proved to be quite true so far.

We had a little problem to take care of upon our arrival in Nashville. Last night we tried to open the bedroom slide of our fifth wheel trailer, but when we hit the switch, nothing moved. Not finding an obvious explanation, we figured Nashville would probably have a trailer servicing business that could help us out.

Sure enough, as we drove down Music Valley Drive toward our KOA campground, we passed an RV business and a Camping World right in the neighbourhood (as well as the Grand Ole Opry! More on that tomorrow.) The KOA manager told us about their RV technician, Neal Stewart, and when Val called, he said he’d be by around 3 or so.

The campground sustained some fallen branches from yesterday’s severe weather – though no trailers were damaged. The manager figured it was lashed by the edge of the tornado that touched down two miles from here. We learned to head for the concrete shower building or main building if we should hear the tornado siren during our stay. I’ll gladly give that event a miss.

For the first time since we left Canada, we separated the truck from the trailer, and headed off for some lunch and a little look-see. I’m sure Val felt a certain lightness driving the truck without the 32-foot hunk of dead weight behind it.

A yellow utility truck pulled up to our site around 4 o’clock, and Neal, a giant bear of a man, stepped out to help us with our problem. The whole trailer lurched when he came in! He called us “mayam” and “sir” with the same southern drawl as Forrest Gump, and set to work. I prayed that it would be something small, and not something requiring us to drive the trailer to a dealer and leave it for days! Neal found a loose connector in the storage compartment electrical box, and when he tightened it, the slide whirred into place, to my whoops of delight. Meanwhile, we discovered that the microwave and the lights in the living room slide weren’t working. Neal fixed the microwave problem by tripping the breaker on our shore power connection. No sweat.

The living room lights was another story. He hemmed and hawed, checked the fuses, verified the connections and still couldn’t get them to work. Outside, he found another electrical box, and when he unscrewed the cover, a great gush of water spewed out! A little souvenir of yesterday’s deluge! Back inside, though, still no lights. We could tell Neal was really stymied. Then he ducked upstairs and back and flipped the switch. VoilĂ ! It worked! The water had triggered the ground fault interrupter. Neal’s reset put everything to rights at last.

By this time we were hungry for dinner, so we decided to walk next door to the “Cock of the Walk” restaurant, which boasted the best catfish in town. We ate off of tin plates and drank from tin mugs. Our server brought a hot iron skillet with corn bread in it, which she flipped about three feet into the air and caught back in the pan before placing it on the table! Then she brought a large mess of catfish and fries, heaped on a tin platter, and placed it in front of us, along with a bowl of pickled onions. Our cole slaw came in an earthenware crock with a wooden spoon, and we fished our cutlery and napkins out of a tin pail sitting on the table. It was a most unusual – but tasty! – meal.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

All-day car wash

Thursday, February 24, 2011

HARRIMAN, TN — Rain. Pelting, relentless, teeming, sloshing rain gushed out of the skies from the start of the day almost to its end! We weren’t unprepared, thanks to the weather channel, but we still couldn’t believe how steadily and heavily the rain came down, hour after hour.

Looking on the bright side, it wasn’t white, and it wasn’t frozen. We sailed through it (literally) in our dry, warm truck cabin with its heated seats and well-stocked cup holders. And when we stepped outside, our waterproof jackets reduced discomfort, as long as we moved fast.

We entered the state of Tennessee after about an hour and a half of driving, and turned off at the visitor centre to raid the racks of brochures and maps. Each state produces wonderful coupon books with discounts on hotel accommodations, and this has helped us shave quite a few dollars from the already very reasonable room rates we’ve encountered so far. Tonight will probably be our last hotel night; the temperatures are not summer-like yet, but quite bearable in a trailer equipped with a goose-down duvet and propane furnace.

Tennessee is one of the few states I can pick out easily on an unmarked map of the US; it’s the one that’s shaped sort of like a Pink Pearl pencil eraser – parallel borders top and bottom and slanted ones east and west. It’s the home of Davy Crockett, Dolly Parton, Elvis Presley, Martin Luther King Jr. and three of America’s presidents – among many others. It’s also the cradle of the Civil War, as Paul Simon describes it in his song, where a staggering 10,000 soldiers died in the space of five hours in a single battle.

Dozens of signs by the highway pointed out museums devoted to Civil War memorabilia. One of the brochures I picked up described many of the battles, as well as the human pain and misery endured by soldiers and civilians alike, black and white, north and south. It also said that one hopeful legacy of that dreadful time was the first sign of emancipation for the black population, when freed slaves were enlisted by the US government in “colored troops”, first of all to tend cannons or perform other support duties, but eventually to engage in full combat like any other soldier.

The rolling hills and trees we passed looked similar to roadside scenes along any Ontario highway. Of course, today we viewed these sights through a misty wash of spray from the huge semi trucks passing by. That mist, plus my right arm pointing to the right split we were supposed to take in order to stay on Interstate 40, prevented Val from seeing the road in the right rear-view mirror clearly enough to follow my earnestly-repeated direction.

This in turn prompted some rather earnest language from the driver as we were forced to veer left instead, heading for Chattanooga to the south rather than Nashville to the west! Even the GPS lady’s voice, with her “recalculating”, sounded a bit plaintive to my ears, as I clutched my delinquent arm to my chest. A short detour later, we were back on the I40, sloshing toward Harriman a few miles further along. The hotel was very easy to find and to get into with our big rig, so all was well again.

Not long after we settled into our room, the rain finally let up! As I gathered a few things from the trailer to bring inside, I actually heard a chorus of frogs croaking happily in swamp heaven. So some creatures think wet is wonderful.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Robins and flowers!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

WYTHEVILLE, VA – If you’re wondering how this town’s name is pronounced, it rhymes with “Smithville” – and it’s named after George Wythe, one of the signers of the US Constitution.

We’ve changed our main direction from southward to westward today, though on the map, our route still follows a diagonal southwestern line. We could see our breath this morning when we crossed the road in Winchester to the Dunkin Donuts for hot beverages to drink on the road, and there was snow along the highway and in the woods we passed. The sun was shining, though, and the countryside was lovely, with rolling hills, lots of deciduous trees, and peaceful farmland.

As the day progressed and we got further south, we realized we hadn’t seen snow for some time. For a while, though, we passed trees and grasses coated in ice – evidence of freezing rain – which, mercifully, hadn’t coated the highway at all.

Not long after that, we spotted several fields that were a true green! Farmers in southern Virginia were letting their cows and horses graze in the fields, even though most of the ground was covered in yellow grass, not green.

We picked up some sandwiches when we fueled up just before noon, somewhere south of Staunton, and pulled over at a rest stop to eat them, even though we decided not to sit at a stone picnic bench to do so; it was a bit cool to just sit, but we could definitely sense a warming trend. We strolled around a bit to stretch our legs and I distinctly heard the chirp-chirp of a robin! What a wonderful sound for a Canadian to hear in February!

The numbers on the thermometer in the truck mounted steadily all day, starting at around 37, then 40, then finally 55! It was like we were driving into spring, and what a lift that gave our spirits! The real surprise was the fleeting glimpse of a low shrub by the highway, covered with small yellow flowers! It was just one clump that covered as much ground as a sleeping bag might, but that flash of yellow was an amazing sight after yesterday’s miles and miles of frozen black-and-white countryside.

We passed so many signs describing museums and historic sites connected to the Civil War. A huge stone mansion, complete with double chimneys at either end, dominated one hillside. It was probably built at a time when slaves groomed the grounds and tended the fires inside. When we talked about the history of Wytheville with the woman at the front desk of our hotel, she told us her grandmother had memories handed down to her of families that had been torn apart by the Civil War, when some sided with the North and some with the South.

It’s lovely to chat with people around here, because they all have a wonderful southern drawl. I suppose we must be the ones with the accent, though it doesn’t strike us that way! We hear “y’all” and “mayam” and drawn out words we always thought only had one syllable. Tomorrow we’ll be in Tennessee and we’ll see if the weather will allow us to sleep in the trailer for the first time!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Purple mountain majesties

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

WINCHESTER, VA — We’ve just come back from a homey dinner at the Cracker Barrel down the street from our hotel; it’s a chain that specializes in down home cookin’ with a country flair. We sat near a huge stone fireplace where great logs crackled and burned, warming us from our frosty walk. The walls are decorated with old washboards, snowshoes and old farm implements. A sepia photo of a wistful woman with a high collar and wavy hair parted down the middle looked over us from her picture frame next to our table.
Our journey today took us through the Appalachian Mountains of Pennsylvania, with lots of ups and downs through forested hills, where lots of snow still blanketed the ground — but not the highway, to our relief. Every now and then we’d pass a small town of square wooden houses and pretty churches with tall spires, pristine and white with fresh snow. In the distance, the mountains really did take on a purplish hue.
Our route crossed a finger of Maryland that was only a few miles wide; we barely realized we were in that state before we were out of it again.
Val was remembering the book about Lincoln that he has been reading, which describes the Civil War and some of the battles which took place in these parts. It must have been pretty tough going for soldiers in scratchy woolen uniforms, dragging cannons through snowy brush like what we saw along the way, and trying to stay warm. We saw the signs for Gettysburg, to the east of us, as we continued south. We also crossed the famous Mason-Dixon line that divided the South from the North. Just about every town on the map around here ends in "burg" - Bloomsburg, Harrisburg, Chambersburg! Other names reflect the hilly country, using words like heights, ridge, ravine, mount.
The highways teemed with semi trucks, heading in both directions, and in the early afternoon we stopped at a rest station just inside West Virginia and pulled our rig into the parking lot next to these throbbing monsters. We actually spotted one truck, missing its long trailer, that had mud flaps stamped with the name of a car dealership in Ottawa and Kingston!
The day started sunny but gradually clouded over. We noticed once we had reached Virginia that the snow was getting sparser; more stubby grass was showing on the roadsides instead of drifts. So we are headed in the right direction! There is still snow here in Winchester, but the temperatures that are forecast for the coming days are into the fifties at least.
The picture I've attached shows what the truck and trailer looked like yesterday morning, and even as we pulled out this morning, the front and top of the trailer were covered in snow. But by the time we got here, there were only two little clumps on the roof behind the air vents; the rest had blown off or melted! The box of the truck was also completely emptied of the snow we started out with. Val says he saw a plume of snow billowing behind us as we started on our way today! Never mind, just a few days more and we won’t see any for a long, long time – we hope!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Snow day!

Monday, February 21, 2011

BINGHAMTON, NY — This morning when we got up, we looked out on a winter wonderland! A thick blanket of snow muffled our truck and trailer, and after the plow passed around it, there was a tidy white wall of snow around them. In a place where the average snowfall is three inches in February, we got seven to ten. Just lucky, I guess! We had no difficulty deciding to stay put for another day.
With only a pair of loafer-style winter shoes, I was ill equipped to trudge through the big drifts at the side of the road on the way to Friendly’s for breakfast. So I went behind Val and put my feet in his footsteps – like the poor man following Good King Wenceslas in the Christmas carol! However, heat was not in the very sod, and my feet got cold and wet.
We decided to see what we could find in the mall across the street from the hotel – uncertain if it was even open on Presidents’ Day, which is today. But it was, so we looked for a place that sold boots. As we entered the mall, we passed a parking lot for strollers, where we saw several winter jackets draped over the stands. I thought it unusual that there should be so many lost jackets, in winter, in one mall. It wasn’t until we walked a bit further that we realized a number of people were keeping fit by mall-walking, and they had no qualms about leaving their outdoor wear unattended while they did so!
We found a pair of nice boots for me at Sears, which were comfy and warm and sported a very reasonable price tag. The real surprise came at the cash register, when I went to pay and found they were going at half that reasonable price, making them a real steal! Hooray for Presidents’ Day sales! I’m delighted with them, and put them to the test several times today.
We cleared off the truck as best we could, and Val managed to borrow a snow shovel to clear the drifts around the wheels where the plow had passed. Val wanted to move the rig around the corner to a cleared section of the parking lot before everything froze solid – and to let the staff clear the spot where we had been. With the four-wheel drive, there was no trouble getting going, fortunately.
The rest of the day was pretty lazy; surfing the net...reading...napping. Tough stuff. The weather channel tells us tomorrow should be much better, so we should be hitting the road again in the morning.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Three things

Sunday, February 20, 2011

BINGHAMTON, NY — We’re settled in the Red Roof Inn here after our first day’s drive, which went very well. We got to the trailer at Long Island by about nine, with a bright sun and clear blue sky overhead. With the trailer all hitched up (on Val’s first attempt), we discovered that of the four yellow plastic chocks in front of and behind the wheels on either side of the trailer, only three would come out with some nudging. The fourth, in front of the right set of wheels, was firmly and icily embedded in leaves and earth.
So, we decided to drive over it! With a creak and a groan, the huge trailer lurched into motion and pow! That little old yellow chock shattered into pieces! Most of it stayed in the ground, but the top bit was in shards. Fortunately, it did no damage to the tires, so off we went, full of anticipation for our big journey.
The border crossing took about 20 minutes. The bridge to the US gave us a wonderful view of the Thousand Islands, stretching out on both sides. Farewell, Canada, I thought, as we approached the mainland and saw the stars and stripes flapping from a flagpole ahead of us.
Not long after we got rolling on Interstate 81, a vehicle pulled up beside us in the next lane and the woman passenger pointed at the trailer. We pulled over to see what the problem might be, and I noticed that the upper window at the front left was flapping open! I went inside and pulled the window back into place and locked it. I have no idea how it came open like that, but again, no damage done.
Whew! That was two things....what would the third thing be?? We continued south on I81, passing through Syracuse and past turnoffs for Albany and Buffalo (and even a town called Mexico!). The terrain was hilly and there was snow on the ground, but not too much. Val spotted several deer grazing by a parallel highway, but they weren’t near us, fortunately.
Our GPS, in its Australian accent, guided us to our hotel in Binghamton, perched on a hillside overlooking the town. Once we turned in to the driveway, I hopped out and went ahead to make sure there was room to drive our big rig in to the parking area. There was a nice long spot just ahead of a Mack truck, so Val pulled past it and turned in to the spot. I was watching from behind and my heart leapt into my mouth as I watched the space between the front corner of the Mack truck and the back corner of our trailer get narrower and narrower and then, at the last second, ping! The back bumper of the trailer barely nicked the front corner of the truck!! Yikes!
It was a relief to have that third thing over with – especially as there wasn’t a mark on either vehicle, and it hardly took any time for my heart to beat normally again. So everything was fine.
What will tomorrow bring? Well, there’s a winter storm warning – several inches of snow expected overnight. So...maybe we’ll see more of Binghamton than we originally thought. We’ll head out if it looks safe enough, but not if it doesn’t.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Watch this spot!

Hello friends,
In the coming days, the Zanin caravan will be on its way again, this time headed for sunny Arizona. I will be composing regular updates on our travels and adventures, and posting them whenever we can get an Internet connection. We hope you will enjoy following along! Our plan is to head out toward the end of February, but we won't have an exact date till much closer to departure time. With all the snow and storms that have hit the US lately, we will have to time our departure so that we have several days of good driving weather. So, watch this spot, and in due course, a new, exciting Zanin travel saga will begin!