Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Day 4 away from home.

Day 1, 2 and 3 were spent having a nice long weekend with Gregg's family.  

Day 4 we are in the hotel room and I am barely awake but I thought I would write a few things before I went to sleep.  I don't have too many exciting photos yet, just road shots but will include a couple. We drove just over 500 miles today.  

A few notes on 8-13-13

Today we left my in-law's home at 8.00 a.m.  (We were heading to Knoxville, Tennessee but only got as far as Gaitlinsburg (Tennessee) where we are staying the night.)   

We passed cotton fields a few miles west of Suffolk.  They were blooming, very pretty.  We had driven by a large building with a cotton gin sign.  There were also tobacco fields  two miles west of Emporia.  Cotton fields on the right, tobacco fields on the left.  A sight we rarely get to see.

10.00 a.m.  Saw a sign "Welcome to Brunswick County, the original home of Brunswick Stew."  I'll have to check that out on line when I get the time.

In South Boston we stopped at McDonalds at around 11.30 a.m.  People are very friendly around here.  Two women talked to me in the ladies room.  One lady gave me way too much information about her bladder control, but I smiled and went and found Gregg as it was time to get out of there.  And that last part is probably TMI on my part too.  Oh well!

Saw sign, "Keep ban on uranium mining,".   

Another sign was about a local politician and the kicker was, "I bet he knows your cousin!"  Huh? 

12.10 p.m.  Saw our first Piggly Wiggly (supermarket) on the outskirts of Danville (amazing what you find to write about on long journeys).

At 1.35 p.m. we passed a prison bus.  

Sobering, and for some reason I covered my face with my hand and averted my eyes as we drove by.  What a turnip!  Several miles down the road we saw the prison they must have been heading for.

We keep passing sunflowers that had been planted on medians and entrances to the  freeway, and other flowers I could not identify.  They were really beautiful.

I like that little camper in the photo below, we both did.  I don't remember passing too many RV's but lots and lots of trucks.  

Our GPS took us down a very dark, country road today.  I got a bit nervous as I don't like getting lost. That is the reason we finally broke down and got a GPS.  Gregg and I had this conversation.

Gregg: "This isn't right.  Something seems off."

Denise: "Well that's what my GPS says.  I think we should take it."

Gregg:  "I think it's wrong."  Pulls over and takes a look at his GPS, and the triptic we got from the AAA which we have deviated from because we have taken a different route as Gregg says let's go to Gaitlinsburg.  I said fine, sounds great, I'm in but.....just as I like to follow recipe books word to word, I also like to follow the directions my GPS gives me.  And we do have maps.  I picked up two books showing every state in the US, ready and waiting for when we get to an area where cell phone towers are few and far between.

Denise:  "It says to go left, we should go left."

Gregg: "I don't think so."  

Well, we went back and forth for a couple of minutes or so, but finally decided to take a chance and follow my GPS because I had already said "No. 3" quite a few times (see traveling code list that I have reposted below).  We also followed another car and judging by the stops and starts along this very narrow, winding and hilly road, they probably felt as lost as we did.   There were no other cars around.  We stuck to each other like glue and drove on for miles.  I was beginning to empathize with Hansel and Gretel because it felt like we were going deeper into the woods, but finally just as I was expecting the candy cottage to appear around the next bend, and after what seemed like an eternity because I was beginning to think the GPS had had a meltdown, we reached a more traveled road.  I silently breathed a sigh of relief.
Another few miles and it was time to turn left, and we were still following that same car until it went straight on, but as we waited for the oncoming traffic to pass, I saw that car suddenly pull over to the side of the road, and swing around again.  They had overshot their turn. There were two young girls in the front seat, they were laughing somewhat hysterically as they gave us a big smile which we returned.  There was a momentary connection, recognizing us as their lost-in-the-woods traveling companions.  We again followed them for several miles and as we neared our destination it started to pour like the dickens. As we again turned left towards our hotel, they went right and this time they disappeared out of sight into the rain and the mist as we wished them a happy time in Gaitlinburg.   

And then Gregg turned round to me with a big smile as we pulled into the parking lot of the hotel and said, "No. 1"  (see traveling code list below).  Truth be told I'm thinking of telling Gregg to add another number to his list.  No. 13 "I think I am wrong." (Denise), but here we are in our hotel and Hansel and Gretel are safely tucked in for the night.  All in all a fun day. 

1.   You are right again Denise  (Gregg)
2.   Where is the next Starbucks (Denise)
3.   What the hell (Denise)
4.   Let's stop at Walmart (Gregg)
5.   I wonder what Lisa and Brad are doing?                 (Denise and Gregg)
6.   I was just making an observation. (Denise)
7.   Where's the next bathroom? (usually Denise)
8.   Where did you put the camera? (Gregg)
9.   Where did I put my sunglasses? (Denise)
10.  I'm not staying there!  (definitely Denise)
11. Are we lost? (always Denise)
12. Of course not! (always Gregg)
13. I think I am wrong (Denise).

We will be adding to this list I'm sure of it.


  1. Such an interesting post! This is my neck of the woods...we traveled that highway toward S. Boston many many times, visiting my parents, and my husband's Mom later. Amyway, it was delightful hearing about it! Not so much the getting lost part though.:-) Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for your kind words about my husband's Dad's passing and about my MRI. etc. Set up an appt. today to get the MRI done with a newer more open machine! :-) Have an awesome trip! Wish I was traveling along! :-)

  2. Hey Girlie, You are in my neck of the woods... If you are going to Knoxville, how in the world did you get to Gatlinburg????? That's really out of the way! BUT--Gatlinburg is a huge tourist town in the mountains and glad you are seeing it.

    What will you be doing in Knoxville? How long will you be there??? We are an hour west of Knoxville...


  3. It sounds as if you had quite an adventure getting to Gatlinburg. Some of the mountain roads in this part of the state can be 'fun'. Hopefully you won't have as much 'fun' getting to Knoxville.

  4. Number seven gets a work out when I am travelling.
    And our GPS likes back roads. Sometimes very back roads. Which makes for an interesting (but long) trip.

  5. This was so well written. I felt like I was there in those deep dark woods with you.....expecting some kind of axe murderer to appear at any moment...love the code language...very cute. Love that you connected with your fellow lost travelers....with a smile. Nice story. I'm looking forward to more of your trip!

  6. Oh what fun! We've gone through similar "fun" times with our GPS on road trips. Art prefers to rely on maps more than anything still.

  7. With every paragraph I knew where you were. We traveled this route many times going to the Smokies when we lived in Virginia.
    When you mentioned the cotton fields I had to smile. It sounds like the same stretch of country where I first saw cotton growing all those years ago when I was a young bride and my hubby took me to Virginia.
    We love Gatlinburg! Love the fish place that serves family style. :)
    Happy Trails Denise!
    Happy Trails Denise!

  8. Cotton and prison busses?

    You in the SOUTH, Dahlin!

    ALOHA from Honolulu
    Comfort Spiral

  9. I loved this post and to be able to come along with you on your trip.

  10. Denise, you and Gregg have the patience of Job. At that point, I would have ditched the car and flown a plane. Lol. Yes, I know that half the fun is in the journey.

  11. Gatlinburg is a great place, I enjoyed a visit there. Sorry you got lost, sometimes the GPS is not giving the correct info. We have been there, especially the part "I am not staying there" LOL! Have a happy day!

  12. Too funny, you guys and your list! I haven't seen cotton and tobacco fields since I was a little girl traveling back and forth to TX with my family. Glad you made it 'throught the woods' without incident, and the GPS didn't trick you into turning down some dark and dusty dead-end road in the middle of nowhere in the pouring rain..........

  13. I was travelling right along with you and hoping the GPS wasn't leading you astray. A bit like travelling in Australia..often miles of very little and you just hope you take the right turn. Look forward to more of your trip.

  14. Sounds like a great start. A GPSr can sure get you in trouble though.

  15. LOL oh no! When we first tried out a new GPS years ago, it took us on a long scenic route (setting for that) but we thought we were lost for sure. It was awfully pretty though:)

    Have fun Denise.

  16. I use #7 and #10 the most!
    I dread being lost...absolutely dread it so I was getting a bit nervous alongside you there!
    Jane x

  17. glad you all made it out of that wooded road alive. :)

  18. Too funny. You are definitely in the South when you pass prison buses, talk to strangers in the toilet about bladder control, pass Piggly Wiggly and end up in Appalachia. I hope you get to see Norris, the TVA village in eastern TN where my mother lived with her family in the 1930s. Her dad was the senior electrical engineer on the TVA dam opened in 1936. My Mom met my Dad there (he was working with the CCC). Dianne

  19. If you are spending any time at all in Gatlinburg, I would suggest seeing the aquarium.

  20. Too much fun...been there, done that, survived! And loved every moment of it (well, almost,). Keep on trucking ;)))

  21. It is fun driving with you two.

  22. I think I could come up with a few of our own...these are funny. We call a lot of our trips 'taking the scenic route.'