Road Trip Report 1

July 14 marks day 6 of the Great Lakes Road Trip 2009 for Vinny and me.  We’ve traveled through New York and New Jersey (mostly just to get out of both), through Pennsylvania with stops along the way, stayed a while in Ohio, and now we are in Michigan. It is the perfect time of year for these states, in terms of the climate.

We are generally without internet, so no pictures for now, but I’ll share some highlights and updates of our road trip stipulations.

On the no-interstate factor? As we had planned, we took the interstates to get out of New York and New Jersey, since we’d never get out otherwise.  We cannot imagine taking 25A all the way from Suffolk County to the Cross Island Parkway – we’d still be there. But once we got to our destination in Pennsylvania, we have stuck to our no interstate policy. This led us to a very long detour off Route 6 in Pennsylvania, and a less than impressive Route 20 through Ohio into Cleveland. However, so many interesting sites and beautiful towns have made up for the hassle of the highways. We’re learning that there are definitely times for the interstate and times for the highways and byways. That however deserves more consideration.

On the no-chains factor? So far so good, except for groceries and gas, which cannot be avoided. We have some really good meals at locally owned places, including a particularly good breakfast at Bobby’s Kitchen in Monroe, Michigan.

On the $100 day budget? Well, of course, it’s easy if we’re staying with family or friends who give us a place to stay and send us with coffee and lunch for the road. That was day 1. The other days, so far, we’ve been sticking to our budget average. Some days cost more than others depending on how far we drive or what attractions we visit. Some days cost much less than $100, some cost a bit more.  We’re camping throughout the trip and we only eat out one meal per day, which is our trick to a tight budget. If you love campfires and marshmallows, camping is the way to go.

Highlights along the way: Route 6 in PA, Geneva-on-the-lake in Ohio, Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, East Harbor State Park in Ohio, and the Ford Rogue Factory Tour in Dearborn Michigan. We’ve seen gorgeous towns and some interesting sites – pictures to come once we get to a campground that has some internet.


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