About this site
Why another travel site? For two reasons. Wives complain that their husbands
speed past points of interest and RVers always want ideas for their next extended
trip. Consider this a public service to get husbands out of the doghouse by
encouraging them to take the time to relax and enjoy more of this great country.
In planning RV cross country trips we’ve used numerous sources and feel that
many tell us more than we want to know. Information overload makes it difficult
to put things in perspective at the preliminary stage of planning. That’s the
reason for our terse descriptions. In other words, this site is designed to help
you develop a framework of your sightseeing trip -- the first step in your
planning. It is limited to places we’ve visited so other sources should be used to
meet your interests and to get in-depth information. Details of our approach to
trip planning is here.
Our approach to travel
Schedules and itineraries are our tools, not our masters.
Many destinations take a day or more to reach, certainly we should take enough
time to enjoy and absorb the beauty. Not knowing how long we will take we hang
loose and do not make reservations, unless there are pressing reasons. This
flexibility enables us to take advantage of the unexpected; like the afternoon we
spent as the only tourists invited to observe dances of Indian groups.
Travel adds to understanding the influence of history and environment on the local
culture of the areas we visit. Museums give an insight of the areas we pass
through. Some show artifacts of little interest while others, large and small, give
excellent information that adds much depth to the travel experience. Presidential
homesteads, libraries and museums also are interesting – Reagan, Eisenhower,
Truman, Roosevelt and others. There are outstanding art museums scattered in
unlikely places. Visits to National Parks, Monuments, Battlefields, etc. and State
Parks add much to the appreciation of our national heritage as well as preserving
Meeting the people enriches the travel experience. Reading local newspapers adds
to better understanding of the localities we visit. Going to fund raisers is an easy
way to meet the “locals”. Veterans, fire fighters, churches, schools – all sponsor
events – barbecues, fairs, festivals, etc. Everyone’s welcome at these fun
About us… so you get an idea of our perspective
The more we travel the more we realize the number of interesting things we have
yet to see and do. We have enjoyed a variety of activities – like parasailing over
the Florida Keys, white water rafting on the Snake River, touring an automotive
assembly plant, riding a hot air balloon over vineyards of North Carolina, going into
the belly of a hydro-electric dam – you get the idea.
We have a general interest in history, try to take scenic routes, and enjoy learning
of new areas. Many of our stops focus on two of Ida’s special interests – birding
and genealogy. As a U.S. Navy veteran, we sometimes go out of our way to visit
museums and ships of WW2.
Think of the distorted impression travelers would have of your hometown if they
only stayed on the heavily traveled highway. So, we get onto local roads to see
other peoples’ hometowns. Sometimes we stop on the side of the road to pick
blackberries or go to a farmer’s market. Sometimes we stroll along the beach or
sit under a tree and read a book. We often drive down a side road – just to see
what’s there. Our routes converge on our daughters’ homes, one in
Massachusetts, one in Southern California, and another in Maryland.
When touring we tend to go several hundred miles from our home before we start
to make stops along the way. (We'll tour nearby places when we don't care to
take long trips.) At least once a week we stay at a place for a day or longer,
sometimes for a week or more, to enjoy the area, do laundry, get mail and
exercise so things that we have seen do not mentally blur together – it’s
“decompression”. Often our travel is in spurts like this for much of our trip, which
usually lasts for five or six months. We plan our trips conceptually before leaving
home but do not feel bound to a specific route. Often we lop off hunks of our
planned itinerary to substitute areas we learn of from “locals”.
We see the beauty of the country and enjoy the diverse scenery. Often we reflect
on those who first explored the area and coped with the hardships brought on by
the harsh conditions.
We have visited each of the places mentioned except a few on our “to see” list.
These are noted or the first letter of the place name is underlined . Places are
mentioned in a sequence that a person could follow, however, we often took
different routes as we zigzagged across the country. For this reason, this site is a
composite of our varied routes and reports a sampling of the many grand places
we have enjoyed.
Prior to getting a digital camera we did not take many pictures; for this reason
pictures of many places in our memories can not be shared. Also, many places are
too vast to properly capture in a photos.
We hope this site will help to enrich your travels.
Ida & John Watson
(C) J. Watson 2002-2013 All rights reserved
We traveled about seven to nine months a year in 22 to
26-foot motorhomes, starting in 1991. At that time I
retired and we moved from Connecticut to eastern North
Carolina. In 2005 we cut back to a five or six month
summer trip. Routes have covered the 49 states on the
continent (plus, Hawaii by auto) and each of the 10
Canadian provinces. We’ve crisscrossed the U.S. on nine
cross-country trips and try to vary our route each time.
With visits to over 120 national parks, monuments,
battlefields, etc. there are over a couple of hundred more
to see. Each is different and outstanding in its own way.
On alternate years the trips are to the northeastern states
and Canada. Winters were to the south.
|Some routes we've traveled in the lower 48
A website to assist travelers who are planning extended trips