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Travel Letters
drivecrosscountry.net
So much can be learned by meeting people from
different walks of life. While sitting at a lunch stand on
Prince Edward Island, we listened to a lobsterman at
next table describe his work and tell us how he  
supplemented his income during the off-season. In New
Mexico, a retired soldier who is now an Indian tribal
leader outlined the educational goals of the tribe. A
Montana high-school girl shared with us her college
aspirations and concern about boys who drive cars
recklessly. While we watched a Florida sunrise, a
surgeon detailed the way he successfully completed a
difficult procedure by solving a problem he had not
encountered before.

Some memories are created from events that would not
normally stand out from the scenes depicted in printed
material. What can be more Americana than the judging
of 4-H Club entries at a county fair, a church pancake
breakfast, a fish fry at the American Legion hall, a
barbecue at the village firehouse, or browsing through a
flea market? These events are worth going out of the
way to enjoy.

Research materials. By using various travel
information sources (see "
Planning Tools"), you can
build your own personal travel library. This is the
backbone for planning a successful trip.

It is easy to develop a file folder for each of the U.S.
states and Canadian provinces. You can fill the folders
with material from tourist bureaus or magazine clippings
from various sources, such as Family Motor Coaching.
Just carry the folders that are pertinent to your itinerary
when you travel. You'll find that information from the
states varies in quality, so some state travel material
may need to be augmented.  AAA guidebooks are useful
as they emphasize places of greater general interest.

Essentials on all trips are a campground directory that
includes ratings, a road atlas that delineates scenic
routes, and national park guides.  Websites, especially
anticipate weather conditions at national parks and
monuments. Store your travel materials in a small file
case next to your bird and wildflower identification
books so they can be referred to at any time.

A basic tool when planning a trip is a large road map of
the United States and Canada. Mount your map on a
board with a transparent overlay, and then you can
mark areas of interest with a special pen that writes on
plastic. Connect the dots for a preliminary route on the
overlay, considering the scenic routes. The overlay is
handy,  because changes can be made as the plan is
revised.  In some parts of the country, the scenic route
will cause white knuckles to form on the hands of the
driver of a  motorhome, and passengers have been
known to close their eyes. Generally, for an easier
drive, go clockwise along a coastline and go
counterclockwise around a lake.  From the high seat of
your motorhome you will have fabulous views.  Check
with road authorities and other travelers about mountain
roads or questionable routes.

It is sometimes interesting to run the route on a
computer to see what it suggests. At this point, a that is
unpleasantly hot or cold.
The Art of Planning Your Most Memorable Trip  -  continued