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2007 Southeast Quadrant Road Trip Itinerary

Mid-April is a great time for a road trip. It is after spring break and before summer family vacations drive up gas and hotel prices. Except for DC, traffic was light. Hotel reservations were no problem. We had to adapt our schedule a little, to stay ahead of the storms. There were ample opportunities to enjoy shrimp and seafood, and red wine. We had some unexpected delights in a Lebanese restaurant in Toledo, and a Mexican restaurant in Jacksonville.

Ann wanted to see the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. The building is striking, set against Lake Erie. One visit was enough for me. We had driven through a blizzard the day before, and there was still snow on the ground in Cleveland.

Next, we went to Washington DC to 'hike' the highpoint and see the cherry blossoms by the tidal bay. Morning rush-hour traffic on I-270 was very heavy.

We crossed the Chesapeake Bay east and drove down eastern Maryland and Virginia to the Chesapeake Channel Bridge and Tunnels. After a night at Virginia Beach, we drove down the North Carolina Outer Banks as far as possible, taking the ferry back to the mainland from Ocracoke. We stayed a night each in Jacksonville, NC, Myrtle Beach, SC, and Hilton Head, SC.

We spent a morning in Savannah, GA. We took the historic trolley tour. In the afternoon, after a windy drive, we visited Stone Mountain near Atlanta, Ga. Stone Mountain reminded me of Ayers Rock in Australia. Besides its interesting granite dome geology, Stone Mountain is noted for the bas relief carvings of the 3 confederates, Jackson, Lee, and Davis on its east face.

Budget: Hotels cost $691. Meals were around $400. Gasoline was $269. Tolls and ferries amounted to $48. Admissions were $96. On future trips to the east, I would do anything necessary to avoid driving through Chicago, or spending money there. We waited in line at one Chicago toll booth for nearly 30 minutes.

Overall, it was another great driving adventure! There were many historic stops which we did not visit on this trip. Ann has now been to all 50 states, polishing off her last 7 on this trip.

Cherry blossom time, at the tidal basin. Cherry blossom time
After getting through the morning rush-hour and escaping DC, it was time for some comfort food. An apple tree at a McD in Maryland. Apple tree
We drove down the Eastern Shore and over the bridges and through the Chesapeake Channel Tunnels. There are 2 tunnels like this, beginning and ending from long bridges. There is sea water on the other side of these walls. Chesapeake Channel Tunnels
Virginia Beach from our hotel room. The statue of Neptune is visible on the beach. Virginia Beach
We drove down the North Carolina Outer_Banks to Ocracoke. Took 2 ferries. NC Outer Banks
North Carolina Ferry System. We waited about an hour for each ferry. The first crossing was about 40 minutes, the second lasted 2-1/2 hours. North Carolina Ferry System
Ocracoke Lighthouse. Ocracoke lighthouse
Tidal current moving across a sandbar. Tidal current moving across a sandbar
Myrtle Beach, SC, from our hotel room. Myrtle Beach, SC
Pier at Myrtle Beach. Pier at Myrtle Beach
Spanish moss hanging from a live oak tree on Hilton Head. Spanish moss hanging from a live oak tree
Hilton Head beach. Hilton Head beach
Hello Kitty bikini. Hello Kitty bikini
Couldn't feed the alligators in the pools by the hotel! Do not feed the alligators!
Oyster shell cement and cobble stone street by the river in Savannah. Oyster shell cement and cobble stone streel by the river in Savannah
Stone Mountain, GA, a large granite dome. Stone Mountain is somewhat tainted because of its original association with the klan. Stone Mountain, GA.
The carving is of the confederates Jackson, Lee, and Davis on Stone Mountain. Gutzon Borglum (Mount Rushmore) was initially commissioned to make the carving, but after some disagreements, his commission was canceled. Carving of the confederates on Stone Mountain
Before sunrise, getting ready to start the last day of driving, near Fort Smith, AR. Before sunrise on the last day of driving