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Blazing Zippers

North Idaho

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Posted: 06/28/21 11:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We just returned from a 6900 mile trip from North Idaho to central Florida, via the Southern route going and a central U S return.
A few comments about what we saw.
The interstate highway system is horrible! Period.
For the most part, fuel/gas stations are dumps. The islands are littered with full trash cans, dirt, no window washing supplies, and spilled products-the pump key pads are so worn that it's hard to read what to do. It also seems that the employees full in line with the condition of the business. The ONE real exception was the Iowa 80 station-it was about as clean as one could make it. Kudoos!
Ironically, the highest gas prices were in Wyoming, right where the oil is pulled from the ground. I know, it has to be refined, but it is quizzical that right across the street from the station is an iron horse.
The gift shops are stocked with stuff made in China, even the WWII museum in New Orleans. Come on guys-we can do better.
The last three Walmarts we stopped at had no milk or cream products. Maybe the cows went to Tokyo to watch the Olympics?
Now for the good stuff;
WWII Museum is a treat for all. $17.00 an hour to park, but worth it! And the homeless camp under the freeway even had a picket fence and flower garden.
It was super to be in lines again to see and do things-with other humans. Everyone was respectful in most cases.
Charleston, the Blue Ridge Parkway, The Biltmore Mansion, The ARK, Corn Palace, and driving through three states full of corn were just the best. We are blessed to have such a wonderous country.
We met up with about 100 people that made our trip even more enjoyable. On one occasion, a drunk guy kept wanting to give us hugs--God bless Montana.
We're already thinking about another trip. This is a great country!

phil-t

Ogdensburg, NY

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Posted: 06/29/21 03:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

SOunds like a great trip.


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way2roll

Wilmington NC

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Posted: 06/29/21 06:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You mention being disappointed at the amount of goods made in China, but you cater to Wal Mart. Not to be crass but you are contributing to the problem as Wal mart is one of - if not the largest - importer of Chinese goods. Chinese suppliers make up 80 percent of Walmart's merchandise, leaving less than 20 percent for American-made products.

I agree with you on fueling stations. Sometimes I feel like I need a shower after fueling up.


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agesilaus

North Florida

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Posted: 06/29/21 07:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We made almost the same trip from North Florida to the Idaho northern tip at Bonner's Ferry not so long ago.
As for the interstates, it really depends on the state, some states spend their highway maitenance fund on efficiently keeping the roads in good condition. The state that you started in is a prime example, Florida has mostly good roads and good interstates. Other states either spend their money on other things or spend way too much to get far too little actual work done. California for example.
I was taken aback when RVTW, which picks routes considering the RV you are towing or in, marks I90 in Minnesota as unpassable for RVs.
As for poor upkeep in various businesses, that could possibly be aggravated by the fact that some states are paying people more not to work than they can make working. Just about every single business I see lately has a "We're Hiring" sign out.

Fuel prices, just think back to 2016, gas was $1.89. Wonder what happened? That trip cost you maybe $1000 more than it would have then not to mention rising food and other prices.

"We're already thinking about another trip. This is a great country!" That brings this too mind:
"Franklin was walking out of Independence Hall after the Constitutional Convention in 1787, when someone shouted out, “Doctor, what have we got? A republic or a monarchy?”

To which Franklin supposedly responded, with a rejoinder at once witty and ominous: “A republic, if you can keep it.”


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ferndaleflyer

everywhere

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Posted: 06/29/21 07:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Over the last 12 months I have traveled ALMOST that far and never got to the Mississippi river. But made about the same observations. Saw a lot from West Palm Beach FL to Northern PA. I was disappointed with the tower at the 911 memorial in PA. The wind was blowing hard but the chimes were barely making any noise. Saw lots of covered bridges up there also. Annapolis MD and the Naval Academy were a treat along with the water front there. Froze in a mountain top camp ground near Morgantown WV. Saw the bridge where they jump off every year, very impressive. Went to Pigeon Forge TN twice, another trip to Bristol Tn (going back there tomorrow) Western NC mountains 2 or 3 times, Asheville, Hendersonville areas. Went to Fl twice, once for a week in west palm beach and another time a week on the gulf side and a week near Daytona, loved Tarpon springs. spent 10 days in Charleston and surrounding areas. We just go, stop, then pick another spot and go once more. Seeing our country.

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 06/29/21 10:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It's easy to pick out the bad in any situation. And there's plenty of it. Truckstop gift shop quality not being one to make the list though, lol.

Infrastructure? Yup it's generally a mess, as are the agencies that administer the budgets, construction/repair and maintenance of it.

For context, I manage work for a heavy highway/infrastructure contractor and have for 25 years now. And the budgetary insufficiencies, admin and operating inefficiencies have gotten progressively worse throughout the years.

And as a tiny, yet abhorrently ridiculous example in our state, the state highway department is still working under Covid rules that they voluntarily put in place for themselves and their contractors over a year ago that have subsequently been lifted statewide by even our moron governor for some time now.

Why? Because they couldn't sit at home and would actually have to get dressed and go back to work at their offices where they would be mildly accountable, at least, for their level of effort expended to get a paycheck.

Not enough bandwidth to get into the real issues.....


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ferndaleflyer

everywhere

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Posted: 06/29/21 11:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I didn't think the roads were that bad. I-95 in SC could use some help but other than that they were ok. I don't do truck stops much, use gas buddy and have a BP and Kroger card. Just 2-3 days ago Gas buddy saved me 34 cents a gallon on diesel, about $14.00 on what I got. Here in the East the Sheetz and Loves truck stops are pretty clean. I don't fall for that flying J rip off if I can help it. Don't buy much in the souvenir shops. We hit one on WV turnpike where everything was locally sourced but everything was way to expensive. I think it was called Tamarac. I am traveling in a DP towing a Smart car on a dolly most of the time. Hey when you turn 80 you got to get going because you are getting closer to the end of the road, I can't see it yet but I know it is coming. Be Safe

markchengr

Seattle

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Posted: 06/30/21 04:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Recently completed a month long trip from Florida to Washington state. The condition of the pavement on interstate highways varied greatly from state to state. The absolute worst we encountered was in Tennesee. They should rename it "The Pothole State". Had to get a wheel alignment after passing through there.

Blazing Zippers

North Idaho

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Posted: 07/03/21 07:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Grit Dog, you sly devil---commenting on the way governments work without being obvious about it. Good job.
As far as my supporting Walmart, yes we do stop there. The lots are big enough to get the rig into, and we usually only purchase goods like meat, milk, veggies, and wine. Oh, and to check out the other customer fashions.

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