On The Road To… Paducah !? Page 1

12,500 words to describe an 18 day RV adventure?! Granted, something may be wrong with me. Who would drive all day and write half the evening while parked in a Walmart lot as if anybody wanted to read about back roads and nights spent in Walmart parking lots!? Apparently, that would be me. But one day perhaps I’ll give up the RVing as I gave up the fishing some years ago. Even now I read my old fishing and boating adventures and my RV travels and each one I read comes to life anew, as though resurrected once again in my mind and replayed, in the same detail as I wrote them, simply for my pleasure. The Good Lord knows I’d surely forget about the back roads, the solitude, the bumming around, the driving, and the memories would be lost forever – but not if I write them down and revisit them. They will always come to life again and again as I relive them in detail through these travelogues. Come to think about it, maybe there isn’t too much wrong with me.

Now, I don’t expect anyone to read every word I write; productive people just don’t have the time. But I hope some will find a bit of information and perhaps a little entertainment as they read of my back road adventures. Thanks for the visit and enjoy your time here…

May 4, 2017 Thursday, To Frazier Park, CA en route to Dean and family in Oceanside (for starters…) via SR99, I-5: 259 miles

My last grand and glorious adventure wasn’t so grand or glorious after the windstorm near San Bernardino back in January finished with me and the coach.  The recovery from that catastrophe was long and frustrating but Cecil the Diesel has been made whole and we’re on another “To Dean’s and Beyond…” adventure. I hope. And even now as I begin the adventure I don’t know where it will take me – and that’s half the fun!

2017-5-3a Wash dayThe day before the trip I washed the coach and got her all spiffy. Washing big Cecil with a brush and soap is hard work for an old man, but still, it’s called playing with my toys.

After loading all the stuff one must take on a long RV adventure, I pulled out of the lovely, senior gated community we call home and headed south toward Oceanside. I would take the Grapevine route this trip because it was to be so hot in Barstow where I would have stayed had I taken the desert route. Desert? Heck, SR99 through the valley was unseasonably hot at over 100° which is 20° over normal! And while it was barely the month of May, much of the valley’s springtime green was long gone, replaced by the ugly brown of dead weeds.

The drive was pleasant enough as I ran the dash air conditioner all day long, then fired up the generator to run the house air conditioner much of the evening. Life on the road is good if there’s enough air conditioning!

Click on any image to see ’em all bigger and to read the captions.

I stopped for a quick lunch at a Mickey D’s in Tulare, taking a Fish Filet and fries to the coach where I dined in the comfort of Dale’s Diner. I also ordered a large coffee and a small McFlurry to go so I would stay awake the rest of the trip.

I pulled into the Frazier Park Flying J station at 1530 and settled in for the night. I snoozed a bit on the couch after I got settled – it must have been a tiring drive. After my rest and a cup of coffee, I was fine. It was a usual afternoon/evening aboard as I edited photos, wrote this travelogue and just took it easy. After sundown it cooled off pretty well and I turned off the AC. I watched the very funny Coen movie, Intolerable Cruelty and enjoyed a couple cool ones. I hit the sack sometime around 2300.

Day 2, Friday, Frazier Park through LALA Land to Oceanside via I-5: 160 miles.

2017-5-5a morning at Frazier ParkMorning at Frazier Park’s Flying J.

I was up before 0600, anxious to get my day started and to continue my trip to Dean’s – and get the awful drive through LALA Land behind me.

The looming drive through LA weighed on me through the morning as it is about the worst drive there is. I could drive across to I-15 and miss LA but that is no pleasure either, and it’s longer. I dawdled away a couple hours as I waited so as to avoid some of the morning commute – but in LA it seems to always be the commute.

I zapped a frozen breakfast sandwich and cut up an orange for breakfast. After converting my cozy home back to a highway cruiser, I pulled out of the Flying J and continued south. Ugh.

2017-5-5c joys of LALA traffic2017-5-5d joys of LALA trafficThese photos pretty much sum up the drive through LALA Land – it was as miserable and crowded and ugly as I expected. Honestly, if I had to climb out of bed each morning and face that mess everyday, I wouldn’t climb out of bed. It is awful!

DadDeanLumberThis photo taken c1973 of little, two or three year old Dean and me in Gridley, CA with a load of lumber I hauled to LA the following day. I recall driving trucks to LA back in the 70s when I hauled lumber and sometimes sugar to SoCal. My trucks were double trailer rigs (“set of doubles”), the transmissions were very, very manual and I had two of ’em that required shifting virtually all day long. Driving LA regularly is one of those things that, looking back, I can’t imagine that I did! 

Finally, around noon I reached the Oceanside turnoff from I-5 and drove up the hill to Dean’s home. After a few minutes visiting with Dean, Melissa came home with Aidan who she’d picked up at school. We visited awhile before Dean and I headed to the Oceanside harbor for lunch.

2017-5-5p lunch at the harborWe had a very relaxed lunch overlooking the harbor at the Oceanside Broiler. The time with Dean, the cool margarita, and the serenity of the harbor made up for the crazy drive to get there!

2017-5-5n coconut shimp lunchmmmm. Coconut shrimp for lunch!

We had a grand time at the marina. Afterward, we drove back to Dean’s where I boarded the coach and drove to Guajome Park and settled in for a couple nights in their very nice RV park. I napped a bit, then Dean picked me up later and we returned to their place for dinner.

Click on any photo to see larger photos and the captions:

It was party time at the Gillespie’s! It happened to be Cinco de Mayo, and that was reason enough to break out the margaritas and even a sombrero. And did we eat! Melissa and Dean whipped up tacos stuffed with carne asada, grilled peppers, rice, beans, and more. I ate ’til I was miserable, naturally. We had a lovely visit around the dining room table ’til it was time for Dean to haul tired ol’ Grandpa back to the coach for the night. I was whipped – it had been a long, long day.

Back at the coach, I worked through the evening chores, showered, etc. Then I poured a couple cool ones and dug out the movie Fargo yet again. The next thing I remember was waking up on the couch at something after 2300. I finally had sense enough to head off to bed…

Day 3, Saturday, Jacks down at Guajome Park and a day with the kids…

I slept very well, as usual, and awoke a bit after 0600. The morning was cool enough to fire up the furnace for a few minutes to take the chill off. It was a cloudy morning with rain predicted and I would enjoy a cool day for a change.

I worked through the morning chores, including taking the obligatory Guajome photo of the coach and handsome driver. Somehow the photo always turns out well, framed in the greenery of the park. I don’t like RV parks generally, but Guajome is not the usual cheek-by-jowl sardine can most parks are. It’s a beautiful place and my favorite space is pretty well isolated.

2017-5-6a obligatory Guajome photoThe obligatory Guajome Park photo turned out well once again.

I took a short, 15 minute walk through some of beautiful Guajome Park. It is a big deal for me to be able to take a walk again, as I haven’t been able to since my last visit in January due to hip problems. Ironically, I took my first walk since my last visit, thanks to my Kaiser orthopedist. He diagnosed and treated my somewhat worn hip socket – and six days after he gave me a shot, I’m able to walk again without pain! 

2017-5-6b Guajome walk viewA portion of Guajome Park taken during my walk showing the rural beauty of the place.

2017-5-6c the new roofIndulge me for this moment as I admired the new roof on Cecil the Diesel, also taken during my walk. It’s not often that I’m able to see the roof. Yep… that roof covering is new as the old one was blown off in January during my last trip to Dean’s.

After my walk and a few extra morning chores such as washing the windshields and a bit of housecleaning, Dean came by to pick me up. We drove to the house and visited for awhile ’til it was time to head to lunch.

One of our favorite dining spots is Chin’s Chinese Restaurant in Oceanside. They serve wonderful meals and we both love Chinese food. We began the feast with a pupu platter which sounds terrible but is delicious…

pupu platter…only a photo will tell the whole pupu story.

We also ordered lunch plates to round out our dining adventure. For dessert I ordered a “green tea ice cream”, something new and, frankly, not all that great. Dean took one taste and said he’d pay the $4 to not eat any more. I took him up on it and ate it all. It wasn’t that bad!

After lunch we headed to the house and spent the rest of the afternoon just hanging around and visiting. Connor was gone on a friend’s birthday trip to Six Flags for the day, so I didn’t see any more of Connor that trip.

Click on any photo for larger photos and captions:

We watched the movie Intolerable Cruelty that I brought from the coach to share with Dean and Melissa. They thoroughly enjoyed it and, surprisingly, hadn’t seen it yet. I spent most of the afternoon in the living room simply enjoying the company of the family. Well, that and eating. Melissa also cooked up some wonderful chili and cornbread but there simply wasn’t any room for it. I brought some home for the next day and was looking forward to it. The chili brewed in a crockpot most all day and it smelled delicious. It would be a grand treat with that cornbread.

Around 1800 I was ready to head for home. I was full. I was tired. I had enjoyed a wonderful day with family. I bid everyone goodbye ’til my return in July to visit again and then Dean drove me home. It was a lovely day.

Back at the coach I edited photos and brought this travelogue up to date. I was getting excited about continuing my trip in the morning when I would head for Kingman, AZ for my first leg of the journey to parts unknown!

Back at the coach I showered and did a few evening chores. Then I dug out some WWII documentary DVDs and sat back with a couple cool ones. I was in no rush to go to bed as I didn’t have to leave real early as I do when I head for home. I headed for bed around 2230.

Day 4, Sunday, Oceanside, CA to Kingman, AZ via I-15, I-40: 348 miles

I was up around 0530, too excited to hit the road to sleep any longer. The night was wonderfully rainy and I love to hear rain on the roof of the coach. As I worked through the morning chores the rain kept falling off and on, but when it was time to go outside to unhook the electric cord and load on water, it was raining very lightly. I pulled out of the space and on up to the RV park’s dump site to empty the waste tanks. All went well, and I hit the road about 0700.2017-5-7a Guajome dump

The coach at the Guajome dump site. All went well and Cecil the Diesel was relieved.

The drive was rainy as I started but it didn’t last long. It was the typical early Sunday drive in SoCal when most folks were sleeping in and even most truckers had the day off. Traffic was light and the drive pleasant.

I found an off ramp in a very rural desert area off I-15 where I could park for awhile, so I stopped and enjoyed a good breakfast aboard Dale’s Diner out there with the sand and the lizards. The food was only so-so, the service just adequate but the location was perfect and they played my kind of music. I zapped a breakfast sandwich, cut up an orange, brewed a cup of coffee and relaxed a few minutes.

The rest of the day’s drive was mostly sunny and very pleasant. I love the beauty of the desert and the relatively light traffic. As I crossed the Colorado River into Arizona I was somehow relieved to be out of Kalifornistan – and I probably wouldn’t be back for several days. I was a happy camper!

Beautiful desert landscapes shot during the day’s drive; click on any photo to enlarge ’em all and read the captions:

More photos from the day’s adventure. Just click and enjoy…

I researched diesel prices for this part of the trip and knew that I could buy it in Kingman for just $2.40! I pulled into a station next door to the Walmart where I’d be staying, and pumped on 71 gallons! That was the best price I’ve paid in a long time and I saved $27 on that fill up alone compared to the Flying J in Kingman. It pays to check prices online!

2017-5-7k great priceHappiness is cheap diesel and lots of room to put it. I pumped on 71 gallons!

After pumping the fuel I drove next door to the Walmart lot and settled in for the night. I found what I believed to be a quiet section and made myself at home. I then took a walk through the store for about 15 minutes, taking it easy as I try to get my seemingly well hip used to walking again.

2017-5-7L Walmart Kingman AZJacks down for the night at Kingman’s Walmart lot. It had been a wonderful drive and it would be a comfortable night – as always.

Back at the coach I got busy editing photos and bringing this travelogue up to date. It’s something I enjoy and hopefully, for many years to come, I can can relive my RV adventures by reading these travelogues.

I whipped up dinner in the coach by zapping a frozen dinner. There were a lot of restaurants around the Walmart shopping area to tempt me, but I just had to behave myself after the pig-out weekend at Dean’s.

I spent the evening as usual, perusing a few sites online and kicking back on the couch as I watched TV. And the couple cool ones were a pleasure, too. I woke up on the couch, as usual, with the TV playing. I went to bed a bit before 2300. Life is good aboard Cecil the Diesel!

Day 5, Monday, May 8, Kingman, AZ to Gallup, NM via I-40: 329 miles

I was up and at ’em again before 0530, having rolled out of bed a bit earlier to turn on the heaters. It was a cool night in the 40s at 3300 feet in Kingman. I looked forward to the day’s drive through the beautiful desert in relatively light traffic.

I worked through the morning chores and visited my usual morning websites. Around 0700 I walked into the store and walked for 15 minutes trying to ease back into my daily walks. So far so good. Then I climbed aboard one of the little electric scooters and did some shopping. One advantage of “camping” on Walmart lots across the country is that I can shop every day if I so choose.

Back at the coach I stowed the stuff, converted my cozy little home into a very comfy highway cruiser and at 0830 I continued east on I-40. Most of the morning drive was just fine with some wind, but the farther I drove the more deteriorated I-40 became. It was worse than Kalifornistan’s highways, and that’s got to be terrible! I don’t know how they can let a major interstate go so neglected. Once I reached Flagstaff and beyond the road became near new and remained at least good the rest of the drive.

2017-5-8a What a way to begin the drive.Beautiful Arizona – what a great way to start the day!

Starting at Kingman at around 3300 feet, the day was mostly climbing ’til I got to Flagstaff at 7000 feet, and then up and down to Gallup at 6000 feet. Between the climbing and the wind, my fuel mileage was reduced a bit, but the drive was gorgeous although bumpy and windy.

Click on any photo to enlarge and read:

Just before I arrived at Gallup, I hit a short section of very high wind. I know what 60 MPH wind feels like aboard the coach, and those awful gusts were about that strong. I quickly dropped my speed to about 50 MPH and held on for dear life as the wind shook Cecil the Diesel like a rag doll. I drove out of that wind quickly, and the breeze was very tolerable in Gallup.

I arrived at Gallup, NM about 1700 Mountain Time; I lost an hour as I crossed into New Mexico. I reckon I’ll find it somewhere along my drive home. I walked into the store after I arrived and took another 15 minute walk. It wasn’t a comfortable walk for my recovering hip, and I headed back to the coach not wanting to overdo it as I get used to taking walks again.

Back at the coach my afternoon and evening unfolded as usual as I continued writing, editing photos, doing chores, etc. I did change my planned route for Day 6 – I would drive to Tucumcari, NM instead of Amarillo, TX which would have been over 400 miles to drive. Then the next day I planned to head NE on a US highway and get off the seemingless endless I-40. I prefer the less traveled US highways over the huge, busier interstates anyway, and I was hankerin’ for some rural driving.

Click on any image above to enlarge them and to read the captions.

2017-5-8i Gallup NM WalmartParked for the night at Gallup’s Walmart lot.

I watched more WWII DVD while enjoying a couple cool ones. I headed to bed around 2300 and slept well until…

Day 6, Tuesday, Gallup, NM to Tucumcari, NM via I-40: 325 miles

…something after 0300 when the clatter of hail on the roof awakened me. It was really coming down! I looked out the window and saw the white stuff accumulating on the ground and on nearby cars. It was a serious storm and was accompanied by violent winds that made the coach shudder. I was not having a good time. I did get back to sleep ’til about an hour later when the shaking coach woke me again. The wind was awful! When it subsided I fell back asleep again ’til around 0600 when I awoke to clear skies and calm. I was relieved.

After morning chores I headed to the store and walked the interior for 15 minutes as my morning walk. The hip felt pretty good. I also did a bit of shopping before returning to the coach. After breakfast of a zapped sandwich and orange, I climbed up on the roof to check for any damage. All was well. I was relieved again.

2017-5-9a no truer wordsTruer words were never written. I drove by several such signs with the windsock and every one of them showed a strong crosswind. 

After setting up the coach for the day’s cruise, I pulled out of the lot and continued east to Tucumcari. My hopes for a gentler day of driving were dashed not long into the drive. The day could be summed up in three words: Blow, blow, blow. It was not a pleasant day to drive a vehicle with the aerodynamics of a brick. I fought the wheel all day long trying to stay in my lane. The wind was from the south as I drove east so it continually tried to blow me into the other lane – the lane where virtually every vehicle on the road passed me as I chugged along at 60 MPH. And again my 11 MPG goal was missed due to the constant wind.

Click to view large photos:

The drive through Albuquerque was without delay and I zoomed through. Once the big city was behind me I seemed to get a bit of a respite from the wind, but it didn’t last long. I saw far ahead a huge, looming storm and I was headed right into it. The rain came down in buckets at times, outdone only by the buckets of hail that seemed to trade off with the rain. Lightning flashed across the sky and thunder rolled. It was as dramatic a storm as I can recall. And it seemed to go on forever.

2017-5-9h unknown detailsSomeone had a very bad day along I-40, perhaps due to the weather. It didn’t look good.

Eventually I drove out of the rain and hail but the wind continued all the way to and including Tucumcari, NM where I pulled in for the night and also pumped on fuel. The crummy little station only allowed $75 per swipe, and I can swipe only twice or the credit card people get excited. At $2.55 per I pumped on only 60 gallons, but that was nearly a fill up.

I discovered that there was no Walmart in Tucumcari, but there was a Kmart. I had called earlier in the day and was told I could park there for the night. As I drove through a part of Tucumcari looking for a good fuel price, the place looked like the depression era. There were so many closed up places I guessed it was half the businesses in town. The fact that there was no Walmart spoke volumes, too. But that was lucky for Kmart, I suppose.

2017-5-9L Kmart TucumcariI finally settled in along the side of the big Kmart building, back where stacks of pallets were stored. There was nobody, absolutely nobody in the side area where I parked. It was the quietest lot I ever stayed in. I thought that I might have discovered something!

Once settled in I began editing and writing this travelogue. I had a lot of photos to post since I didn’t post the prior night due to a slow ‘net connection. I spent the evening aboard, as usual, watching more WWII documentary while enjoying a couple cool ones. Rain and some hail continued to fall off and on during the evening and perhaps overnight, and I heard only one car drive by me the whole night. It was very quiet and restful back there with the pallets! It was 2330 when I woke up on the couch, yet again, and headed for bed.

Day 7, Wednesday, Tucumcari, NM to Pratt, KS via US54: 341 miles

I awoke to sunshine and calm weather a bit after 0600. I didn’t want to linger long beside the store, tucked away as I was in case I might have appeared suspicious. After the morning chores, I moved the coach out front of the Kmart store.

I took it easy around the coach for two hours or more, perusing my favored websites, posting the prior day’s photos to my site, and just… dawdling. I fixed breakfast, too, which was instant oatmeal and an orange.

I also checked weather forecasts for the day along my route, and saw that the wind would continue and that I might see more rain. Naturally, I got the predicted wind which, judging by the many wind turbines along my drive, couldn’t be too hard to predict. The rain didn’t materialize; I enjoyed partly sunny skies almost the entire drive.

As I began my drive along SR54 which I drove clear to Pratt, KS, I was surprised that some of the green landscape and farming I saw was part of New Mexico. It was a great pleasure to finally be on a two lane, rural highway. I drove through many small towns and enjoyed every one of them. I was meant to be a farm boy, there is no doubt.

Just click on any one of ’em:

I was welcomed everywhere I drove (click ’em)!

US54 took me through New Mexico, the Texas panhandle, the Oklahoma panhandle, and into Kansas. It was almost all two lane, but there were a few sections of four lane highway. I didn’t have to drive any freeways or interstates and that’s a good thing in my book. I also entered the Central Time Zone as I entered Texas and was a long way from home!

More photos to click:

On the Texas/Oklahoma state line I stopped in the little town of Texahoma where I spotted the cheapest gas and diesel prices of the whole trip so far. Diesel was $2.16 and gas was $2.04, but I didn’t need any, darn it. I also stopped at a Love’s station there that had a Subway counter and a Chester’s Chicken counter side by side. I hadn’t been to such a combination and was confounded by the very clear opportunity to be good or to be bad. Fortunately, I had chicken on my menu the next day, so I ordered an egg white and cheese foot long Subway. If it wasn’t for my plan to have fried chicken the next day I would have been sorely tempted.

I brought the sandwich into Dale’s Diner (they let me do that there) and enjoyed 6 inches of it. The other half would be dinner and that would be somewhat compensated for by the scheduled pig out at Chicken Annie’s in Pittsburg, KS the next day.

I so enjoyed the day’s drive along empty US54 and the wonderful, rural country it took me through. The wind continued, naturally, but it wasn’t the intensity of the day before.

2017-5-10t I've eaten here oftenI’ve never been to Pratt, Kansas before, but somehow I’ve eaten at this restaurant many times.

I arrived at the Walmart in Pratt, KS at 1800 Central Time. I had called earlier and was welcomed to park overnight in their lot, as usual. The first thing was to take a walk in the store for almost 20 minutes and was pleased that my hip held up well, although a bit tender. After the recent months of frustration I was so pleased to be able to take walks again.

2017-5-10v Pratt, KS WalmartJacks down at the Pratt, Kansas Walmart for the night.

Back at the coach I dug the Subway sandwich out of the fridge along with an apple. That little 6″ Subway made a pretty good meal – and it kept me righteous, too.

The evening was as usual with the photo editing, writing, etc. And of course, followed by more WWII documentary and a couple cool ones. I woke up on the couch and went to bed around 2230. 

Day 8, Thursday, Pratt, KS to Pittsburg, KS via US400: 259 miles

It was another cozy night as rain fell occasionally, and I enjoyed its gentle patter on the roof. When I awoke around 0600 the wind was blowing. Still. It would be more of the same.

After morning chores I went into the store for a few things I needed. Shopping early at Walmart is how to avoid the crowds. Back at the coach I tackled some housekeeping and zapped a tasty and healthy Jimmy Dean’s Delights breakfast croissant sandwich. And cut up an orange. My body said it was 0700 at the time, but the clocks read 0900. I tried to stay on schedule with the sun. After setting up for highway crusin’ I pulled out of Pratt and headed to the delicious destination of Pittsburg.

Click to enlarge and read the captions:

I had a few other things to tend to during the day’s drive. I wanted to find a RV dump, preferably for free, as I was on the fifth day of using water and it all has to go somewhere. I could have gone another day or two, but I preferred not to. I also had to fuel up somewhere that day.

2017-5-11f Happiness is a dump when you need it.Happiness is a RV dump when you need one!

On US400 at the junction of US169, I saw a sign for a rest area. I followed it to a very modern rest area with a RV dump! I was a happy camper; Cecil the Diesel was relieved, or soon would be. The place was empty and I pulled up like I owned it. I also filled the fresh water tank and I was good for another five days or so!

The wind… yes, the endless wind, blew all day and mostly a headwind/crosswind that once again screwed up my fuel mileage. Instead of 11 MPG, my ideal, I got 9 and sometimes 10 miles per gallon. Mother Nature owed me a good tailwind and I hoped she would provide one all the way home – whenever that was – and part of the fun of my adventure was not knowing where I would go next!

The highlight of the day was my double chicken dinner at both Chicken Annie’s and next door at Chicken Mary’s. My son, Dean, suggested I get a dinner at both and also, that I get the dinners to go and enjoy them in the coach. Great idea, Son! I told him I would do that and I did.

Click for the Chicken Adventure photos:

I ordered a two piece (thighs) dinner to go, first at Mary’s then at Annie’s. After I picked up the second dinner, I sat down and enjoyed a righteous chicken pig-out! I ate all four pieces, but just nipped at the potatoes and gravy and cole slaw, and tossed out the bread. The amazing thing, second to the great taste of the chicken, was the bargain prices; both dinners totaled less than $18 with tips! I told both places that the same meal in Kalifornistan, not that I could find one, would be double the price.

Both places got their start back in the 1930s, during the depression, when both women were forced to become the family breadwinners. The restaurants are actually about seven miles from Pittsburg, and their area was once a small, unincorporated town known as Yale. Back then there were mines nearby, and Yale had a grocery, a gas station, a small number of families and a couple churches. Today the town is gone and only the two restaurants remain.

Two of the miners, one the husband of Annie, the other of Mary, were disabled. One fella lost a leg in the mines, the other suffered a heart attack. There was no workers comp or other programs back then, so both women had to support their families. Mary began by selling chicken dinners at her kitchen table, and Annie decided that she could also sell dinners in her kitchen. Both grew into the full restaurants they are today, now run by third generation descendants.

Click for the video about Chicken Annie’s and Chicken Mary’s (and a couple other Kansas chicken restaurants)…

The great fried chicken is the big story, and the history is also amazing, but to me, the most amazing part of it all is that both have survived all these years. Even the day I visited, as it rained and thundered on a Thursday evening, people drove to both restaurants from miles around to enjoy their great chicken dinners. Of course, the main attraction has to be the excellent food – nothing else could explain it – and that’s exactly why I was there.

I wanted to fuel up before settling in for the night at Walmart. According to the online sites, Pittsburg had the best diesel prices at about $2.40. After my chicken pig-out I stopped at a gas station that had diesel and I filled up at $2.35 per! I was very pleased with myself.

2017-5-11n cheap diesel$2.35 per gallon is good to find when it’s time to fuel up!

After my chicken pig-out in the comfort of the coach, and a very excellent pig-out it was, and fueling up at a great price, I headed for town and the local Walmart where I’d spend the night.

It rained steadily the entire afternoon and evening as thunderstorms rolled through. It was not cold, however, and the coach was comfortable.

After the big day, while settled in at the Walmart lot, my evening unfolded as usual with photo editing, writing, etc. Afterward I poured a couple cool ones to enjoy as I watched TV a while. I woke up on the couch, as usual, and headed to bed around 2330. It had been a grand and very successful day!

Day 9, Friday, Pittsburg, KS to Paducah, KY via US60, US51: 396 miles

The time had come to decide what was next on my wonderful RV adventure to “beyond”. I never have actually driven through Missouri and into Kentucky and there was no time like the present to do so. And to head for a town named Paducah before heading home seemed like something I just ought to do…

So, after dawdling around much of the morning catching up on posting for the prior day and taking a good walk, it was time to head for Paducah, KY if ever I was going to. It would be a long drive of 400 miles, but what else did I have to do?! Life is good.

I pulled out of Pittsburg’s Walmart lot at 1030, heading for a Denny’s for an egg breakfast as I hadn’t had a fried egg since before leaving home – and I was hankering. My Garmin navigator, which I dearly love, really mislead me on that one. It sent me down some small, residential road to a spot it claimed was a Denny’s, but there were only houses – very nice ones, to be sure, but I wasn’t about to knock on some stranger’s door and expect a fried egg breakfast! I continued on and never did get fried eggs that day.

Click for larger photos and captions:

The drive was quite windy, as usual, the first 200 miles or so, but the rest of the drive was quite tolerable as the wind became more of a breeze. I was grateful, to say the least. I drove from about a thousand feet down to only 300 ft. Not that I had all downhill; most of the drive was up and down through beautiful, wooded, rolling hills.

More photos:

I had no idea what to expect during my drive, but nearing Paducah I crossed the Mississippi River into Illinois for just a short few miles, then crossed the Ohio River into Kentucky. I had no idea that I would see a bit of The Land of Lincoln, but I sure did if only for a blink.

2017-5-12s welome to Kentucky Welcome to Kentucky!

I was very relieved to arrive in the bustling metropolis of Paducah at 1830 and settle in for the night. It was a tiring trip if only for the miles I drove, but the earlier wind was very tiring, too. The Walmart store was smack in the middle of Paducah’s restaurant row, it seemed. There must have been a dozen within a five minute walk. But I would eat in the coach and behave. The prior day was my pig-out day.

2017-5-12t jacks down at Paducah, KYSettled in for the night at Paducah, Kentucky’s Walmart. I had reached my destination and would begin the adventure of heading home the next day!

I spent my evening as usual, writing and editing photos. I whipped up dinner by zapping a frozen meal of sesame chicken that, among my frozen meals, is one of my favorites. And I finished the coleslaw that was left over from my Chicken Adventure. After the evening chores I watched more TV, fell asleep on the couch, as usual, and went to bed at 2300. Life is good on the Walmart lot in Paducah, Kentucky – with Cecil the Diesel.

Continue the adventure as I returned home with no idea which way I wanted to go… on  page 2!

About FishWisher

Over the years I have posted many exciting fishing and boating stories here, but now in my seventies, it was time to sell the boat and find less demanding pastimes. All the fishing stories are still here! I will now post my travels aboard the motorhome and other activities. I hope y'all will still enjoy the fishing and boating adventures and perhaps peek in on my post-boating activities on occasion. Thanks for dropping in and I hope you enjoy your visit.
This entry was posted in Travel: Chicken Runs, Travel: Dean's, Travel: Interstate Adventure!. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to On The Road To… Paducah !? Page 1

  1. JJ says:

    I wanted to reply to the question in your prologue – “as if anybody wanted to read about back roads and nights spent in Walmart parking lots!?”

    Yes, I would.
    I read your travelogues, mostly see the photos you post. I am sure there are many more people like me. So please keep it coming.
    The rural back roads and non-interstate routes you travel, have beautiful places that many never get to see.

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