I had never been to the South before. I visited North and South Carolina but not enough to warrant me putting the states decals on the van —  a decal means you have really explored it. Georgia and Florida warranted stickers and Alabama would also or so I thought.

In my mind, Alabama has always been a symbol of the “iconic south”, witness the above photo, and Hwy. 29, the back road from Pensacola, Florida to Montgomery, Alabama solidified that idea.


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Georgia was full of surprises for me–unexpected visual pleasures and observable sadness struck me while driving through the Peach State. I decided to take a break from Florida and its cold rainy windy weather, and not reading the weather report beforehand, I drove up to Georgia on Christmas Day. Google maps was set to “avoid interstates/toll roads” when I left Tallahassee, FL on Hwy. 19 to Macon, GA. Mabel, my van, has really slowed my driving down so I now use the phrase, “meander down the road”‘: hence, 125 miles and 3.5 hours later, I arrived at Americus.

Windsor Hotel, Americus at Christmas

Americus is the home for Habit for Humanities’s International Headquarters. It also has a wonderful hotel, the Hotel Windsor, built-in 1892 that displays the Victorian architecture so prevalent in the late 1800’s . 

I spent Christmas afternoon in the hotel’s dining area sipping coffee and  eating carrot cake before joining the 18 wheelers at Wal-Mart for the night. Wal-Mart’s free RV parking does come in handy.

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Breakdown, Beaches and Birds


Alligator Alley–that’s the highway (I75) I took to cross over to the western side of Florida. The name alone did not sound terribly auspicious, but it seemed the quickest route to go and allowed me to by-pass Miami. Surrounded on both sides by swamp and everglades and brackish water, Mabel (the van) crunched over the occasional -already-dead turtle or bird or “blob-of-something” as we headed West. I realized this was the first time in seven months I was actually heading away from the sun in the morning. All this time, I have been driving north or east or south. After a while, it is the little things that bring amusement to the long distance road traveler.

Alligator Alley

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North Carolina



Welcome to North Carolina on Thanksgiving Weekend!

One of the most wonderful things about this trip has been reconnecting with so many old friends and making new ones. Today, December 15, 2017, marks exactly seven months since I left New Mexico. 25,000 miles later we arrived in North Carolina. I just checked this mileage and thought I had driven more than that — at times it definitely has felt like I came out of the womb into the driver’s seat! Continue reading


Good Bye New Brunswick

Hello Maine!

Side road

A late autumn was apparent as I drove through the US/Canadian Border crossing, leaves were a gentle green transitioning slowly to pumpkin orange. The waiting was almost over as I soon found out when the first freeze of the season came on September 28, 2017. The heater on the van didn’t work and due to my lack of skill, cunning and alertness, I did not pack a wool blanket! Continue reading

Nova Scotia and New Brunswick

Nova Scotia Visitor Sign

A 2017 movie, Maudie, gives the history of the woman who painted this sign by the Visitor Center in Digby, NS.

I am spending the last nite in Canada at a road’s end on a deserted beach by the Gulf of St. Lawerence. The water goes back and forth on the inlet’s shore, leaving bits of debris and taking bits of sand back into the slate blue liquid. Dried-out washed-ashore sea grass form long stretches of low berms just beyond the water’s reach. Sand, rocks, pebbles and sticks, which crackle when I step on them, litter the forgotten background. Continue reading





Have lost a whole section of photos..sometimes I feel like DESTROYING the i Phone, but I think when those urges strike: breathe deeply and let that go, Lisa. Right. AFTER I throw it through the window, it hits the pavement, and a massively huge truck tire runs over it.  So take THAT Apple.  Ah—feel much better!

Mabel, Alice and I traveled 95% of all the roads in Newfoundland and I loved it. People are wonderful. I think they were all born with a “nice gene” in addition to Scottish, Brit, Welsh and Basque. We visited tiny towns, trendy towns, fishing villages, off the beaten track – like – “Oh Christ, how did we end up here” towns and enjoyed ourselves immensely. Not sure if Mabel did only because some of the roads weren’t that great, but she did get to rest quite a bit since Alice and I walked on trails and through towns. Continue reading


“Lisa, I am not real sure where Labrador and Newfoundland are.” Since I have read that more than once–here are some maps!

I entered Labrador via Quebec Province, Hwy. 138, went through two cities, Labrador City, pop. 7,000 and Happy Valley/Goose Bay, pop. 8,000 (USAF base is there), and one hydro-electric company town, Churchill Falls, pop. 650. Continue reading