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



Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.’–Marie Curie







I have done tons of road trips all over the US, but never traveled in an RV. So, when I saw Mabel as I affectionately call my 2002 Roadtrek, I knew I was ready to take the trip of my dreams–travel throughout all points north of the 48 states! Mabel went from being a grandfather’s vehicle transporting kids on fishing trips–verified by a mere 46,000 miles on her after 14 years–to a long haul RV.  Larger tires, elevated suspension, solar panels, sound system, navigation system and UBS ports and a custom-made futon which converted the back “lounge area” to a full time bed completed her modifications. We left New Mexico on May 15, 2017 and after six months, the odometer rolled over to 77,000 miles.

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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


“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

No. BC to Anchorage,AK

“Hi!” says Alice. “I will be giving today’s post.”

We have a few miles to cover here, like a thousand more or less! Mabel has what might be termed kindly as “tunnel vision.”  We are talking “view from the headlights only”; I, on the other hand, am on the passenger seat all the time, so I have a different perspective on this trip. I am not sure exactly where we are sometimes, but, the Navigation System is great and keeps us going in the right direction, except when Lisa doesn’t believe it. Always a bad sign when I hear, “You know, Alice, I don’t think this is the right way.” I wish she would hear me when I say, “Patience, it is coming, hang in there, the turn is almost here….”
Ah-h Northern British Columbia, so absolutely gorgeous. We drove the Cassier Hwy. 37 from BC to Whitehorse, Yukon. It is in big print here so everyone can focus! Follow the red line. Continue reading

Mabel’s Perspective on the Traveling Life

Sure, I have seen territory, all the sites, the gorgeous lakes and streams, but let me give you the other side of the story. In fact, let’s make this a photo journey.

The photo below is of one of ten most dangerous roads in the world. You can barely make out the road crawling along right of center. I am game for anything, but a 15% grade, are you kidding me?

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Bologna, Verona, Venice, Rome…..

I only spent 24 hours in Bologna which is comprised of  universities, industries, and food!   Just when I thought it was impossible to have bigger or more ornate or more something buildings/churches, another city comes along, and outshines the previous one — Bologna was no exception.

I had lunch at a locals’ restaurant on a side street.  The all in one mâitre’d-waiter-bartender-cashier greeted me like his long-lost friend, took my order after many “prego’s, prego’s”(please, please)never said only once, and “si, si’s(yes, yes) same applies — all one word acknowledgements must be said at least twice, but preferably three times. The regular lunch crowd arrived around 12:30ish and re-emphasized the importance of community in daily Italian life.   Everyone knew one another and was greeted warmly by the all-in-one only employee(!), some received their usual drink, others heard the daily special and ordered as they walked to their table. Everyone spoke at the same time, gesticulated with their hands and forks constantly, nodded and never stopped eating.  Noise level reached new heights as 1:15pm approached and started to taper off around 1:45pm — I learned weeks ago lunch is a 2 hour affair – enjoy the food, appreciate the ambiance, savor the flavors, and absorb the sights/aromas that make up one of the main components of Italian life – FOOD. Continue reading