Sunday, January 01, 2017 Road Junkies 0 Comments

After our successful experiment with "Meals on Wheels" in 2016, we took to the road in February and circumnavigated the Southeast U.S. on a major tour.  Over the next 28 days, we met 96 friends and family members at restaurants of their choice in their towns in 9 states from Miami to Washington, DC. Along the way, we visited with parents, aunts, siblings, nieces and nephews (and grandnieces and grandnephews), cousins galore, in-laws (and former in-laws), both our college roommates, other friends, and maybe even a stranger or two in the whirlwind.

In April, we visited New York for some theater and sightseeing just before Dianne met her Shoe Shopper friends for their New York adventure.  Then in mid-June, Dianne took the teen yayas and their moms back to the city that never sleeps for an exploration of the city's famous sites.

A longtime travel wish was fulfilled in May when we took a 23-day, 3,300-mile road trip meandering around the scenic state of Utah (and a tiny bit of northern Arizona).  Utah's vast panoramas of colorful mesas and majestic buttes, massive canyons and fanciful rock formations often left us speechless.

Summer found us seeking cooler weather, as always, and this time we headed to northern Europe, another area which had been on our travel radar for several years.  As Georgia sweltered in the 90s, we enjoyed temperatures in the 50-65° range in the Nordic countries—Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden—and the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.  Brief side trips took us to Belarus and Russia.  

As fall arrived, we decided to hike the Appalachian Trail.  Following author Bill Bryson's lead, we determined that after we drove a route parallel to the trail and hiked a little bit of the trail in each of the 14 states it crosses, we could say we were through hiking the AT.  (Not to be confused with thru-hiking the AT's 2,200 miles from Georgia to Main in one uninterrupted hike.)  On our 29-day, 5,300-mile journey, we enjoyed some spectacular autumn splendor and historic sites.

2017 Summary

Major Trips
  • Meals on Wheels  (February 26-March 26).  A 5,000-mile trip around the Southeast visiting and dining with family and friends.
  • Shoe Shopping in New York  (March 30-April 8).  Exploring the Big Apple with girlfriends and some extra days with Ken.
  • Ultimate Utah  (April 22-May 14).  Three-week road trip thoroughly exploring Utah's incredible scenery.
  • Yayas Bite the Big Apple  (June 16-20).  Four days of intense sightseeing with the original yaya girls and their moms.
  • Northern Exposure (July 24-September 4).  Exploring the countries of Scandinavia and the Baltic area + St. Petersburg and Minsk.

  • A Drive in the Woods (September 24-October 23).  A road trip along the Appalachian Trail with very short hikes and letterboxing along the route.

States We Visited in 2017

  1. Alabama
  2. Arizona
  3. Connecticut
  4. Florida
  5. Georgia
  6. Kentucky
  7. Maine
  8. Maryland
  9. Massachusetts
  10. Mississippi
  11. Nevada
  12. New Hampshire
  13. New Jersey
  14. New York
  15. North Carolina
  16. Pennsylvania
  17. South Carolina
  18. Tennessee
  19. Utah
  20. Vermont
  21. Virginia
  22. West Virginia

Canadian Provinces We Visited in 2017

  1. New Brunswick
  2. Ontario
  3. Quebec

Countries We Visited in 2017

  1. Belarus
  2. Canada
  3. Denmark
  4. Estonia
  5. Finland
  6. Latvia
  7. Lithuania
  8. Netherlands
  9. Norway
  10. Russia
  11. Sweden

Other Events in 2017

  • May - Whitney's high school graduation
  • May - Memorial Day weekend in Clarksdale and Memphis for blues music
  • July - To Millry for Nanamama's birthday
  • September - Pam Hunter's wedding
  • September - Hans' funeral
  • November- Blowing Rock with Pragers
  • November - Thanksgiving in Millry
  • December - Bought new Honda Pilot
  • December - Savannah getaway