The Road East – Day 7

Retirement. For the past 9 years I’ve been driving my little ’05 Honda Civic Hybrid (a.k.a Hazel) and I could zip, zip, zip around town and easily access any parking space.  I loved that car and was sad to say good-bye to her when we left Ashland.  Driving Big Betty is a bit different than driving my little Hazel.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve attempted to look in the rear view mirror that doesn’t exist, or look over my left shoulder before changing lanes, only to see a wall of yellow truck over my shoulder.

Big Betty

Today, when we were attempting to maneuver our way out of a pretty tight parking lot, I was missing my Hazel.  And at the same time I was wondering how people drive those ginormous motor homes?!  What a pain in the butt!  We’ve never had a desire to own one, but I gotta tell ya driving Big Betty across country has sealed the deal on that one.  No motor home in our future.

Here’s a random question for you. Do you drink/enjoy bourbon?  I don’t.  Can’t stand the stuff.  But we were in Kentucky, and when in Kentucky…  ya gotta take an hour and visit a distillery.  Here’s a tip though, if you happen to be driving anything other than a normal-sized car, check ahead to see if they have a second entrance because otherwise it may take you a few tries to get out of a tight parking lot that only has one in/out driveway.  Just ‘sayin.

Buffalo Trace

Anyway, we visited the Buffalo Trace Distillery and arrived right at 9:00 a.m. and caught the first tour of the day.  The grounds are beautiful and the buildings historic.  As soon as you approach the warehouses, you can smell the vapors in the air.  We had to bail on the tour though because although the guide was very cordial, he was a talker and 45 minutes into the tour we still hadn’t gotten inside a building.  I think it would have been interesting to see, but we just didn’t have the time to dawdle and still make today’s destination.

Visitor's center

Visitor’s center

Barrel delivery

Barrel delivery

The 6 millionth barrel of bourbon

The 6 millionth barrel of bourbon


I was hoping to see the beautiful blue grasses of Kentucky, but we could barely see out the window due to the ridiculously heavy rain.  By the time we crossed into West Virginia and then into Virginia, the rain stopped and we saw patches of blue sky.   The thick forests of autumn colors are just beautiful and try as I might I couldn’t take it all in because it goes on for miles and miles and miles.  You’ll just have to trust me!

Trying to capture the wonder at 70 mph

Trying to capture the wonder at 70 mph


Our last night on the road finds us near Blacksburg, Virginia.  Tomorrow is our last day on the road. I’ve had a lot of time to get lost in my thoughts over the past 7 days. And, I have managed to create and work my way through my personal 12-step retirement plan. But, my plan has 10 steps, because that’s all I need.   As we traveled across this vastly diverse country, at each stop I’ve left behind a bit of emotional baggage.  That’s my 9th step; let go of any emotional baggage. You cannot move forward if you carry it with you.  This, of course, is easier said than done.  I think we all struggle with it.  I know I have.

Step 9:  Let go of emotional baggage.

And the last step, and it’s the big one, is to embrace the unknown possibilities.  Because after all, isn’t that the whole point of getting to this stage of your life?  Life plans have their place, but it’s the unknown that makes it exciting, so embrace it!

Step 10:  Embrace the unknown possibilities.

Before I wrap up today’s post, let me express my thanks to all of you for reading our blog. We’ve reached our 2nd birthday, today.  There is so much more to come, we’re just getting warmed up, so please stay with us as we continue to move forward… One Road at a Time!

2 birthday cupcake

Day 7:  393 miles.  33 gallons of gas.  Tollbooths:  $6.50

Travel tip:  There are toll booths in Virginia (and other states).  You basically pay for the privilege of driving on the road.  Have cash ready.

Travel tip:  When driving across country and your rental truck has a CD player, don’t pack your CDs in a box and then place said box amongst 100 other boxes in the back of the truck.  Just a suggestion.

Virginia turnpike toll booth. Cars = $2. Big Betty = $3.25.

Virginia turnpike toll booth. Cars = $2. Big Betty = $3.25.

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