A few notes from the road…..I’m on the east coast now and security has beefed considerably….
Welcome back. In the United States we are fortunate to have a set of interconnecting highways that make it possible to travel from coast to coast. Keeping these roads in good shape is a dangerous job and as I drove to the east coast over the past four days watching out for these highway workers was my first priority.
When I got on I- 44 in Vinita, Oklahoma I hit my first of many toll. From there I headed to Joplin, Missouri and then on through Springfield to St. Louis. The roads were all good and motels and hotels were plentiful. In St. Louis I passed by the famous Gateway Arch. Completed in 1965 the 630 foot stainless steel arch is the tallest monument in the western hemisphere. The arch was designed as a permanent public memorial to those who made the western expansion of the United States possible including President Jefferson and the explorers Lewis & Clark. The arch is also the largest accessible structure in Missouri and visitors can take an elevator to the top for an incredible view of the city.
Outside St. Louis I picked up I-70 toward Terre Haute, Indiana which is home to a federal penitentiary which has a special confinement unit where male federal prisoners who have been condemned to death are housed. This is where Timothy McVeigh and many other notorious federal prisoners took their last breath. From there it was on to Indianapolis and then Richmond before crossing the state line into Ohio. I-70 passes the outskirts of Dayton and Columbus before taking you into Wheeling, West Virginia. All along the way into Pennsylvania I noticed lots of opportunities for camping.
Outside of Pittsburgh my route took me north on I-79 to I-80 and this part of the drive starts many miles of rolling hills and forests. This part of the country is sparsely populated and most hotel rooms fill up quickly so it’s best to plan ahead for overnight accommodations.
Once you get to the Pennsylvania/ New Jersey border it’s not long before you can see the New York City skyline. If you’re traveling at night the sky will be filled with the glow from Manhattan when the 8.46 million residents of this metropolis turn on their lights.
However in this case I took a highway around the city, heading for the north shore of Long Island Sound where I’ve been invited to speak about my book Footprints in the Dew. The shoreline towns here were settled in the1600s and many of them played a role in the revolutionary war so there are numerous historical sites and monuments in the area that are always of interest to a history buff like me.
This is where I am sitting today but tomorrow I hope to renew my acquaintances from the summer of 2014. Matt Lauer, yes I talked to him and Al Roker several times about Oklahoma. Rikki Klieman, wife of NYC Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, is another person I have been lucky enough to visit with on several occasions about our state and my project. Not to forget my friend Robert Wyatt, a transplanted Okie himself and now a retired publishing executive and author. There are lots of people to see and over the next three weeks I’ll keep you up to date on what I get into so till next time I’ll see ya down the road………………………..