First of all, sorry I don't have time to answer emails right now....
Yesterday was a beautiful, windless late autumn day. In the morning the leaves lay still on the glassy creek and the jet trails hung in the air. We drove through the Alleghenies in southwestern Pennsylvania. The hills were violet in the distance and as we approached resolved into clumps of mustard, burnt sienna, and Indian red. The valley meadows were still verdant and every so often we would see groups of Holsteins lounging near a huge Pennsylvania Dutch barn.
As we continued northwest into Ohio the land leveled out into rolling plains, getting ever flatter as we headed northwest, and the trees were more bare. This was the true Midwest, very familiar to me from growing up and years of college in Illinois. Not much has changed in the vistas since I left in 1985, except cell phone towers are now parts of the landscape. Oh, and we passed a herd of BISON! Nice to see that they've returned this far east, with some help!
We covered a lot of ground: 435 miles in all in one day! In the morning I stopped every 60-90 minutes to give the girls a few minutes out of their carseats and offer them something to eat. Later in the afternoon they both fell asleep, so instead of hunting up a campground I continued driving past dark.
I made a few discoveries! Many roadside rest stops have wifi connections, but in Ohio I had to pay $8 for access for 24 hours. So I paid it to quickly download my email before I headed off. Ohio seems to have tons of money for their Ohio Turnpike (I-80) rest stops, since they were mostly huge and freshly remodeled. They thoughtfully included paved segregated RV parking areas with electric hookups for $15/24 hours, so I thought I had it made! I continued west. BUT unfortunately the last two rest stops on the turnpike have not been remodeled yet. On the very last one I found an RV parking lot without hookups, empty, and I parked there for the night. It was supposed to cost $5, but I didn't want to walk inside by myself and leave the babies in the middle of the night just to pay $5, so I stayed out there and waited for someone to come ask me for it, and no one did. No one else parked in the RV area and we were back on the road by 7AM when it was just getting light. Not long after starting we were across the border into Indiana, along a seemingly endless row of motorhome and travel trailer manufacturers.
Today the girls will go into their 10th state: MI. They've already been in VA, MD, NJ, NY, MA, NH, PA, OH, IN and DC. Forty more to go!
No telling how long this battery charge will hold out, so I'll conclude quickly: we're safely at Grandma's now, and a nice neighbor is providing a wifi signal for us! Yay! More later!!!