2016-05-31_20-33-48I have to believe I am not the only person who has this problem. The first leg of our trip is 3 full days of driving. Jerry and I have agreed to not much more than 400 miles a day. That’s about 8 hours of driving and then you have to add in the time for doggie pee stops, lunch, people pee stops (that never coincides with the dogs need to stop,) and of course the gas stops which turn into pee stops and food stops. There is also the worlds largest ball of twine…which of course we can’t miss.

Did you know that there are no apps where you can ask “what is the name of the city 400 miles from Tarpon Springs, Florida?” How can I plan for a stop, when I have no idea where to stop? I tried the AAA Triptik app. It’s very good. You can keep adding places to stop and they will recalculate your trip with directions. But, like I said, you have to know where you want to go and you can’t say 400 miles from here. I am using the  Kerrie-method. First I started picking cities on the map that I thought were 400 miles apart. When I finally found one that was as close to 400 as possible, I got a piece of embroidery floss and cut it to match the length of the road between mile one and mile four hundred. It’s not the easiest thing to do because you have to make the string follow the roads around cities and lakes and things like that. But, I have to say, it is a pretty accurate method, as long as you don’t change the scale of the map midway.

I’m ready to do my research. I shopped on Amazon…they have everything! I bought The Next Exit 2016, The Complete Guide of USA Interstate Highway Exit Services, the 2016 North American RV Travel and Savings Guide (with 437,465 campground updates.) Electronically, I bought the Free Campground and Overnight Parking Spots (over 1,000 places where you can park for free or almost free across the USA), The National Park Service Camping Guide and Camping with the Army Corps of Engineers. Oh! I almost forgot…the most important book of all…..The Rand McNally 2016 Road Atlas…LARGE SCALE…with 35% Larger maps! (I’m not too proud to admit that bigger print is my friend!)


With my books and trusty string, I started measuring off 400 mile increments to find where we would stop between Florida and Chicago. My primary goal is to get to where we are going while it is still light enough to hook up the trailer. Also, we learned the hard way (in Ohio around 2004 on our first RV adventure-the one where we sold the RV immediately afterwards) that it is best to get somewhere before dusk, when mosquitos are searching for their supper. All I can remember is sitting in the RV watching Jerry outside in the dark running around, waving his hands wildly above his head, yelling “#£!?{#% mosquitos!!!!!” If we can avoid repeating this scene, I would like to, if possible.

After all the twists and turns, my string and I decided our first stop would be around Atlanta. I would like to go through Atlanta and stop on the other side. It is the Georgia version of the Indianapolis 500. Beyond Atlanta is over the 400 mile limit and that might be bad. Using the old 50 miles=an hour method which is pretty tried and true, we will have been driving for 8 hours. There is a limit to how many times one can sing “one hundred bottles of beer on the wall….”  I fear there may be a level of crankiness of which I would like to avoid. But, getting past Atlanta is a real plus in my mind and so I am going to look at camping possibilities on the far side.

The first day’s adventure may change everything. If we find 400 miles is too much, then I will have to readjust my mapping. I guess I could get a longer piece of string and stretch it from Tarpon to Chicago and divide it in thirds. That may work….oh! The pain and suffering of planning.

If all goes well the first day,  then our second stop will be Louisville, KY. I know nothing about Louisville. The only thing I know about Kentucky is the Kentucky Derby (my horse didn’t win, although he did win the Preakness.) And the clerk that wouldn’t give marriage licenses to gay couples. Neither of which have any bearing on campgrounds.

My string and I have a lot of work to do.


One thought on “Mapping

  1. Well, so far Amazon is making out like a bandit! Can’t wait for this trip to actually get started, especially the visit Nebraska part!


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