My name is Karen, and I’m getting ready to embark on a grand adventure. I hope you’ll join me, as I learn more about the United States, up close and personal. I’ve traveled to 49 of the 50 states, all except Alaska, but can’t say I’ve really experienced all of them. Ohio is my home, and I feel there is plenty I can still learn and enjoy about our 88 counties, let alone the rest of the country.


A couple of years ago I was driving from my home in Cincinnati to Florida, straight down I-75, as usual. Typically, I would leave early in the morning of the first travel day and try to make it to somewhere south of Atlanta, spend the night, and then drive on. This time, though, I had stuff going on the night before and didn’t sleep well, so was unable to really get going until a bit late, and I decided to stop near Chattanooga to rest up for the rest of the drive.

The next morning my daughter Robin called, and I told her where I was. She said “Mom! Chattanooga is one of my very favorite cities! You really should go into town and check it out.” After I checked out of the motel I used Robin’s directions to find the row of museums  along the river bluff (not yet open, that early in the day), and then to cross the Tennessee River over to the North Shore, an area along the riverfront with shops and restaurants and bars. How could I have driven up and down I-75 for more than 40 years without once stopping in such a great place? I’m ashamed of myself, for having missed this, and so many other, amazing places. Image

That trip was a revelation. I spent the rest of the time traveling a bit sideways to the beaten path, and began the first tentative steps to the odyssey on which I now am planning to embark, to expand on the idea of that first trip, and to travel the width and breadth of the US.


I am fortunate to have lots of family and friends flung all over the country, and I plan to visit some of them (and you) on this voyage of discovery. This blog will serve as my diary, first for planning the means and the path, and then to the journey itself. My motto: You learn something new every day–if you pay attention!

January 14, 2013. Tags: . Uncategorized.


  1. Linda Rodriguez replied:

    This sounds like such a great adventure to take, Karen! I’m looking forward to following along with you. When we travel, if we have any time leeway, we always try to check out places of interest along the way–and have found some neat places and had some wonderful experiences. Best of luck!

  2. Karen in Ohio replied:

    Thanks for being my first commenter, Linda! Hope to meet you again, sometime during my travels.

  3. Ellen replied:

    Small, but homey. Mission Hills awaits you in San Diego ;~)

  4. Marita replied:

    How did you get the same life motto as mine, Karen!? Let me know when you’re heading to AZ. I’ll make sure I’m there!

  5. Semia replied:

    Can’t wait to hear all about your travels!!

  6. Marie Cleveland replied:

    This is so exciting, Karen. I look forward to reading about your adventures. .bravo!

  7. Ellen R replied:

    I can’t wait to follow your travels and perhaps see youhere in Western MN. I will be reading for tips to use when I’m able to begin my adventure.

    • Karen in Ohio replied:

      Ellen, tell me about your adventure!

      • Ellen R replied:

        Karen, at this time my adventure is not as well planned as yours. 2013 is going to be a busy year with a new grandchild and a wedding so my adventures will be close to home. I’m thinking if I want to see the ND I read about and see on PBS I need to do some short trips this year and then I may be too late.

        I like your RV plan. I’ll be waiting to see how your renting goes and then might consider that option for a few longer trips.

      • Karen in Ohio replied:

        Well, keep me informed, okay?

  8. Reine replied:

    Sounds great! I’ll buy you a chop suey sandwich at Salem willows. Then after a quick lesson in speaking Marblehead, we can go for a clam roll and watch the tide come in. We could have fried lobster in Essex and play tourist at my 8th great-grandfather’s house, but that would be boring. Clams on a rocky beach. A walk through the old graveyard. No… that would be fun.

    • Karen in Ohio replied:

      Reine, I grew up playing in a cemetery, so graveyards hold no terror for me!

      I’m taking you up on this plan, you know.

  9. Herb replied:

    Sounds wonderful Karen. Hope you’re coming to Cambridge!

    • Karen in Ohio replied:

      I’d love to see you and Judy again. Maybe Steve can come with me on that part of a trip.

  10. Judy Gee replied:

    Karen, so excited you decided to do this! You’ll let me know when you head toward Florida!

  11. Kay Leeds replied:

    Always impressed with your confidence and sense of adventure! You’ll have a wonderful time, I’m sure.

    • Karen in Ohio replied:

      Thanks, Kay. You’ve always been a good cheerleader for your friends, including me.

  12. Deb Romano replied:

    If you get to Southern CT, let me know!

  13. Kaye Barley replied:

    This sounds wonderful!!! I’m going to enjoy following your adventures and will look for you in the North Carolina mountains.

    • Karen in Ohio replied:

      Kaye, I’d love to see you and Margaret Maron. She and I have corresponded for awhile, and exchanged seeds, too. It would be grand fun to meet you both.

  14. Jay Sheppard replied:

    Karen–what a tremendous idea! I have had such plans on my bucket list, too, for over 40 years…but seriously doubt if I will ever be able to follow through with an RV to see the ‘rest of the country?’ At about the middle of this summer I expect to pass my millionth mile of personal driving (me behind the wheel)…so I have more than a few places to suggest where you might stop (besides here in MD for crab cakes!)…. From lighthouses on beaches of white sand to old forts to small historical places that are out of the way of most travelers, etc., etc. From all the above posts it is clear you have tons of friends and relatives all over the country!! You are going to need a lot of large-memory notebooks (iPads) with GPS to keep all of the suggested places in view as driving goals.. Best wishes and pleasant/safe travels!!

    • Karen in Ohio replied:

      Thanks, Jay; I’ll take you up on that offer! A million miles! Wow. That’s impressive.

      Most of the newer RV’s I’m looking at have GPS built in, which is pretty cool. They also have backup cameras, thank goodness. I’m about ready to post a new entry, with photos of some of the rigs I’ve seen.

  15. Jay S replied:

    Howa are your plans coming? Any time lines set yet?


    • Karen in Ohio replied:

      Getting there, Jay. Steve has accepted an assignment to photograph raptors, so he may be calling you soon.

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