(NOTE: as time permits, plan to continue “seeding” this w/descriptions. As items get added, will announce via “posts”)
In January, spend some time “down the coast” around the Monterey Peninsula. (Nope… am NOT invited to Pebble Beach golf tournament!)
With a family reunion scheduled for New Orleans in June, take off early across California’s “beltline” thru Yosemite, wander Nevada’s old mining towns, cut across to SW tip of Utah (AM a sucker for Zion NP, Bryce Canyon NP & Kodachrome Basin SP), before turning up to UT’s “belly-button” Torrey to do some traipsing in Capital Reefs NP.
Then segue into Colorado’s SW corner, before turning south again & heading for New Mexico’s Taos area. Mosey around that northern section, and then drive down NM’s “spine” to have a youthful reminder in Truth or Consequences, before climbing up toward art colony Silver City, and finally down thru Deming & Mesilla.
Find El Paso surprising. Mexicans are FLEEING Juarez because of murderous drug gangs, but El Paso seems “suburban” quiet. Go figure! Choose to check out Del Rio (remember Paul Newman as Judge Roy Bean?), then do a flurry of cross-TX driving into “Lew’s-ee-anna”.
A GREAT week w/cousins around New Orleans (get some wonderful, if saddening insights on post-Katrina damage to properties, persons and psyches).
After that, begin a “zig-zag” pattern across LA, segue on into Arkansas (& Hope for the best). Time w/friends in Little Rock.
In early July, am stompin’ in Memphis/TN, before moving north into Indiana to trace back up “small towns” lining Ohio River. Spend a “hot” time in Cincinnati (wonderful art museums), before continuing “upriver”. Dip into Rosey Clooney’s (no, NOT George’s MOTHER… his aunt, maybe?) hometown Maysville/KY, before swing off into Huntington/WV (wonderful regional art museum).
Continue east to visit w/daughter Siobhan outside Charlotte/NC.
From there, drive north thru NC & Virginia checking out some Civil War sites, before “roosting” w/”surrogate” daughter Catherine & her family just outside DC.
Do a quick trip to Philadelphia/PA, before taking on a “cross-county” tour of US-50 (Ocean City/MD > Sacramento/CA).
Family issues change plans, so after a bit more NC time w/my daughter, decide to head south thru SC, AL & MS. Chase down to New Orleans again to spend some time w/cousin Wayne (he’s volunteered to spruce up post-Katrina houses).
Then a long, lazy trek back along I-10 (Interstates DO have their value!)