The epict adventures of the Starship Wildwood as it travels to far off places – –
Obi-Wan Kenobi: “Luke, feel the force.”
Luke Skywalker: “But Obi Wan, Myrtle is in a different galaxy. I am afraid of the unknown!”
Obi-Wan: “Trust your instincts, Luke. And rely on Princess Leia.”
Luke: “Are the aliens safe? The Empire just had a revolt. The Storm Trooper regime has taken full control! “
“You’ll be fine Luke… trust in the force…”
And so the saga begins…
Stardate 4B2016.11.10 & 4B2016.11.11
The trip to explore “Planet Myrtle” (Mrytle Beach)
It is about 1000 miles from central Maine to northern South Carolina. Having said that, the trail can be varied, with the mileage changing. The shortest and fastest way is a combination of i95, i495, i84, i91, and back on i95. It is also the way with the most tolls. But most importantly, it dissects a very large metropolitan area of the U.S. Traffic can be a bear! And there is my sole reason for driving slightly west and leaving the busy Eascoast for other more adventuresome travelers. Due to advantageous resting we were able to depart before midnight on Thursday.
Our trip starts out in New England on i95 but when we caught i84, we locked in. Reports of construction in Waterbury had me nervous but we passed through in the wee hours of the morning without much issue. On to I81 in Scranton, PA to Harrisburg. Here, we had thickening traffic but nothing like the i95 corridor. Our goal was to spend a night at “Walmart campground” somewhere between Wilkes-Barre and Harrisburg but we didn’t. Why? Because we got several hours of sleep early the night before and rested several hours in a Connecticut Rest area off i84. Feeling great, we pushed through until we reached Staunton, VA. Here, we found a friendly Walmart to spend the night (highly recommend the Allstay app for the smart phone – either 2.99 or the 9.99 one). This put us almost a day ahead of schedule!
Since we no longer planned on spending a night in Greensborough, we headed east on i64 to Richmond and south back on i95. We successfully bypassed the horrendous Northeast corridor of i95! And here is the other good reason going this way: the scenery! It is absolutely gorgeous traveling through Pennsylvania Dutch country and then through Shenandoah Valley…and the trip through the Appalachians to Richmond. Just beautiful! And for you history buffs; plenty of Civil War stops not to mention several founding fathers gifts.
Since our plans changed and I no longer have printed directions, I let my truck’s GPS take over. Rest areas make for a nice break when driving and North Carolina has great rest stops (clean, full of information, and other campers 😀 ). We make it a point to not go any longer than 2 hours without taking a break. And, of course, sooner if I feel a need to. I remind myself, it’s not a race. The journey is just as important as the destination.
Here are some of the interesting sites along the way: road kill… lots and lots of road kill. A 6 point buck in Connecticut… followed by a total of at least 12 other deer, mostly in NY, PA, & VA; Gettysburg, just to highlight numerous Civil War attractions; Interesting people and other “snowbirds”.
Lessons learned: We did have a SNAFU when we got off of i95. I missed a turn and ended up travelling through a small town in North Carolina – always an adventure when you are pulling a 30’ TT with a 15’ truck! (After my experience of driving through Bar Harbor, it takes a lot to rattle me now). Also, i81 in PA has a weird surface. Looks to be cement but made my truck “porpoise“ a lot. Thought there was an issue with my truck but this happened only on this road in this spot. Where the road changed to asphalt, there were no issues. It is also important to note I did NOT have this issue on other cement roads. Construction on highways is a fact of life – Get use to it!
We arrived at MB at 4:30 PM on 11/12 a full 20 hours earlier than our original ETA.
Stardate 4B2016.11.12 🚀
“Rebellion Star Fleet Commander, this is Luke Skywalker, Wildwood Commander.”, “We have arrived at our destination, Planet Myrtle.”, “The devastation left by Hurrican Matthew is noticable everywhere.” “Will report soon on our findings.”