Saturday, November 1, 2014

Travel Statistics, a few Pictures and some Thoughts

Location: South Toledo Bend State Park; Near Hornbeck, Louisiana
(click pictures to enlarge)

Today was mostly a lazy day. I drove around the area a little bit looking to see what could be seen. I'm glad I did because the road I had planned to take tomorrow was in bad shape so I'll be taking another road even though it is a little longer. Talk about bad roads, the following picture is on the road leading into the State Park. I can tell it's been like this for a while. It is located in a curve on a hill so as I leave I'll be hoping no one is come down the hill very fast because I'll be in their lane. Both areas have grown by about 20 square yards just since I've been here. It is shameful. 
This is the bad area on the hill. I'm going downhill in this picture but tomorrow I will be climbing this hill in grandma gear while traveling in the opposite lane. You can see the next bad area at the bottom of the hill in this picture.

This one is rough but not on a hill. I'll ease through it tomorrow. Notice the State Park sign on the left. 


I figured up my travel statistics today. It has been a while since I figured them so here they are:

It's been 29 weeks since I hit the road, I've traveled a total of 15,771 miles with 8,725 miles towing and 7,046 exploring. I have been through 24 states and have stayed in 62 different campgrounds. Of those 62 campgrounds, 32 were state parks or parks owned by some type of government. On average, I traveled (towing) about 143 miles between campgrounds and 114 miles while exploring the area. I moved to a different campground about every 3 to 3 1/2 days. 

That is a lot of stuff packed into a very short period of time.

I've seen the mist rising from the valleys as I watched down from above while driving the Blue Ridge Parkway through the Smoky Mountains. Freedom and I pulled Liberty across the rough cut Alleghenies and Appalachian where you could see the coal almost pouring out of the mountain sides. I saw the heavily wooded Adirondack Mountains all the way from New York to Maine.  

I've seen the Atlantic Ocean from the Outer Banks of North Carolina all the way up the coast to Acadia National Park where you can see the first sunrise in America and some beautiful sunsets over the bays.

I've seen Civil War battlefields where the south won some and the north some others, but on all of them, thousands of people gave their lives for what they believed. I saw the place where General Lee surrendered to General Grant that ended that war. You can feel the vibrations from both the battlefields and Appomattox. Those vibrations are coming from hallowed ground.

I've seen all 5 Great Lakes and will always remember the awe I felt as I looked on the bright blue waters of Lake Huron, the pictured rocks of Lake Superior, the storms coming in over Lake Michigan, the peaceful Lake Erie and the sunsets over Lake Ontario.

I've seen where the Mississippi River begins it's 3 month journey to the Gulf of Mexico, where it passes through a dam my father worked on in Minneapolis and I watched it pass by from at the top of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. I watched towboats pushing their tows up and down the river at all hours of the night and day. I remember sitting outside in the dark night and hearing the towboat coming up the river with only its running lights on. From a distance you can barely see them when all of a sudden they turn on their bright spotlight in search of the next navigation buoy. Once found, they turn the spotlight off and everything is pitch black again. It is surreal and peaceful all rolled up into one.

I've seen the Garden of Stones they call Arlington Cemetery and that sight will stay with me forever. I've seen the soldiers that have dedicated themselves to guarding the Tombs of the Unknown. Those soldiers who do it day and night, rain or shine, cold or hot. Arlington is a special place, a somber place.  

I've seen houses and towns that I lived in as a child. Memories would flood back as I gazed upon places I hadn't seen in many decades. Places that my children and their children's children will never see except in some of the pictures I've put in this blog. I've written a few stories in the blog that even my children have never heard. Stories and memories that will be lost to time after my sister and I leave this world because we are the last of our branch of the Goza's and Holts. 

As much as I've seen, it is only a small fraction of the things yet to be seen. I hope and pray I can continue for a long, long time.

Ya'll take care of each other. Cya down the road.

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