Next week I will be ‘On The Road’ to see my daughter and the rest of my extended family in New England. Andrea lives on the river at Portsmouth,NH. The others are scattered from Long Island Sound at CT’s shore, north through CT to Boston, MA, and onward to some NH sites.
I’m not certain which vehicle to travel in. My big van is comfortable for extended trips (this will comprise about 3500 miles) but loves to visit the gas stations enroute. My Saturn is aged, but running well enough. It shuns gas stations, endearing me to its valiant efforts, but it is not as forgiving of those long 600 mile days on the road to and fro. Decisions decisions.
Either way, I will be driving on the Coastal Highway, US Route 17, for much of the trip. I leave Orlando on US 17 and follow it up the east side of the St.John’s River to Jacksonville ( Int.4 to Int.95 if I’m in a rush), to a gas-up in Kingsland, GA. Next stop is a top-off in Savannah, after-which I take Interstate 95 until US17 leaves the highway for North Charleston, SC. I always fuel-up before leaving South Carolina. Maybe at Myrtle Beach (or Dillon on I95), since the petrol is the least expensive there!
Onward through Wilmington, NC and continuing all the way to Chesapeake, VA. I fill the tank there at Sam’s Club, and head toward the Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel and the VA peninsula. This voyage has been on good four-lane divided highway for the most part. And the route to Wilmington,DE is relatively easy until you join US Rte.13, where the traffic gets thick. I either head for NJ over the Delaware Memorial Bridge (free going north) or into PA and Philadelphia via I495 and I95, continuing to Princeton’s US Rte.1. That’s my choice all the way to my last fuel before New England. Edison,NJ is the best choice for price…I stop at Sam’s Club.
The route in NJ is Int.295 which parallels the NJ Turnpike, without the excessive toll burden. I leave it at Burlington and use 13 till it joins US Rte.1, and on to Edison.
This one will have to wait for my October trip!
Many years ago I worked with a gentleman who was a beekeeper, doing all sorts of interesting things, when not converting buses to motorhomes. We often made van runs from near Boston, Massachusetts, to Amherst, New Hampshire. We roved through the discarded metals and fabrications that had been abandoned in a scrap yard there.
On the way, we always pulled in to the seafood purveyor at Dover Point, just over the bridge (the old one,then) from Newington going west, and from Pease Airport in Portsmouth.
At about this time, my daughter went to work there, while attending the University of New Hampshire in Durham. She was a terrific waitress, and you were lucky if your table was at her station. The name of this place is NEWICK’S. Try to find fresher fare from the briny deep….I dare you. My favorite is, and was the Fisherman’s Platter (called a COMBO, with several offerings). In a huge barn-of-a place, the restaurant sports checkered vinyl tablecloths. There is real silverware, but the glasses and cups are of plastic and paper. There is a kind of outdoor picnic atmosphere….the huge windows around the entire seating area give proof to that openness. The shore…in this case, the shore of the Piscataqua River, leading to the Great Bay, and to Portsmouth harbor is just outside these windows. The catch comes ashore at the dock within view. Fried whole clams, haddock, scallops, onion rings, smelts, on a bed of french fries. Take your pick. Lightly breaded, and deep-fried to a honey-colored perfection (Jack, you can send my check to the address in your file).
Jack Newick is the proprietor still. The customers vary from tourists from all over, bankers, tradesmen, fishermen, students and foodlovers who know no bounds. On a recent trip from Concord to Portsmouth with my daughter to a “Fishtival” at Prescott Park, near Strawberry Banke, Andrea and I had appetizers there, but couldn’t drive past Newick’s without satisfying our palates, while watching the hunting skills of a blue heron out on the rocks.
Try it…you’ll find your way back, too.
There are virtually thousands of recreational vehicles that arrive in Orange County and Orlando each month to visit Disney World, Sea World, Universal , the Convention Center, and myriad other attractions in the environs. There are few private campgrounds, fewer county campgrounds, and still fewer city facilities where RVers might check in. The City of Orlando doesn’t want them….Orange County doesn’t want them. Osceola County doesn’t, either….or Kissimmee. They just want the MONEY generated by these visitors, not the issue of where they will park for the night!
Ask any WALMART manager about the parking of RVs in their lots overnight, and they will tell you that RVers spend lots of cash in their stores and gas stations. They cause no trouble, and have little impact on the shoppers’ activity. Sam Walton, the venerable founder of this phenomenal chain, always maintained that he would not turn away an RV needing a parking space overnight. And that stated policy has carried over the decades, so that all RVers look for a Walmart for their groceries, their automotive needs and for general shopping. The only problem is one created by local governments. WHY?
If RVers have families traveling with them, they might prefer to have the amenities found in campgrounds. But a retired couple, or a single person living full-time in his RV, have no use for slides and swings, wading pools and game rooms. And they didn’t buy the expensive vehicles to have to pay tribute to campground owners with high-priced overnight charges. One could rent a motel room for less, and not use the RV facilities. But that is not what this is about.
I have been a full-time RV traveler for over 35 YEARS. Only recently have the counties,cities and towns begun to flex their muscles (often at the behest of campgrounds) and threatening stores with violations of codes, real or imagined, and the imposition of fines. (Just another REVENUE PRODUCER in tough times??) In one town I am familiar with, there are state statutes cited that have to do with regulations for the operation of a campground. Stores that operate all 24 hours, 7 days a week, can certainly allow their customers access during all those open hours without being accused of running a virtual campground.
But these entities operate under the cloak of secrecy. Taking pictures of “violating over-nighters”, and cowing the stores into measures to come “into conformity.” These are akin to NAZI TACTICS to achieve political will. There have been ANONYMOUS CALLS to Walmart, at different echelons of management, complaining about RVs parking in their lots. From WHENCE COMETH THESE CALLS??
Campground personnel? Jealous non-RV folks? Or could it be S A T A N ?
Walmart needs to MAN UP…and refuse to accede to these nonsense harassment tactics, which amount to nothing but a tempest in a teapot. Anonymous call = UN American, in my view.
We of the RV community, a group in the millions, need to take a circumspect look at whether our motoring dollars are well-spent at places that no longer seem to want and welcome us. And the ACLU and other rights organizations, need to face off against blatantly UNCONSTITUTIONAL ordinances and restrictions.
Lastly, I must mention that Orlando is the infamous city that has ARRESTED AND JAILED people who have tried to feed the homeless and other needy individuals downtown, in a park adjacent to a chi-chi neighborhood. This action ordered by a wealthy mayor, Buddy Dyer, who lives in one of the city’s most affluent areas (previously Tiger Woods hang-out). Will they now start to arrest and jail those who are accused by anonymous callers of parking overnight at the local Walmart Supercenter?
If they hate the hungry and homeless…..it seems they also HATE RVers...even if they’re not penniless.
I am about to drive my Class C RV to storage. In what seems like an eternal quandary, my interests have a national scope, as this post will make evident. Summer will be the usual over-heated, humid season in Florida, and I generally depart for more moderate climes before now. There are things I need to get done in my “home” state of Massachusetts; doctor visits, mail pick-ups, friends and family considerations are what have me heading north in my car…leaving my mobile house in Orlando.
It’s the price of gas which has dictated the course of action. It would be better if I had a tow-hitch behind the RV so as to tow the little car north. I have not yet decided to weld a hitch onto the RV structure, but it now is becoming more of a practical decision to do so. As it stands, I will drive the 1600 miles (the Saturn gets a phenomenal 40-45 miles per gallon!) in a quick trip to Massachusetts and New Hampshire. If I drove the RV (it gets 10-12 miles per gallon) I would pay an additional $450. in fuel.…based on a proposed June average of $3.75 per gallon. I can drive round-trip for $150. LESS than that one-way cost in the RV.
At the latter part of June I will either leave the Saturn and fly back to get the RV, with the prospect of staying in New England until early Fall, or drive the car back to central Florida to swelter through until September, preparing the RV for a longer journey west to Arizona/Nevada. I want to spend the Winter in the Southwest, and plan on living half of the year there, rather than Florida, parking the RV when sojourning.
Quandary: Do I weld the hitch and pull the Saturn, or drive them separately? Do I fly back to New England for visits, or do I drive cross-country when necessary? I have been wrestling with all of this for more years than I care to think about. Living in the West is easier and less expensive in an RV. And there is room to breathe! The open panorama and big skies have been beckoning for a long time, and this time I want to do more than just visit.