Bill's Road Trip
September 17 ~ October 1, 2018

My plan was to drive from my Tucson home to the eastern US and visit two old friends in northern VA, then my sister in Fredericksburg, VA, and lastly an old friend in Beaufort, SC.  I actually wanted to visit two additional friends, but these two had recently died!

In order, my trip took me to:

- From Tucson, AZ to
- Manassas, VA
- Springfield, VA
- Fredericksburg, VA
- Niagara Falls, NY
- Back to Fredericksburg, VA
- Beaufort, SC
- Then back to Tucson, AZ

My ride for the trip was my 1-1/2 year old 2017 Mazda Miata, which until this trip had only 1,400 miles on the odometer.  I had no definite plans to stop anywhere except the above locations,  But along the way I decided to stop at Graceland in Memphis, TN and at The South of the Border "oasis & gateway to the southeast" in Hamer, SC.

My visits with two friends in northern VA went great!  One was a ham, Larry Vogt - N4VA, and among other things he demonstrated a new radio mode to me.  This was FT8 and was VERY interesting to watch, but I told him that my hearing was so bad now that I really couldn't depend on my ears to hear weak stations.  He turned the sound off and continued to make contacts with FT8 . . . I was hooked!  Since my return I've started doing homework about inexpensive ham equipment, including small antennas.  I've already purchased some gear and expect I'll be on the air again before the end of the year.  BTW - my ham radio call is AA4M.

My second visit was to Ken Leibert, an old high school buddy.  It was great seeing him and catching up on 33 years of news!  :)

Note to self:  I NEVER want to visit northern VA again . . . terrible traffic congestion and many unfriendly people!  This was definitely not the same as when I lived there from 1960 until 1982.

Next I drove south to visit my sister in Fredericksburg.  That visit also went great and I stayed with her for a total of 4 days.  We also took a side trip to Niagara Falls, because neither of us had ever been there.  The falls were spectacular but the weather was bad with temperatures in the 50's and rain the entire time we were there!  This was rough on my Arizona body . . . I left with a bad cold.  :(

Next I headed to SC to visit my last east coast friend.  Before driving though, I checked all the online information I could find concerning flooding in the Carolinas by Hurricane Florence.  It looked like I-95 was clear all the way, but had only been so for a day or two.  The road was clear as advertised, but there was literally thousands of trees laying by the side of the road in NC.  That was the bad news.  The good news was that the road was empty, I guess because many thought the road was still under water.

In SC, I spent the night at the "South of the Border", because I had passed this interesting place many times in the past but never stopped there.  I don't think they had more than three guests, again because of hurricane scare.  South of the Border was fun and relatively inexpensive, I'd happily stay there if ever in the area again.

The next day I arrived in Beaufort, SC around noon.  Beaufort was a very pretty southern town to drive through, but the visit with my friend, Rusty Bayles, did not work out too well.  He is suffering from Parkinson's and due to vocal cord damage was barely able to talk.  Of course with my bum hearing I couldn't understand a thing he said, even with both of my hearing aids turned up full blast.  So after 4 hours I told him that this visit was too much of a struggle for both of us and I would be leaving early the next morning.  He was disappointed about this but understood.

The rest of the trip was from Beaufort to Jacksonville, FL, then all the way to Tucson on I-10.  I drove a total of 6,100 miles in 15 days, which I think says good things about my 73 year-old physical condition!  The Miata got 38 MPG, but this was with high test gas.  The car also ended up with a tiny "star" on the windshield from gravel thrown by another vehicle, but this was the only damage.  Because the star is not in my field of vision, I'm not concerned.

The below 55 pictures represents the best of the 128 photographs I had taken . . . Enjoy!

(Click on picture to enlarge)

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It's interesting to note that our Tucson neighborhood is also on this registry.
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This is the front of the Presley home.  Note that the property was purchased in 1957 from a medical doctor who had originally named it "Graceland".

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A "rumpus" room?  Left . . .

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. . . center . . .

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. . . and right.
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Elvis owned horses.
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It must be nice to own two personal jet planes!  :)

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Thank you very much!  :D
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This is my friend Ken Leibert in Manassas standing beside my Miata.

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This is the house in Bren Mar Park, Alexandria, VA where I lived from 1960 until 1965.  My mother lived there until the year 2000 when she moved to a retirement home.

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Ken's sister Donna purchased her family home in Bren Mar Park from her father, she still lives there.
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My friend Larry, N4VA and his husband Coleman, K4RZ.
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This is my sister Pat in the center with her son Sam at the left of the picture and her husband Kevin at the right.
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Pat and I went to Niagara Falls, just because we hadn't been there before!
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Short cruises to the falls were offered from both the Canadian and US side of the Gorge.  The Canadians wore red ponchos and the Americans wore blue.

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South of the Border, a wild and crazy place!  :)
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Lots of Pedro's at the South of the Border!

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What's stranger than an orange dinosaur?  An orange dinosaur wearing a sombrero!  :)

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I wouldn't want to bump into one of these fellows when swimming!  :)

You may use any of the above pictures for any purpose and may do so without giving me credit.  Note that these pictures have been downsized for those with slow connection speeds.  If you'd like copies of the original JPG pictures, send me an E-mail telling me which pictures you want and I'll be happy to send the original pictures to you at no charge!

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