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  • Welcome to the RunnerDuck Blog

    We use to publish a monthly newsletter but decided to step up and do a blog instead. Just like our newsletter we will update this "newsletter" about once a month.
    Each month we bring you news from our little town of Coupeville, WA and happenings around the island we live on.
    We hope you enjoy our blog and we'd encourage you to sign up for email notification since it doesn't update all that frequently.
    Welcome
    Ken and Marilyn

That’s A Wrap!

We are happy to be home and settling into our normal routine. It was an exciting two months and we’ll probably never do that big of a trip again. We still plan to do lots of camping in the future but will stay closer to home not traveling much further than the Black Hills of South Dakota, the Big Horn Mountains or the Rockies. We do want to take some trips to the Southwest but that will be about it. To go east again will require a plane or train ticket.

We thought we’d summarize our trip with observations from around the country.

-Trip Stats-
50 Days
7,848 Miles
8.5 MPG
43.2 MPH
183 Hours Driving
924 Gallons of Gas
$3,300.00 for Gas

-Disclaimer-
These were our observations for the parts of the country we drove through. All states have their beauty and their sore spots and we can only comment on where we went. Don’t take any of these comments as a “put down” of any particualr state. We loved our trip and all that we got to see.

-Observations-

Interstate 90 needs a lot of work. Eastern Montana, all of Minnesota and Chicago were the worst.

Chicago had the worst drivers and the area around Washington DC a close second.

The tallest thing in Nebraska is the corn.

Why are people always calling their dogs when there are leash laws in the campgrounds?

Campgrounds that cater to big rigs like ours with full hookups are not campgrounds.

Sightseeing is not much fun when it’s over 90 degrees F and 90% humidity outside.

Small museums in small towns are a lot of fun to explore.

The faces on Mt. Rushmore are not as large as they were when Ken was ten years old.

Crossroads makes a very good fifth wheel camper.

It takes a long time to drive across Montana.

Campgrounds are really getting expensive, $35 – $50 a night.

We are very compatible traveling partners.

Of the sixteen or so channels we could get near Washington DC only two or three were American channels all the others were from foreign countries. No wonder the politicians have no idea of what’s going on in the United States, jezz!

The Pine Beatle is killing hundreds of thousands of trees.

It only takes a split second of memory lapse to screw things up.

Waiting fifty years to reconnect with old friends is too long a time.

Seeing a good part of the country really makes us appreciate where we live. Fortunately everyone else feels that way about where they live so it all balances out.

There are a lot of nice people who run campgrounds as well as the people who stay there.

Finding small out of the way restaurants is generally a lot better than eating at big chain restaurants.

The denser the population the poorer the roads are and people drive more aggressive.

The further east you travel the less recycling we saw.

Coal burning plants aren’t green no matter what they try to tell us.

With gas prices between $3.50 and $4.00 why won’t the gas pumps let us put more than $75 or $100 worth of gas in at a time? Our truck has a 33 gallon tank.

Why do truckers still let their diesel engines run at rest stops?

The lower the economy of a region the more people smoke. These same areas still allow smoking in bars and restaurants.

Good planning and preparation for an 8,000 mile trip makes for a good trip.

Driving across Minnesota with the state government shut down, which means all the rest stops closed, made for some blader busting driving.

It would appear that climate change is real, we saw flooding in areas that shouldn’t be flooded and record high temperatures for most of our trip. Many of these events broke 100 or more year old records.

We did not see any people using reusable cloth shopping bags once we got out of Washington State, apparently the rest of the country still thinks plastic does not harm the oceans and environment.

Hooking up water, electric and sewer at campgrounds would be much better if trailer manufacturers and campgrounds could get together so where they attach to the trailer was close to where they are located at the camp site.

WiFi is dirt cheap to supply to campers so why do some campgrounds charge for it?

It appears that Wal-Mart and Fed Ex trucks travel in pairs.

Most campgrounds do not allow you to wash your trailer. After 8,000 miles it takes a lot of work to get it looking good again.

Traveling 7,848 miles in 50 days is too much!

The deer and antelope really do play on the range.

Animals must try to cross the road at night as every morning we saw lots of roadkill but only once did we have a coyote run in front of us. Oh and armadillo’s don’t squash!

Trying to find your old home in a growing town that you haven’t been to in fifty years is all but impossible without an address, everything has changed.

So there ya go, some thoughts about traveling across America. We really enjoyed our trip and were glad that so many of you were able to tag along via our blog.  We will now return to our quiet little life in our seaside village on our island in Washington State. Our blogs will not be as frequent but we’ll keep you updated as we find things worthy of posting.

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9 Responses

  1. Recite after me Dorothy, There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home! Click your heels twice. LOL
    Glad you made it home safely! Tell Ken he’s not the first to ding his truck with a trailer. It’s a requirement for initiation into trailer RVing, even professional truck drivers end up going through it at some point.
    There is a lot to remember and practice makes perfect as I’m sure you know.
    Welcome home Ken and Marilyn.
    Bill im Oregon

  2. I feel that I have traveled across the USA without having left Newington Ontario. Looked forward to your notes evety morning. Happy you enjoyed your trip.but personally sad that the trip had to come to an end.

    Will be checking my email for more of your friendly chats. The photos rounded off your comments and made this reader appreciate parts of the USA that I haven’t had an opportunity to visit.

    Thank you for bringing your trip to life. Regards…Brian Lyng

    Aug.17,2011.

  3. I agree your trip was too much too fast. As a full time RVer for the last 11 years we found staying in an area for a week or more is much better. We take trips to surrounding areas each day or so seeing much more in the long run. We allow days of rest in between.
    Camping memberships like Thousand Trails and Resorts of Distinction allow us to camp for free up to three weeks at a time. Most also allow such things as washing your rig. They also are more rustic allowing camp fires etc unless there is a burn ban.
    Just an idea for your next journey.
    Thanks for the trip. It brought back memories of many fun times.
    Peggy

  4. Ken and Marilyn,
    We loved your summery. Talk about ‘good planning and preperation’, you did both! We enjoyed your trip right along with you and our MPG was the enjoyment.

    The USA is a large diverse country and you shared beautiful scenery and bits of history that made the trip so interesting.

    We are happy you are safely home.

    Thank you for letting us tag along and looking forward to your monthy blog.

    Jan and Leo in Daytona Beach

  5. Thank you very much for takeing us along.

  6. Thank you both for allowing me to follow you on your trip around the U.S. of A. Most interesting. I appreciated your constructive criticism of the road and camping conditions along the way.
    Looking forward to your next Blog!

  7. Thanks for the memories and rememories
    Glad you are safe at home.
    God Bless and Keep me posted.
    Hugs, just me, Betty Hopkins in Va.

  8. Nice bunch of observations bro.

    Good Job

  9. I’m a woodworker who found your site by doing wood project searches and I have enjoyed seeing your travel posts. My husband and I live in Ontario, Canada and have travelled many of the same routes as you did. The country is just beautiful. We last headed west driving to Las Vegas, and seeing all the states on the way, in the summer of 2010. We love Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, … everywhere! We stop at hotels, not campsites and have seen many of the sites you photographed from Mt. Rushmore to the Corn Palace. We can’t wait to go on a trip again!

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