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Saturday, May 6, 2017

The Benefit of Experience

Over the past week, on our way to Ohio, we’ve been traveling through the mountains of Virginia and West Virginia. For the past three years, we’ve used a route up from Florida that went up past Atlanta and through Kentucky. We went that way for a couple reasons. Until just this past spring, my aunt lived outside Atlanta and on our trip home we would stop for a visit. But the other reason we went that way was to avoid the mountain routes. Harry and I get a bit stressed about traveling new routes, especially when the trip is going to include going over mountains.

73353_10200557082956320_933047080_nThis was our last time traveling on I77 in Virginia – back in January of 2013 right after we started fulltiming.

Then in the fall of 2013, we went through Virginia and West Virginia on our way to Amazon in Kentucky. We found that trip to be very stressful and that was the last time we went that way. The following year we went back to NY through Ohio and it was so straight and flat! We liked that route so much we just kept doing it.


Two things changed this year. First of all, my aunt moved back north near my mother. (After 20+ years near Atlanta, she is going to brave the northern winters again. Better her than me. haha)

Then there was the whole fire on I85 in Atlanta episode. Even though we don’t take I85, we figured that would have a negative impact on Atlanta’s already crazy traffic, so we decided to look for another route north to Ohio.



I found a pretty direct route that would go up 95 for a little bit and then over to I77 which would beeline straight up through the countryside to Ohio. It would actually cut 250 miles off our trip! The only downside – it is a route straight through the mountains.



We had a bit of anxiety remembering the stress of our earlier trip, but the benefits outweighed that. So we decided to go for it. And to our surprise – it wasn’t that bad!



Yes there were downgrades, and curvy roads. But we had no issues at all. The truck handled everything fine, and so did we! Even though we don’t feel any different,  I guess we’ve gained a little experience over the past five years after all. It gives me more confidence to think about traveling more new routes in the coming years.


  1. I remember driving up I-77, aka West Virginia Turnpike, when they are still working on the road, in an 18 wheeler as a 26 yr old. Man you think it or was tough now.. its a piece of CAKE now..

    the views are stunning and like all mtn routes slow and steady is the plan. back then the road was two lanes and narrow in spots with piles of rocks jammed right up to the barriers along the road way and at times active blasting going on right beside us.. (that was cool)

    when i go back through there now, in a car, i gaze at the engineering marvel the road and some of the tunnels have become in the passing years.

    I hope you enjoyed the trip and now you are ready for the rocky's right.. :)

    as always have a good one and keep on blogging, running, biking etc..

    Carl & Karen in Garner NC

  2. Glad it worked out. We know what you mean about roads going through the mountains.

  3. Oh yeah, we know that stress :) Maybe it helped being able to unpack some of your stuff into the new house!