Tyler State Park Hostel
Newtown, Pennsylvania
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Arrived at my very first hostel!
A big, old, comfy farmhouse--the Tyler State Park Hostel in Newtown, PA.  Got here around 10pm.  Managed to find the place in the dark.  No street lights--impossible to the little street signs.   Luckily my son had given me a cell phone to take with me.  I don't like cell phones, but I took it.  Good thing I did.  The manager was able to guide me in over the phone.
There was only one other hosteller here.  He had never been to a hostel before either. 
Awoke in the morning to find about 3 inches of fresh snow--and it was still snowing hard.  I sat on the couch looking out the window and wondered if I'd have any trouble finding my way back to the highway.
I thought about what might lay ahead in the coming days and weeks.  I was a little worried.  Excited &  apprehensive at the same time.  Part of me wanted to go home where it was safe & predictable.  Part of me felt a little wild--wanting to go forward, yearning for adventure traveling into the unknown.   I had to continue.  This opportunity might never come again!  Cant' give up.
And then, Susan, the hostel manager, invited me into her kitchen on that cold morning for home-made pancakes with fresh strawberries & blueberries!  Her hospitality and the cozy Tyler Hostel was a great beginning to my road trip!
I think I'm going to like this "hostelling thing"!
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April 8
Day 1
Above:  My first hostel bunk!  The first of MANY to come!
Susan, the hostel manager.   Her kindness helped renew my strength and enthusiasm.
The old farm fireplace.
Tyler State Park Hostel
Tel. # (800) 909-4776 ext. 30
Rates:  $12/HI member
Beds:  25
Private Rms:  yes
Affiliation:  Hostelling International
Office hrs.: 7-9 am and 6-11 pm
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(after Newtown, PA)
Hostel in the Forest (Georgia)
April 10 & 11
I had left home around 10 am that morning.  Got a late start.  Took a wrong turn off the Jersey Turnpike--or somewhere.  Lots of traffic, congestion, noise.  Ended up in the middle of the city.  Not sure which city, but it was a BIG city. Frazzeled, I couldn't find my way back onto the turnpike so I stopped at a Dunkin' Donuts to ask directions.  I offered to buy a guy a Coffee Coolatta if he'd lead me to the turnpike entrance.  He did.  Phew!  Back on track.  It hadn't been a pleasant drive so far--and it was just the beginning!
After I left the Tyler Hostel in Newtown, PA, I was going to go to a suburb just south of Washington, DC to spend the night with my friend's daughter and her family.  My friend had told me that her daughter would be "happy to let me stay there for a night during my trip".  They knew I was coming.  It was almost a 4 hour drive from Newtown, PA. to her house.  Driving "around" Washington, DC was a trip & a half!  Crazy traffic!
I was relieved when I finally arrived at my friend's daughter's house around 3pm.  Unfortunately, that relief was short-lived...
I don't think my friend's daughter was as happy to have me as an overnight guest as my friend thought she would be.
I never really knew the daughter very well, I had only met her a couple of times before.
Well, she seemed to be "trying to be polite", but I could tell she was a little stressed out.  I didn't feel too welcome there, so after about an hour or two of friendly smalltalk, I decided it was best if I just leave and continue on my way again--even though it was kind of late in the day and I didn't know where I'd be going or where I'd be spending the night.

Back on the road at around 5pm someplace south of Washington, DC and not knowing where to go from there...oh boy, oh no...what have I gotten myself in for?
I had planned on going to Virginia Beach, VA the next day to visit the Edgar Casy Museum, but seeing as I had no place to stay that night, I figured I'd just move my plans up a little bit.
Well, by the time I found my way to Virginia Beach it was past 10pm.  Too late to see anything.  I found a Virginia Beach hostel in my Hostel Handbook, but I was too tired to try to find it before it closed.  Drove around for awhile.  About midnight I stopped at a Denny's to rest & try to clear my head, get a cup of coffee, and think.  Considered sleeping right there in the car in the Denny's parking lot.  It had been a long day driving down from Newtown, PA through Washington DC traffic to my friend's daughter's house, then to Virginia Beach--and still no place to sleep.  Man, my plans got all screwed up!!  And that was only my second day on the road!!!

After my coffee at Denny's, I figured I'd just "head south" and drive all night.  There was a hostel in Georgia that I had read about called The Hostel in the Forest.  It sounded pretty good.  So that's where I'd go next.  After floundering around a few back roads near Virginia Beach in the pitch black darkness, I found my way back to Rt. 95 south.  Ahhh, clear sailing south!
I drove...and drove...and drove...listened to a little bit of the car radio trying to stay awake.  2am...3am...4am...5am...sun starting to come up...

By 11am I reached Geogia.  I was a real "basket case".  Exhausted from driving all day the day before, and then driving all night, I found a pay phone and called my friend in Massachusetts.  I was practically crying on the phone.  I didn't know if I could go through with this idea of "driving across the USA".  It had only been 3 days and I was a already a physical and emotional wreck!  My friend sugguested I turn around and come home.  Nope, I had to keep going.  Couldn't give up yet.  I figured maybe all I needed was a good nights sleep.  Needed to unwind and compose myself.
Around noon I found the Hostel in the Forest in Georgia.  Finally!!!  SWEET SLEEP !