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.
was only one other hosteller here. He had never been to a
hostel before either.
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.
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.
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'm going to like this "hostelling
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!
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!
relieved when I finally arrived at my friend's daughter's house
around 3pm. Unfortunately, that relief was short-lived...
think my friend's daughter was as happy to have me as an overnight
guest as my friend thought she would be.
really knew the daughter very well, I had only met her a couple of
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.
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?
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.
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!!!
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!
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.
noon I found the Hostel in the Forest in Georgia.
Finally!!! SWEET SLEEP !