Boston to Vegas Road Trip - Part 1

Day 1 – Boston to Winchester, Virginia We were up at 0500 and Lin, bless her heart, was making coffee and omelets to speed us on our way. It was dark, cold and raw as we loaded the car and headed out. It was a lackluster travel day. We sped through Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and finally ended the day in Winchester, Virginia. I've got a head cold blossoming and slept through most of the journey. We had Chinese for dinner (hot and sour soup for me was perfect) and hit the sack early.

Day 2 – Winchester, VA to Knoxville, Tennessee

We weren't up quite as early. We decided we'd take advantage of the hotel's free hot breakfast. There was a bit of a tizzy when Paul couldn't find his car keys, but after a frantic search, David found them lost between the pages of a notebook and all was well. Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park wasn't far off our route, and I convinced the guys to take it. The foliage hadn't started turning yet and the views early in the morning weren't particularly good until we spotted a bear … and then two more.

bear on skyline drive

Not far down the road, two young bucks were sparring.

bucks sparring shenandoah np

Then the sun came out, the views were gorgeous and the side trip was all worthwhile.

view from skyline drive shenandoah np

We spent the night in Knoxville, Tennessee with a pleasant dinner at the K-Town Tavern next door to the hotel.

Day 3 – Knoxville, TN to Conway, Arkansas

Another overcast, gray morning with threats of rain in the forecast that never caught up with us other than a couple of splats on the windshield. This is really not my kind of road trip … too much driving and sitting and not enough side trips and attractions. Our goal, however, is to reach Las Vegas in time for Rebecca's (David & Paul's mom) 99th birthday and the clock's a'ticking.

Tennessee … the Volunteer State (War of 1812 reference), home of thoroughbred horses, moonshine and whiskey, the Nashville Sound, Davy Crockett, Ole Oprey, Elvis' Graceland and probably too much more to mention. What amazed me most was the foliage. It was “New England” beautiful. Looking at the riot of color along the highway, I would have never guessed I was in Tennessee.

Then we crossed the Mississippi River into Arkansas … home to the World Duck Calling Championships, the home of WalMart and President Bill Clinton. The state also considers itself the quartz crystal capital and the spinach (yes, spinach) capital of the world. I also want to mention that it's a center for handcrafted dulcimers and archery bows. Wow! Who knew? We ended up in Conway, Arkansas for the night, just outside of Little Rock. In honor of WalMart, we bought all the ingredients for a room picnic (roaster chicken, shrimp, chips & salsa) and watched the Broncos lose a game to San Diego. Bah!!!

Tomorrow … on to Oklahoma and Texas.