Maine, Michigan & Missouri - 1988

In the summer of 1988, Beth and I closed on our one and only house after living in a one bedroom apartment for three years. Ryan had spent his usual summer with us, Beth had been at her job with Service Insurance Company for a year and a half and I was working at local grocery store that was an A & P named Family Mart when I started, but was now a Kroger Store named Florida Choice.
 Our friends, Meb and Gary had moved into their new house in Maine, Beth's nephew Carl was getting married in Michigan and we were taking Ryan back to his Mother in Missouri. We also needed to pick up our furniture in Independence that was stored at my Mother's and bring it to our new home in Bradenton, Florida.

We moved our meager belongings into the house, packed up Ryan's things, some camping gear and clothes for our three week journey. The plan was to drive the 2000 miles from Bradenton, Florida to Brunswick, Maine straight through in our 1985 S-10 pick-up. Beth and I in the front and Ryan in the back. Beth and I switched drivers every two hours and Ryan alternated with Beth to ride up front with me. The journey began north on I-75 to Ocala, Florida where we cut up to I-10 via US Highway 301, caught I-295 around Jacksonville to I-95 north. We drove up I-95 through Georgia and into South Carolina where we caught I-26 to Columbia, South Carolina, I-20 to I-77 and north through North Carolina to I-81.
We picked up Interstate 81 just east of Wytheville, Virginia and enjoyed the views from the eastern slope of the Appalachians. We crossed through the eastern tip of West Virginia and just west of Hagerstown, Maryland into Pennsylvania. The road was good and the traveling was easy. Interstate 81 allowed us to go around the big cities and we were making good time. That is until we hit some major construction around Hazleton, Pennsylvania. Traffic was moving real slow for what seemed like hours. The frustration became too much for Beth and she located a campground where we could pitch the tent. We turned off I-81 north of Hazleton and headed more easterly on I-80 then north on I-380 and camped at Tobyhanna State Park in the Pocono Mountains.
It was about 10:00 PM when we set up the tent. We made Ryan a bed in the truck and Beth and I slept in the tent. It was just after midnight when we were awakened by what seemed like a river running through the tent. One of the perils of camping in the mountains. The "river" had soaked us and all the bedding. Nothing to do but throw everything in the truck and drive on.
The route took us up I-380 to connect with I-84 where we turned east crossing through the south of New York State just north of New York City and into Connecticut.
We made a beeline up I-84 through Connecticut and jumped on I-90 in Massachusetts then I-290 to I-495 around Boston and connected back up to I-95 continuing north through Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Portland, Maine to Brunswick. There was some uncertainty about the exact location of Meb and Gary's new home. We knew it was south of Brunswick but north of Bailey Island where their old house was. So, we found Gary at the old house and he led us back to the knew one. Beth and I had visited with them in 1985 on our honeymoon. Their new "dream house" was being built on five acres that Gary owned.
We were able to rest up that night. The next morning we all (Ryan, Beth & I; Gary Meb and their son Todd) drove up to Lily Bay State Park on Moosehead Lake.
Some of us enjoyed the cool lake waters.
 
We camped there for a couple of days and canoed Lazy Tom Bogg where Gary caught some Trout for breakfast.
We were glad to get back to the house south of Brunswick.
One rainy morning, Ryan and I hiked to an old dam near the house
  while others relaxed.
 
Todd had breakfast
 
then ran around like a wild man
 
while Meb gathered herbs for dinner.
Ryan subdued the lobster
 
while Meb prepared the meal.
 
After the kids were tucked in,

the grown-ups played trivial pursuit.
The next day, we enjoyed the shore line behind the old house on the coast of Bailey Island

and hunted for "sea glass" on the beach.
The next morning was foggy. A friend of Gary's took us fishing for Mackerel in Casco Bay.
That evening after the boys had their bath
 
and Todd fell asleep,
 
the grown-ups splashed around.

The next day we had to leave for Michigan. This journey took us back down I-95 to I-495 in Massachusetts, around Boston where we caught Highway 2 west through Leominster and Greenfield. We crossed into New York west of Williamstown, Massachusetts and picked up Interstate 90 in Albany. 
We followed Interstate 90 across New York through Syracuse to Buffalo where we caught I-290 north around Buffalo to U. S. Highway 62 (Niagara Falls Blvd.) to Niagara Falls. Ryan woke up when we stopped to pay the toll and cross into Canada on the bridge across the Niagara River. I told him we were going to pull over for a minute so he could see the waterfall. He was upset about stopping. He and Beth went to look at the falls while I turned around.

He thought it was one of the most awesome sights he had ever seen.
Our route through Ontario, Canada took us to Burlington where we picked up Highway 403 then 401 and 402 to Port Huron, Michigan. We followed Interstate 69 to Michigan Highway 24 and turned south through Lake Orion to Gunn Road.
Beth is the daughter of Delta Kelly

and grew up on Gunn Road near Rochester, Michigan just east of Goodison. Delta was well known in the community. (Link to Delta Kelly & Delta in the News)
Beth's older sisters grew up on the 40 acre farm on Gunn Road between Paint Creek and the railroad tracks. Beth and her brother came later and have few memories of the farm. After Delta and Wendall

divorced, Delta settled in a new house she built on five acres of the farm on Gunn Road. Beth and Brother Mike lived there with her.
Beth and I, and usually Ryan, had made a trip to Rochester to visit at least once a year for the past five years but this was the first time that we came in from the north and east.
After we rested for a day, Ryan helped with the mowing

and practiced pool

in Delta's basement while Beth cleared some of the bank of Paint Creek next to the house.

She got hot and she and Curtis waded in the creek.

Ryan was watching the ducks
 
when we heard this blood curdling scream from the creek. We all ran to the bank to see Beth pulling off her pants. A crawfish had climbed up her leg. She didn't think it was as funny as the rest of us.
We all enjoyed the Michigan summer evenings

and meals with the family (though some disliked picture taking).

We even celebrated Beth's birthday.
The day of the wedding arrived and we all got gussied-up. Helen and Wendall,

Ryan
 
and Anne and Ed.

This time they wanted the pictures taken.
 
(Gretchen, Anne, Curtis & Beth)

(Anne, Delta, Curtis & Beth)
Anne's son Carl had spent a lot of time with his grandmother on Gunn Road while he was growing up. His Beth had grown up down the street. They went together for a long time before getting married and seemed well over due. Beth was ready.
 
The wedding was beautiful.

The entourage loaded up for the thirty mile trek to the reception.

And a good time was had by all.

Anne was beside herself with happiness.

That following Monday, we left for Missouri. We picked up Interstate 75 north of Detroit and connected with I-94 west through Ann Arbor and Jackson, Michigan to I-69 where we turned south. We followed I-69 to Indianapolis where we caught I-495 to bypass the city and pick up I-70 west across Illinois to St. Louis and across Missouri to Independence.

Once again it was late when we got to my Mother's house in Independence, Missouri and we rested before heading to "Pauline's Place" in Competition. Pauline's friend Bill accompanied us and the place was as serene as ever.

We made our usual trek to the Competition Cemetery

and had a picnic lunch

in Bennett Springs State Park on the way back to Independence.
We were able to visit with Jennifer
 
before returning Ryan to his mother in North Kansas City, Missouri.
We rented a U-Haul trailer and packed our furniture for the journey to Bradenton, Florida. We drove back across Missouri on Interstate 70 through St. Louis where we picked up I-64 to Mt. Vernon, Illinois. The route then took us south on I-57 to I-24 through Paducah, Kentucky and Nashville, Tennessee. At Chattanooga we caught I-75 through Atlanta, Georgia and home to Bradenton. We got the furniture unloaded and turned in the trailer. Beth went back to work at Service and I returned to the grocery store to find that it had been sold once again and that I now worked for Kash & Kari.
 

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