Road Trip – Day One

Bill's Blog

My mother, sister and niece were supposed to drive up from Tennessee to Michigan for Thanksgiving…but my niece got sick (she’s 100% better now), so they never made it up to G.R. So…we had a nice Thanksgiving Dinner in MI without them (we had just 7 for dinner at our house. We ate after the Lions game – so, if the Lions didn’t put you to sleep, the turkey with it’s carbs and tryptophan did).

Since I had some vacation time left, I’m taking two weeks off and I’m on my way to Tennessee to see my mother – who will be 100 1/2 years old next week. When you get to 100 – you can celebrate half-birthdays.

I don’t have a lot of good pics. to share from the day. We left G.R. around 10 am. We have a cat-sitter coming to keep the cats happy. It was cloudy when we left…it turned mostly sunny around the time we left Fort Wayne. The pic. above is crossing the Ohio River at Cincinnati. We passed Paul Brown Stadium, where the Bengals play. They won their first game of the season last Sunday. The pic. above is the I-75 bridge over the Ohio River. It’s four lanes going south on top…and four lanes going north on the bottom.

Ohio River Bridge on I-75

Here’s another views of the Ohio River Bridge and a second bridge to the east. The sky was clear here and the temp. briefly reached 50° while driving through Cincinnati. You could see the “urban heat island” effect as we drove thru Dayton. Driving into Dayton from the north, the temp. rose from 46°to 49°. Then as we continued driving south, the temp. went back down to 46° as we hit more rural area.

As we left Grand Rapids on I-96, we heard the weird singing highway that people have been talking about.

We drove through Charlotte on M-50. I’ve always liked Charlotte. If we had to reshoot the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”, I think of all the towns in Michigan, I’d pick Charlotte to be Bedford Falls. The have a beautiful courthouse and town square…a “downtown” movie theater and many downtown businesses and shops. Gayle and I sometimes stop at the DQ – but that’s closed in the winter. Charlotte hosts the Eaton Co. Fair and Frontier Days, which is usually around the first week of September.

South of Charlotte, we lost the snow cover. There was some standing water in a few fields and the rivers/creeks were high. I did see one farmer harvesting corn, but there were still a few fields that remain unharvested due to wet ground. We hit the usual snowdowns going thru Cincinnati.

I took this pic. in the evening, before we stopped for the night. It’s at a rest stop in Kentucky. The flags show a healthy breeze and you can see a half moon in the southern sky. It was breezy all the way down. The peak wind gusts today were 34 mph in G.R., 36 mph in Battle Creek and 33 mph at Lexington KY – about the same.

Pic. of Venus from the rest area in KY

Here’s a pic. looking WSW after sunset showing the planet Venus, which now shines brightly in the early evening to the Southwest.

We’re staying in Georgetown KY tonight. The motel is OK – our bathroom is next to the elevator, which makes some creepy noises – and the toilet paper is behind you, above the tank about four feet off the floor, so unless you grab some ahead of time, you have to go thru some contortions to reach it. Had dinner at the Cracker Barrel next door- the usual trout with mashed potatoes and green beans. I got the golf tee game on the 2nd try – it was just a lucky guess. Gas was $2.52. I’m closing in on 72,000 miles on the Explorer…I got the last Explorer to nearly 200,000 over 13 years…gave it to my brother and he’s got it to 240,000. He knows how to do most of the car repairs on his own and he doesn’t mind a little rust. He needs something big to carry all his guitars and amps. At 65 he still has 3-4 gigs a week playing anything from bluegrass to heavy metal…mostly oldies and blues. Also, daughter #1 happy that $2,075 came into her dog rescue on Giving Tuesday.

Sunset Grand Haven Steve Damstra

When Steve Damstra isn’t making awesome music, he’s taking pics. of the sunsets at Grand Haven. Here’s the latest from yesterday 12/4. Speaking of latest…the latest sunset of the year is Dec. 9 – at 5:07 pm at the G.R. airport and 5:08 pm downtown. Solar noon is now at 12:33 pm. The shortest day is the Winter Solstice, Dec. 21 and the latest sunrises are in the first week of January.

At 1:45 am, the mid-Lake Michigan buoy (which is still out there! It hasn’t been picked up for the winter) shows a NW wind at 24 mph with 5.2 foot waves.

Cloudy Pattern Continues

The cloud-a-thon continues in W. Michigan. 0% sunshine on Wed. in G.R. The high/low temp. in G.R. Wed. was 36°/33° – a difference of only 3°. The average high low is now 39°/27°. The overnight run of the GFSX model gives G.R. high temperatures of 40° today (Thu.), Friday and Saturday, then 51° on Sunday, 48° wtih rain on Monday…then it’s winter…snow and 27° on Tue., 21° on Wed. and 27° on Thu.

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