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The Gipper

The Gipper's 21st Annual Columbus Day "Discover America" Trip

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This is the invitation that I am likely sending out regarding my annual fall trip...which this year would include the Browns game in Houston:

 

THE GIPPER’S 21ST ANNUAL COLUMBUS DAY “ DISCOVER AMERICA” TRIP
This year for the 21st Annual Columbus Day Discover America Trip, we will be taking a “Road
Trip” that will include traveling to the following Destinations:
The Natchez Trace, from Nashville Tenn. to Natchez, Mississippi
New Orleans, Louisiana
Lafayette, La. and Louisiana Cajun/Bayou Country
Houston, Texas
Dates: Sunday October 8, 2017 to October 17, 2017
The plan is to stay in various hotels/motels along the way and to see and do things per the
following itinerary:
Day 1 Sunday 10/8: AM Leave Northeast Ohio. Travel to Nashville, picking up the Natchez
Trace there. Overnight either in like Lawrenceburg TN or Florence/Muscle Shoals Alabama.
Day 2 Monday 10/9: Continue on the Natchez Trace to its conclusion. Evening, head into New
Orleans, La. Overnight New Orleans.
Day 3. Tuesday 10/10: Full day and night? New Orleans. Sites to see: Chalmette Battlefield (site
of Battle of New Orleans), New Orleans Jazz Nat. Historic Park. Louis Armstrong Park. Café
Du Monde, Jackson Square, Bourbon Street, French Quarter, etc. Overnight New Orleans.
Day 4. Wednesday 10/11. Leave N.O., head toward Lafayette. Along the way see towns/sites
such as Kraemer, Houma, Franklin, New Iberia, Avery Island, (where they make Tabasco Sauce)
Jefferson Island, Jean Lafitte NHP. Overnight Lafayette area.
Day 5. Thursday 10/12. Continue tour of Cajun/Bayou country. Sites: Lake Fausse Point St. Park,
Evangeline State park, Shadows on the Teche, Henderson, Breaux Bridge. Cajun food, Zydeco
music. Laissez les bonne temps roullez. Overnight Lafayette area.
Day 6. Friday 10/13. Leave Lafayette to and through Lake Charles La. and on to Houston Tex.
Meet up with my daughter coming over from San Antonio TX, and also meeting up with other
friends/acquaintances...who are Browns fans...as Browns play Texans this weekend. Overnight
Houston
Day 7 Saturday 10/14 Relax. Maybe do some Houston sightseeing...and some “partying” or
“tailgating” with fellow Browns fans. There may be some organized activities to attend.
Overnight Houston.
Day 8 Sunday 10/15 Attend the Cleveland Browns vs. Houston Texans game at NRG Stadium
with my daughter and any of you if you wish to come. Again, meeting up with other Browns fans
for tailgating activity. Overnight Houston
Day 9 Monday 10/16 Depart Houston. Say goodbye to daughter. Travel I-69 and US 59 to
northeast Texas, where there are a couple of sites I wish to see: Caddo Lake/Jefferson and
Marshall TX. Start heading for home, getting maybe half way. Overnight somewhere about
halfway between Houston and Akron, maybe around Memphis??
Day 10 Tuesday 10/17 Finish drive Home
Notes:
A. If you would like to go...and go to the game, let me know ASAP so that tickets can be
purchased together. You would be under no obligation to go to the game if you prefer not.
B. Because my daughter now works for Hilton Corp., on her Friends and Family Plan, I can get
some very good prices at some very nice hotels. Places like Hampton Inns for as low as under
$50.00 per night. (At least in Houston and Lafayette. New Orleans and other spots..not sure)
C. Your costs: could include share of gas, food, hotels, game ticket if you decide to do that;
maybe some entrance fees to other attractions (very few). I have not yet decided if I can take my
car (a gas guzzler) or to rent a car. If we rent, there would be a share of that. (Good AAA rates)
So, please let me know if you have any interest in this trip. Call me at 330-XXX-XXXX work, 234-
XXX-XXXX cell or email ___________
The Gipper
Previous “Columbus Day Trips”:
1997 New Mexico, Santa Fe, Taos, Angel Fire
1998 The Dakotas, Badlands, Black Hills
1999 Nevada, Lake Tahoe, Sacramento, Yosemite
2000 Canadian Rockies Calgary, Banff, Fairmont Hot Springs, Glacier NP
2001 Arizona, Tuscon, Yuma, Tombstone, Saguaro
2002 Colorado, Breckenridge, Aspen, Black Canyon, Rocky Mt. NP
2003 California, Death Valley, Yosemite, Stockton, Sequoia, Fresno, Joshua Tree
2004 Florida Panhandle, Panama City, Mobile, Montgomery Ala.
2005 Utah southern, Bryce, Zion, Capitol Reef, Great Basin, North Rim Grand Canyon
2007 Arkansas at spring break, Hot Springs, Little Rock, Shreveport
2007 Washington, Victoria, Vancouver, Seattle, North Cascades, Mt. Rainier
2008 Canadian Maritime: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI, Newfoundland, Acadia Maine
2009 The Cayman Islands
2010 Mexico, Puerto Vallarta
2011 Arizona Scottsdale, Sedona, Prescott, Apache Trail
2012 Hawaii, The Big Island, Molokai
2013 Pennsylvania/New Jersey. The Poconos, The Catskills Delaware Water Gap
2014A: Georgia northern, southwest NC, NW South Carolina
2014B: Montana, Anaconda, Yellowstone NP, Butte, Missoula, Helena, Billings, Little Bighorn
2015A: Utah, Park City, Salt Lake, Provo, Flaming Gorge, Golden Spike
2015B: Texas: San Antonio, Midland, Odessa, Lubbock, Amarillo, Abilene, Waco
2016 Idaho, Sun Valley, Boise, Craters of the Moon

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Wow sounds great, have fun!

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It looks like I may have to make a bit of a change to my itinerary. At my age (65) I don't believe I have the stamina to do a probable 3000+ plus mile road trip all on my own. It is like 1300 miles one way from here to Houston...not including the side trips I would take. Plus, if you recall, I have a condition that affects my eyes...and putting that kind of strain from driving on my eyes could be problematical. Ergo, unless I am able to get someone to go along with me to do significant amount of the driving, I am likely going to be forced to forego the Natchez Trace portion of the trip, and to fly into New Orleans and rent a car from there.

I already have 2 nights booked in New Orleans on the Monday and Tuesday, then 2 more in Lafayette area, then the 3 in Houston. After Houston I would then still go up to NE TX, but then pop over to Shreveport LA, then come back to New Orleans through Baton Rouge. Basically I would be crisscrossing the state of Louisiana.

 

That would reduce my driving to about a third of what I originally planned...reducing it from like 3000 to 1000 miles. 10 years ago I coulda/woulda done it no problem...but not now I don't think.

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Getting old is a bitch huh. ;)

 

65 is not 45 or 25, take up a nice less taxing hobby like following the BROWNS. :lol:

  • Upvote 1

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To All, more updates on this trip:
 
A.  I have secured my flight.  I am actually flying into Gulfport MS on Sunday Oct. 8th.  This is only 80 miles from New Orleans. I did this because I got a free flight into Gulfport using my Delta miles.
 
The announced itinerary has changed:
 
Overnight in New Orleans will be on the Sunday 10/8 and Monday 10/9.
Overnight in Lafayette La. area will be Tues. and Wed. 10/10 and 10/11.
Spending 4 nights in Houston:  Thurs/Fri/Sat/Sun  10/12, 10/13, 10/14, 10/15.
Final night will likely be in New Orleans or vicinity, before flying out of Gulfport.
 
My daughter will not be attending the Browns game, but will be coming over on Thursday evening, leaving on Saturday morning as she has a wedding to attend that weekend.
 
Again, if anyone has interest, let me know. 

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I don't visit this forum very often. You'll have fun for sure.

We have something similar lined up, bringing our RV down to Houston.

Oct 6 leave Cleveland, drive about 11 hours or so to Parkers Crossing in Tennessee for a night stopover. Arrive at Daisy State Park  in Arkansas the following day, stay through Monday night. Playing some golf in Glenwood, Arkansas. 

Drive to Galveston Island State Park Tues morning, stay 2 nights there. Leave up to Katy, Tx and park the RV there through Sunday night. My son and his family are about 20 miles east of Katy, and we'll  visit with them plenty and head to the Brown's game vs Texans. We hope to meet up with fellow fans at the game.

When we leave Katy Monday morning, we'll head to Guadalupe River State Park and spend 3 nights there. Head into San Antonio to visit and float on the river in the park as well.

Leave there for Lake Wister State Park in Oklahoma on Friday, spend the weekend there.  The Poteau Ballon Festival and Robbers Cave Festival are in the area. It's beautiful around there, the Ozarks are cool.

Leave there Monday morning the 23rd, and wind our way back to Cleveland.  We love our fall trips, fortunate to be able to get a long vacation that time of year. 

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2 hours ago, Bob806 said:

I don't visit this forum very often. You'll have fun for sure.

We have something similar lined up, bringing our RV down to Houston.

Oct 6 leave Cleveland, drive about 11 hours or so to Parkers Crossing in Tennessee for a night stopover. Arrive at Daisy State Park  in Arkansas the following day, stay through Monday night. Playing some golf in Glenwood, Arkansas. 

Drive to Galveston Island State Park Tues morning, stay 2 nights there. Leave up to Katy, Tx and park the RV there through Sunday night. My son and his family are about 20 miles east of Katy, and we'll  visit with them plenty and head to the Brown's game vs Texans. We hope to meet up with fellow fans at the game.

When we leave Katy Monday morning, we'll head to Guadalupe River State Park and spend 3 nights there. Head into San Antonio to visit and float on the river in the park as well.

Leave there for Lake Wister State Park in Oklahoma on Friday, spend the weekend there.  The Poteau Ballon Festival and Robbers Cave Festival are in the area. It's beautiful around there, the Ozarks are cool.

Leave there Monday morning the 23rd, and wind our way back to Cleveland.  We love our fall trips, fortunate to be able to get a long vacation that time of year. 

Happy Trails to you.  Maybe we will see you at one of the get togethers. 

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My trip to N.O/Houston in jeopardy.  The costs may be more than I can handle.  Decision will have to be made by like Thursday.

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Gentlemen,
 
The Trip to Louisana and Houston is called off.    I would have been gone too long and the funds for that length of a stay were not there, plus my daughter could not meet me for the game in Houston, plus, another hurricane is headed that way perhaps....so a lot of factors lead to the cancellation of that.
 
HOWEVER, I have replaced that trip with a kinder, gentler Discover America Trip, where I don't have to rent a car or go on a plane and have about half the number of nights in a hotel.  This trip may actually be the Mecca of fall driving trips in America as it is as follows:
 
Tuesday 10/10   Travel to Eastern West Virgina to various sites there, (Gaudineer Rec area, Cass, Snowshoe)  Overnight Marlinton WVa.  (These are areas where  The Vagabonds...aka Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Harvey Firestone used to trek in their days)
 
Wednesday 10/11  Continue seeing parts of West Virgina,  (Droop Mt., Beartown, BabSock State Park, New River Gorge)    Aftenoon/Evening, drive toward Asheville NC. Overnight somewhere perhaps near Asheville or along the route
 
Thursday 10/12  See the "Cradle of Forestry" in North Carolina, then head north on the Blue Ridge Parkway toward Virginia.  Overnight somewhere along the way. 
 
Friday 10/13  Continue the drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway.   Overnight  Charlottesville Virginia
 
Saturday 10/14  Shenandoah National Park.   Overnight Chantilly  Virginia   
 
Sunday 10/15   I will be meeting up with my daughter for the morning who is in the Chantilly area for a wedding.  Sometime midday we will drive back home to Ohio. 
 
I  know it is short notice, but, if anyone is interested in going along  let me know.   I calculate that if one other person came, your share of the  hotels and gas would only be about  $300.00.   Plus food.  I am not aware if there are any entrance fees to any attractions...such as a state park, but if there is the cost would be minimal. My National Park pass will get us into Shenandoah.  There is no charge for driving the Blue Ridge.
 
email me back here,  or call 330-xxx-xxxx office, or 234-xxx-xxxx my cell
Thanks
 
The Gipper

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25 minutes ago, The Gipper said:
Gentlemen,
 
The Trip to Louisana and Houston is called off.    I would have been gone too long and the funds for that length of a stay were not there, plus my daughter could not meet me for the game in Houston, plus, another hurricane is headed that way perhaps....so a lot of factors lead to the cancellation of that.
 
HOWEVER, I have replaced that trip with a kinder, gentler Discover America Trip, where I don't have to rent a car or go on a plane and have about half the number of nights in a hotel.  This trip may actually be the Mecca of fall driving trips in America as it is as follows:
 
Tuesday 10/10   Travel to Eastern West Virgina to various sites there, (Gaudineer Rec area, Cass, Snowshoe)  Overnight Marlinton WVa.  (These are areas where  The Vagabonds...aka Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Harvey Firestone used to trek in their days)
 
Wednesday 10/11  Continue seeing parts of West Virgina,  (Droop Mt., Beartown, BabSock State Park, New River Gorge)    Aftenoon/Evening, drive toward Asheville NC. Overnight somewhere perhaps near Asheville or along the route
 
Thursday 10/12  See the "Cradle of Forestry" in North Carolina, then head north on the Blue Ridge Parkway toward Virginia.  Overnight somewhere along the way. 
 
Friday 10/13  Continue the drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway.   Overnight  Charlottesville Virginia
 
Saturday 10/14  Shenandoah National Park.   Overnight Chantilly  Virginia   
 
Sunday 10/15   I will be meeting up with my daughter for the morning who is in the Chantilly area for a wedding.  Sometime midday we will drive back home to Ohio. 
 
I  know it is short notice, but, if anyone is interested in going along  let me know.   I calculate that if one other person came, your share of the  hotels and gas would only be about  $300.00.   Plus food.  I am not aware if there are any entrance fees to any attractions...such as a state park, but if there is the cost would be minimal. My National Park pass will get us into Shenandoah.  There is no charge for driving the Blue Ridge.
 
email me back here,  or call 330-xxx-xxxx office, or 234-xxx-xxxx my cell
Thanks
 
The Gipper

We flew over that area on our way to visit by rental car Mass., Vermont, N.H. and Maine about this time of year and the colors of the leaf change down below were spectacular all the way from Tenn. to Boston and especially right over the Blue Ridge area.. I think you're going to have a great trip there Gip. Enjoy!:D

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18 minutes ago, TexasAg1969 said:

We flew over that area on our way to visit by rental car Mass., Vermont, N.H. and Maine about this time of year and the colors of the leaf change down below were spectacular all the way from Tenn. to Boston and especially right over the Blue Ridge area.. I think you're going to have a great trip there Gip. Enjoy!:D

I have been to some sections of the Blue Ridge.  Here I intend to see parts I have not been to,   And while I have been to Shenandoah, it has been over 17 years. 

It could actually get crowded....and that is why I am doing this mid week.  Biggest concern is hotel rates.....they tend to want to gouge during peak times like this.

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1 hour ago, The Gipper said:
Gentlemen,
 
The Trip to Louisana and Houston is called off.    I would have been gone too long and the funds for that length of a stay were not there, plus my daughter could not meet me for the game in Houston, plus, another hurricane is headed that way perhaps....so a lot of factors lead to the cancellation of that.
 
HOWEVER, I have replaced that trip with a kinder, gentler Discover America Trip, where I don't have to rent a car or go on a plane and have about half the number of nights in a hotel.  This trip may actually be the Mecca of fall driving trips in America as it is as follows:
 
Tuesday 10/10   Travel to Eastern West Virgina to various sites there, (Gaudineer Rec area, Cass, Snowshoe)  Overnight Marlinton WVa.  (These are areas where  The Vagabonds...aka Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Harvey Firestone used to trek in their days)
 
Wednesday 10/11  Continue seeing parts of West Virgina,  (Droop Mt., Beartown, BabSock State Park, New River Gorge)    Aftenoon/Evening, drive toward Asheville NC. Overnight somewhere perhaps near Asheville or along the route
 
Thursday 10/12  See the "Cradle of Forestry" in North Carolina, then head north on the Blue Ridge Parkway toward Virginia.  Overnight somewhere along the way. 
 
Friday 10/13  Continue the drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway.   Overnight  Charlottesville Virginia
 
Saturday 10/14  Shenandoah National Park.   Overnight Chantilly  Virginia   
 
Sunday 10/15   I will be meeting up with my daughter for the morning who is in the Chantilly area for a wedding.  Sometime midday we will drive back home to Ohio. 
 
I  know it is short notice, but, if anyone is interested in going along  let me know.   I calculate that if one other person came, your share of the  hotels and gas would only be about  $300.00.   Plus food.  I am not aware if there are any entrance fees to any attractions...such as a state park, but if there is the cost would be minimal. My National Park pass will get us into Shenandoah.  There is no charge for driving the Blue Ridge.
 
email me back here,  or call 330-xxx-xxxx office, or 234-xxx-xxxx my cell
Thanks
 
The Gipper

Youre in luck.

I can go.

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On 10/5/2017 at 12:32 PM, The Gipper said:
Gentlemen,
 
The Trip to Louisana and Houston is called off.    I would have been gone too long and the funds for that length of a stay were not there, plus my daughter could not meet me for the game in Houston, plus, another hurricane is headed that way perhaps....so a lot of factors lead to the cancellation of that.
 
HOWEVER, I have replaced that trip with a kinder, gentler Discover America Trip, where I don't have to rent a car or go on a plane and have about half the number of nights in a hotel.  This trip may actually be the Mecca of fall driving trips in America as it is as follows:
 
Tuesday 10/10   Travel to Eastern West Virgina to various sites there, (Gaudineer Rec area, Cass, Snowshoe)  Overnight Marlinton WVa.  (These are areas where  The Vagabonds...aka Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Harvey Firestone used to trek in their days)
 
Wednesday 10/11  Continue seeing parts of West Virgina,  (Droop Mt., Beartown, BabSock State Park, New River Gorge)    Aftenoon/Evening, drive toward Asheville NC. Overnight somewhere perhaps near Asheville or along the route
 
Thursday 10/12  See the "Cradle of Forestry" in North Carolina, then head north on the Blue Ridge Parkway toward Virginia.  Overnight somewhere along the way. 
 
Friday 10/13  Continue the drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway.   Overnight  Charlottesville Virginia
 
Saturday 10/14  Shenandoah National Park.   Overnight Chantilly  Virginia   
 
Sunday 10/15   I will be meeting up with my daughter for the morning who is in the Chantilly area for a wedding.  Sometime midday we will drive back home to Ohio. 
 
I  know it is short notice, but, if anyone is interested in going along  let me know.   I calculate that if one other person came, your share of the  hotels and gas would only be about  $300.00.   Plus food.  I am not aware if there are any entrance fees to any attractions...such as a state park, but if there is the cost would be minimal. My National Park pass will get us into Shenandoah.  There is no charge for driving the Blue Ridge.
 
email me back here,  or call 330-xxx-xxxx office, or 234-xxx-xxxx my cell
Thanks
 
The Gipper

      ah... you should camp along the way ! My Dad's home place is just below the Skyline Drive - they all grew up on 400 acres. From my aunt's trailer, you can see a car driving the drive at night once in a while. You could get off the drive, and camp at the Cranberry River campground, assuming it's still there, and see the beautiful Cranberry Glades, a famous bog boardwalk. and Beartown, a ways down the road, is a hillside collection of giant boulders - another boardwalk. It's close to Marlington.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g59290-d106793-Reviews-Cranberry_Glades-Marlinton_West_Virginia.html

aaa20120924-img_8238.jpg

any civil war site is a special place - Droop Mtn  is beautiful. Pocahontas County. If you go to Beartown, after seeing the Cranberry River sites... you will be driving past my aunt's house trailer, just past my other uncle's house, just below that Skyline Drive.

   New River Gorge - the first thing you come to, through Charleston, on rt 64? after about 45 min.. is Gauley Bridge. This is where the little GauleyRiver and the Little Kenoi? sp? come together to make the New River, and just after that, you start to climb Fayette Mtn..

We used to vacation there when I was kid. One time, my cousin and I, and a couple of friends of his from there, went up river, past the hydroelectric plant, and it was hot summer, and walked up all the giant flat rocks, past giant boulders, sometimes swimming through deep beautiful pools. We were way up river, standing on a giant low, flat boulder... when I felt a bit of a breeze on a hot day. I said, "something's wrong....". They look at me, and said "What..?" I'm like "something's wrong... I just felt a breeze or something..."

we start looking around, and the breeze got noticed by them. We got spooked, and started heading back to our boat, which was tied up to a smaller rock in the middle of the river, about a half mile upriver of the Gauley Bridge hydro plant. So, we were moving fast, and the wisp of breeze turned into a steady stronger breeze, We're running across boulders, diving and swimming through the open water areas between rocks. We're still a ways from the fishing boat, and the breeze turns into a freaking strong wind. One of them yells "THE RIVER IS COMING UP, THEY MUST HAVE OPENED THE LOCKS AT SUMMERSVILLE!".

Summersville is a beautiful big lake. They open the dams when a distant storm runs water through the creeks and river.THAT is when they white water raft down the not much water Gauley river, which is small, and the Little Kenoi, which is not small. The water was really coming up, our fishing boat was nearly pulling the rope up off the small rock, we jump in, take off, hit a rock underwater, bent his prop, flew past the hydro plant, where some employees up on a walkway at the hydro plant were frantically telling us toget off the river. well, freaking "duh", dammit. We sped down river, and got to safety. So, don't do that. ever.

 

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I don't think I will be doing any camping.  I will be gone 5 nights, already have hotels/motels lined up for  4 of those nights.

But, I will be seeing a number of the things you reference, for sure.  Beartown and Droop Mt. parks. I may try to get to Cranberry Glade. New River Gorge. If I have time I may pop up to the Gauley River. 

A few other spots I do plan to hit in WVa include:  Gaudineer Rec. Area.  Greenbriar Trail, Snowshoe Mt., Cass Railroad town (but I will not likely take the train), may pop by the National Radio Astronomy Center, but not sure it will be open, BabSock State Park,  Big Sewell, Lewisburg. 

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BabSock, lol.

We have taken the Cass Railroad train, it goes up the mountain, an actual coal steam engine..get to the top, no big deal, but the ride up is fun. When my Dad was a kid, he and his brothers would get all their chores done on the farm, and go hiking over the mountain, and they would camp overnight along the Greenbriar River and catch rainbow trout. The Cranberry was gorgeous, don't know how the fishing is anymore, haven't been there for several years.

   Seems all too often, some scumbucket tosses a bit of garbage someplace, just when you start to feel like you are in a beautiful place. Too bad. Hope you don't run into that.

 

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