Leg Two by Day: Belle Glade or Naples, FL to Maine

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

Here are the proposed daily routes for the second leg. They have been planned around three things: 1. Avoiding big cities and highways with heavy traffic (especially trucks!), 2. About 350 miles or seven driving hours, whichever is less and 3. Stops at places of interest or where friends and acquaintances can join with me. I welcome input from anyone following the blog who has local knowledge and can suggest improvements.

The Second Leg to Madewaska ME

DAY SEVEN – April 21,Belle Glade (or Naples) to Jacksonville, FL I have an alternate plan to go across the Tamiami Trail through the Everglades to visit my sister in Naples as it only adds an hour or so to the other route from Belle Glade which is around the eastern shore of Lake Okeechobee. If I do use the option I’ll drive straight north to a junction east of Ft. Meyers and then through empty central Florida past Orlando, up through Sanford then to the coast to St. Augustine and to my friend Tom’s home in Jacksonville. Tom is a long term Lotus guy who covets my Elan so seeing it beaten and worn should slake that desire and save him endless pain.

DAY EIGHT – April 22, Jacksonville, FL to Lugoff, SC – Unfortunately, getting out of the Jacksonville metro area is going to be the hardest part of this day’s drive. By staying away from the coast I will avoid the heaviest traffic and pass the horse farms and small lakes that are abundant here. The Florida Georgia Line, (the boundary not the band!) which follows the St. Mary’s river, dips down in this area so I will be alongside it for about thirty miles or so before I cross it and go into Georgia. I wonder what I’m missing by not following the coastline though the road deviates quite a bit from the coast so probably not much. I avoid any cities as I cross through Georgia and make my way to Lugoff which is just northeast of Columbia, SC.

DAY NINE – April 23, Lugoff, SC to Zion, VA – I expect this to be pretty benign day as the route meanders through rural North Carolina and Virginia. I do pass pretty close to Virginia International Raceway though so a stop for a visit may be in order as it has been 16 years since I raced there. It is one of my top five favorite tracks ever, so it certainly is a place of interest.

DAY TEN – April 24, Zion, VA to Quakertown, PA – The goal today is to reach RD Enterprises so that Ray and George can provide expert eyes on the car to either repair anything that needs attention or to head off any impending problem that they might see. I have every confidence in the car while at the same time I acknowledge it is old and things go wrong. Besides I haven’t seen Ray and Linda for several years and we are way past due for a beer.

DAY ELEVEN – April 25, Quakertown, PA to Concord, NH  – From RD I head mostly north but a little east through New Jersey and New York staying well west of the urban black hole that is New York City and environs. While the charms of that fair city may be many, the traffic is a thing to be well avoided…at least that’s my story. Once I cross the Hudson River north of Kingston I will have smooth sailing I think all the way to Concord and I will have traveled through 7 states in one day unless I stay west of Connecticut, in which it will only be 6.

DAY TWELVE – April 26, Concord, NH to Houlton, ME – Within about 40 miles of leaving the hotel I will be in Maine, but there is a lot of it to cross over the next couple of days. It’s kind of interesting how one can cross so many states one day and then spend three days in one state! I have been told I should follow the coast of Maine for the beauty but that would mean at least one extra day and I am not sure at this point that I want to do that. Let me have your thoughts and I may modify the route to be more coastal. In the meantime, I have a goal to reach!

DAY THIRTEEN – April 27, Houlton to Madawaska to Skowhegan, ME – On my second full day in Maine I will reach the northeastern most point and having done so will begin my westward leg. I am not exactly sure where the precise NE point is though it seems to be just north of Parent which is not really a town, just a wide spot in the road. I am hoping that there is some sort of actual landmark or identifying marker that will help, but this is where the issue of the closest point on a public road comes into play as the actual border is at least a quarter mile away on private property. I shall do my best to document the actual point but think that whatever point that is may be representative as I will traverse the entire range of possibilities as I drive from Van Buren all the way to Madawaska then return southwest about 250 miles to begin leg three.

About Me

Hi, I’m Ross and I’m a tripoholic. I love driving especially in my old cars and then writing about the adventure that always follows. I’m old enough to know better but that doesn’t stop me. If you like stories of the road, every word true no matter how far fetched it may seem, then grab a beer or a cup of coffee and join me!

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5 thoughts on “Leg Two by Day: Belle Glade or Naples, FL to Maine

  1. That’s a mighty big chunk you expect to drive each day. How often do you get out and stretch your legs or run around the parking lot?

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    1. A stop every couple of hours is almost mandatory for driver survival. While the car is comfortable in general, I can no longer sit in one position for as long as I was able to when younger, that’s why i use the 350 mile day. It allows frequent stops and walkabouts and still gets me to the end by five or six pm to allow a relaxing walk, dinner and blog before bedtime.

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  2. Have been meaning to send a note on Leg 2 through the Carolinas. Sorry you won’t hit the coast or the mountains, but either way adds significant time and maybe even traffic. The closest you’ll be to me (Wilmington) is about 2-3 hours, but if you need anything, please call, text, or email, I think you have my information.

    Lugoff is right next door to Camden, horse central in SC and a beautiful, historic town. I’d make Camden my stop – or at least plan on finding dinner in Camden. Lugoff is not much more than a truck stop and exit off the interstate.

    As you’ll find, there is not much between there and Asheboro, though it is a pleasant and sometimes pretty drive. You can find gas and fast food in Wadesboro, not much else. Asheboro is a pretty town, and home of the NC Zoo. It looks like your path from there takes you through Burlington. If you have a little extra time, I’d detour on 64 over to Chapel Hill, maybe see UNC-Chapel Hill, then up 86 through Hillsborough and on until you pick up 158 and your planned route. Tarboro, Chapel Hill, and Hillsborough are much nicer places to see than Burlington, and 86 is a pretty decent little road, too. Any/all are good places for a nice lunch and/or stretching your legs if that is your timing.

    Hampden Sydney is beautiful little college campus in Farmville, which as I recall (it has been decades) is a neat little town. Another potential spot to stretch your legs, though you’re not too far from your destination here. Lots of interesting civil war and revolutionary war battlegrounds and historical markers dotted all through this general area if you are interested in that sort of thing.

    Henry

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