Texas Loop – Cincinnati

I like to drive, or more accurately, I don’t mind being in a car for long periods while either driving or being driven and I like meeting people and seeing things.  Below is a 4800 mile route I plan on taking with John, Mike, and Suzie to see people and things.

The Loop

From PA to PA in 8 Days

My Goals

I have little experience with road trips of more than two people.  There’s an elegance to two as one sleeps while the other drives and the driver controls the radio.  The addition of a 3rd party who may or may not be in the driving rotation or who may not like what’s on the radio may prove tricky.  My goal will then be to learn to be alone together.  Headphones, computers, pillows, and books give people bubbles in which they can operate to grant release from constant immersion in the narrative of the car at more than a background level.

At more than one location we’re meeting multiple people who’ve also driven to meet us as opposed to my standard modus operandi of just going to someone’s house.  Coordination will be needed as well as the dreaded phenomenon of going to bed at a particular time to wake up at the right hour to make it somewhere with at least two drivers being well rested.  As trivial as this sounds, it’s a compliment to our hosts whose stories have kept me up well past my normal bed time.

Finally, I’m going to avoid bringing snacks.  Snacks, in my opinion, are a boredom thing rather than a hunger thing as a person of my size will rarely be in the position of being genuinely hungry and having that right amount of food to sate oneself.

Packing Oddities

I’m working with the assumption that we will find a way to do wash as I physically don’t have more than four sets of summer cloths.  Changing sizes has made that more expensive than I like.  I also don’t have a bathing suit that fits nor am I bringing a second set of shoes on the assumption that my walking shoes will neither get too wet nor will the car get hot enough that I’ll want to change them.  Finally, I’m unsure of how many pictures I’m going to take so may grab an external hard drive to carry what won’t fit on the tiny SSD built into my laptop.


Mike arrived at 7:45 AM and we were on the road before 8:00 AM.  That’s a 100% score for timely departures with Mike.


Mike, my intrepid also-driver

The drive to Annapolis to pick up John was uninteresting.  It’s I-95 for Pete’s sake.  I felt I crushed John when I asked that he not bring snacks but he politely obliged me abandoning the bag of popcorn that had been the highlight of a shared drive to Cincinnati we had taken.


John of the goatee

Off to Cincinnati.  I’ve taken two or three routes from Maryland to lower Ohio and the one where one goes west across all of Maryland and then across the Allegheny Mountains is practically an emetic.  Wanda, my car, can’t do 70 uphill and she/I feel bad about this.  This route went slightly further north across southern PA and while, of necessity, also crossing the Alleghenies, the route was much less hilly.  We arrived in Cincinnati a bit ahead of schedule where we picked up the last of our war party.


Suzie. Non-driver. Non-sleeper.

We went to a local place for pizza and we founded what John wanted.


Chicken Parm, the king of foods, to John.

Suzie had some salad and Mike and I ordered a white pizza with roasted chicken topped with “enough garlic to kill a small horse, maybe a shetland pony”.  Instead we received a garlic-less pizza that appeared to be topped with chunks of Shetland pony.  The alternative is that Shetland ponies are deathly allergic to garlic and the server was an equine medicine major or something.

After dinner, we walked along the Ohio river to Sawyer Point containing a prominent statue of Cincinnatus, the Roman dictator turned farmer from which the Society of the Cincinnati and in turn the city take their names.  I think he was a swell guy and am glad I was able to get a reasonable handheld HDR.

Mike's First HDR

Ball Game on the Ohio, by Mike Noble


”] Take ItOur hotel for the evening was about 20 minutes away in Kentucky and had a pool.  The night was warm and we’d walked a lot so the pool would prove refreshing.  That is until we learned it had closed minutes ago at 10:00 to our 10:06 arrival time.  Ah well, there will be other times to use our suits.

Skipping the pool gave me time to upload photos, something I don’t normally do same-day while traveling and knowledge that people could see what we were doing and that we could hear their thoughts was quite satisfying as the first Facebook comments came in.  I hope I can keep it up.