No Direction Home

This humble blog was started to document our travels around the country during the summer of 2006, We have opted to continue updating it due to the requests from family & friends. Enjoy!

Friday, July 05, 2019

Road Trip

July 2, 2019

Kathy, Chris and Julie 

Road Trip

The July 4th holiday is one that often finds us away from home, in fact for many years we have gathered with my childhood friends someplace to enjoy the holiday. This year, we decided to enjoy the holiday with family, specifically Kathy’s family and so we packed up the car and our dog Jack for the long drive from Key West to Marshfield, MA, where Kathy grew up and where her father still lives in her childhood home. Her brother Chris also flew in from his home in Colorado, so it was to be a family fourth.


Before departing Key West, we had the chance to spend a little time with our friend, author Nicole Dennis-Benn who was in Key West to teach at one of the newest programs of the Key West Literary Seminar, our Young Writers Studio. The program was an intensive week long immersion in literature for thirteen lucky high school students from the Keys, taught by Nicole and our friends Kate and Nick, all provided for free to the students.It culminates with a reading from the students as well as from Nicole reading and signing her very popular and well-reviewed new novel “Patsy” at the Books and Books at the Studios of Key West book store.


The drive from Key West to Marshfield is fairly long and we did not make many stops as we were motivated to get there. We basically followed the I-95 corridor up the East Coast. Necessities such as food, sleep and gas made us make a few stops but for the most part, we pretty much stuck to the highway.


Thankfully one stop we did make was in Richmond, Virginia where we had a delightful BBQ lunch at Alamo Barbeque, taking advantage of yet another of the South’s wonderful small BBQ joints, this one located just outside of downtown Richmond. While we were in town, we also managed to take in the Tredegar Iron Works located in downtown Richmond.


The site is part of the National Park system which preserves the historical location of the largest Iron Works run by the Confederacy during the Civil War. Tredegar supplied about half the artillery used by the Confederate States Army, as well as the iron plating for CSS Virginia, the first Confederate ironclad warship, which fought in the historic Battle of Hampton Roads in March 1862. The works avoided destruction by troops during the evacuation of the city, and continued production through the mid-20th century. Now classified as a National Historic Landmark District the site serves as the main building of the American Civil War Museum.


The location of the Iron Works along a wooded section of the James River, provided a nice place for us to walk Jack as well as it is a beautiful riverside spot. The museum features excellent displays on the history and significance of the site and the role it and the city of Richmond played during the Civil War. In what was quite the opposite of the tranquil, solemn historically significant stop in Richmond, our stop to gas up at the touristy garish and overwhelming South of the Border, in South Carolina, was not quite as cerebral but still a piece of Americana.


The once popular stop on I-95, which is located about halfway between New York and Florida is as hokey as ever, though its popularity has waned significantly since its heyday. Much of the roadside attraction is run-down, abandoned and in disrepair, which makes it all the more interesting for me. We made a quick stop and drive through of the relic from an earlier age of motor travel before heading on up the road.


We eventually made it to Marshfield, which is on the South Shore, between Boston and the Cape, where Kathy’s father Jim, and brother, Chris were waiting to greet us. Jim lives in a truly lovely wooded area that borders the Marsh along the banks of the South River just across from a private beach on the Atlantic Ocean. Kathy and I really love visiting and Jack was in seventh heaven, probably truly experiencing a bit of wilderness for the first time in his life. Never before has he been able to run free without being leashed or within the controlled dog park setting and he was beyond thrilled.


Kathy’s sister Julie drove down from her home in Brookline when we arrived and the three siblings were able to spend some rare quality time hanging out the first full day we were there. While they were out to dinner, I took in the local sites visiting a new Brewery in nearby Situate called Untold Brewing and a few other shops and bars in the area.