Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Boons for Road Safety!

May 25, 2012

There’s a new trend in Interstate Highway Rest Areas. On a recent trip to Virginia, I discovered that Connecticut and West Virginia Welcome Centers include people walking areas (not just pets!), so that aside from providing “the facilities,” it’s possible to take a loop walk or wheelchair ride along bright regional flower beds in continuous bloom.

 Scattered every 30 miles along Interstate highways, Rest and Welcome Centers invite us to get out and let our bodies breathe, open our joints and aerate the cells we need to keep us awake and alert behind the wheel. A long trip does not have to be exhausting if we take regular breaks.

 On  I-84, the Danbury, CT Welcome Center has not only all the above, it has numerous small stone cairns placed in amongst the flower beds. They are not only a calming delight for eyes grown tired of juggling lanes amidst heavy trucks; they let you know that you’re on a safe path. The cairns also keep the ground cool and modestly shade and support the flower beds.

 Lots of picnic tables generously spread around a spacious grove of trees provide an easy place to have that lunch packed to avoid the hassle of finding user friendly food stops. In West Virginia, picnic tables nearest parking areas are reserved for handicap access.  Highway choices seem limited to fast foods and family restaurants with no place to stretch and relax beyond parking lots. It was great to be able to find one stop for all needs.

 Danbury even has an area for RVs and there’s a weighing station for trucks near the highway as part of the complex, but the rest of the site feels like a big park. By whatever means of travel, all are welcome!

 The Welcome Centers are staffed with people who can update us on possible side trips and events in their area and they know how long it takes to get there and a few things we can expect that aren’t necessarily in the brochures.

 As we enter the next three months filled with weddings, family reunions, vacation trips, and any other reason for travel we can negotiate, making good use of travel rest stops will go a long way toward keeping each other well. Enjoy!!!