One-Tank Trip for Nov. 5-16
(c) By Jim Fox
“On the road again, just can’t wait to get back on the road again.” Willie Nelson.
Dave Hunter is back with his just released and updated guide to the drive to the sun.
Along Interstate 75 makes the 20-plus-hour, “one-tank-a-day” trip to Florida more bearable by taking Dave along as the friendly and informative “back-seat driver.”
The I-75 is Dave’s preferred route, covering a distance of 1,542 kilometres between Detroit and the Florida border.
|Just another beautiful day in Port Everglades/Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (Jim Fox photo)|
The author and his wife, Kathy, have been making the I-75 trip for 48 years from their home in Mississauga to their winter abode in Lakeland, Fla.
They have been writing about and researching this popular snowbird route for the past 24 years and this guide’s edition is the 19th.
Updated every two years, this edition contains an almost one-third change in the some 3,000-plus information listings of what is within a mile of each exit.
|Dave Hunter, author of Along I-75.|
Also popular are his “money-saving hints and “freebie” section, while the guide contains no advertising.
“We provide local knowledge and insider information, and purchase of the book includes access to the update website,” Dave said.
“The site provides major information updates, special detour maps to avoid problem areas, as needed, and a complete topical index for the edition,” he added.
|Along Interstate 75, an exit-by-exit guide to driving the expressway to the sun.|
Each page is packed with helpful information and covers 25 miles (40 kilometres) that take about 30 minutes of driving time.
It tells about the road conditions, speed limits, construction zones, best routes around big cities, radar enforcement hot spots that are extremely accurate and upcoming lane changes.
As well, Dave, a history buff, tells of the interesting past, geology, flora and fauna, historic and unusual landmarks along with side trips to make the journey more entertaining.
On the website, Dave also offers downloads of strip maps for the 401, Toronto to Windsor/Detroit; Highway 402, London to Sarnia/Port Huron; and Highway 403, from Woodstock to Hamilton.
He has also posted strip maps from Port Huron to the link with I-75; avoiding I-75 in Detroit with US 23 from Flint to Toledo; a side trip through Lexington’s Bluegrass horse country and across Norris Dam; and a driving tour map of Ocala horse country.
|The Florida Welcome Centre along Interstate 75. (Barbara Fox photo)|
There’s also helpful information, including how to avoid a major annoyance – trying to use a Canadian charge card at gas pumps.
Most want a U.S. “zip code” to get the card to be accepted, while the trick in most cases is to punch in the three numbers of your postal code for the billing address of the card followed by two zeros. Debit cards shouldn’t be affected as they use PINs.
Otherwise, drivers have to leave their credit card or cash with the attendant and return after filling up.
Why I-75 instead of two other routes by way of Buffalo that lead eventually to I-95 south?
“Weather tends to be better since you cross the mountains at a much-lower latitude and the I-75 has been around so long that there is an abundance of gas, food and lodging services often resulting in lower prices,” Hunter said.
|Book cover: Along Florida’s Expressways.|
Once in Florida, you can switch to the Hunter’s companion publication, Along Florida’s Expressways, to help guide the way throughout the Sunshine State.
It features 27 maps of 25 miles a page covering all of Florida’s interstates, expressways and toll routes, along with Dave’s personal observations and insider knowledge about getting around.
Need to know
- Along Interstate 75 and Along Florida’s Expressways, published by Mile Oak Publishing Inc., cost $29.95. For information, go to i75online.com
The guides are available at CAA travel offices, Chapters, Coles, Indigo and Amazon.ca, or by calling (519) 524-6901 (shipped the same day).
Jim Fox can be reached at email@example.com
For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca