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by Ron
A National Perspective
As we move around this beautiful country the view does change from the driver's seat, but we also become aware of other differences. There are some consistencies too. Our observations are not profound, but I thought that I would share some with you. One consistency that we have noticed is an abundance of  deserted shopping centers with empty or boarded up stores. Is it a sign of a slowing economy or will it get even worse? The huge empty lots are great for parking an RV at lunch time, but we would rather not see these ominous signs.  The last four or five states that we have been in are all struggling with budget cuts and shortfalls.

Another observation, but totally unrelated to the economy, is the way states number exits. Almost all of them use the mile marker method except Florida and California. Florida numbers them sequentially, but is joining the rest of the nation this year and will change to the mile marker method. Now if California would just number them at all we would have this national system under control. 

Florida is very good about identifying an upcoming cross street a block or two ahead. We appreciate that. They even will let you know what lane to be in for directional turns on to a freeway. When driving a large RV that is very helpful and we wish that other states would follow suit.

Some may disagree, but we think that roads are getting better since our last trip east or are we just getting use to them.  The road crews that we have seen are constructing additional lanes rather than working on existing ones as before. We are aware that construction and maintenance work crews will be a continual fact of life and have devised a way to even have some fun while passing through the work zone. I play Whistle While You Work on my musical horn and you should see the smiles as the workers wave. 

The above observations are not profound and some may think that after thirteen years on the road that we are forgetting all the tourist attractions. But as Barb often says, "We are just living and not necessarily touring."  Its a good life. 

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