Road Trip to Seattle: Florida

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In early June, we loaded Spitfire and our luggage into a rental car and set off on a 4,200-mile (6,760 km) road trip from Charleston, SC to Seattle, WA. We spent the first two nights in Florida, first in Jacksonville and then in Pensacola, after passing from South Carolina through Georgia and traveling 598 miles (961 km).

Spitfire did remarkably well on his first road trip. Although he’s rounded the world in Dirona, he doesn’t spend much time in cars and we weren’t sure how he’d take to the road. But he settled right into his new bed in the car and was eating and using his cat box just like at home. And after a thorough investigation of each new hotel room, he seemed happy and relaxed there as well. It’s wonderful to have him along with us.

Below are highlights from June 8th and 9th, 2021. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at

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Rick Hendrick
One of the over 100 dealerships in the Hendrick Automotive Group, founded by NASCAR Cup race team owner Rick Hendrick. We’re just departing the Charleston area on our road trip across the US to Seattle.
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Spitfire enjoying traveling without waves. He’s adapting to road travel extremely well.
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Basil Thai
Delicious takeout from Basil Thai in Jacksonville, the first stop on our cross-country run.

Today we traveled 241 miles (387 km) from Charleston and were in three states: South Carolina, Georgia and now Florida.

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Spitfire enjoying breakfast from his Go Pet Bento travel food bowls as we head west on Interstate 10 towards Pensacola, Florida. We bought the stacking food bowls for the road trip and they’ve worked out super-well to allow us to easily feed him underway and move any uneaten food between the vehicle and the hotel.
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Echo River
A portion of Florida Power & Light Company’s vast, 500-acre (202-hectare) Echo River solar farm, completed in May of 2020. About 330,000 panels supply 74.5 megawatts, enough to power 15,000 Florida homes.
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Chick-Fil-A makes a great chicken sandwich. We love their ads, featuring cows scrawling on billboards “Eat Mor Chikin.”
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Escambia Bay
About to cross Escambia Bay over the six-lane Escambia Bay Bridge near Pensacola, completed in 2007. The original four-lane bridge was destroyed in 2004 when Hurricane Ivan knocked 58 spans off the bridge and misaligned another 66 spans.
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We stopped for the night in Pensacola, FL after a 357-mile (574km) from Jacksonville FL and went for a driving tour of the area. This is the remains of the Hyer-Knowles Planing Mill Chimney in Pensacola, built in 1854 as part of a steam-powered sawmill. When the Confederacy withdrew from the area in 1862 during the US Civil War, they destroyed all the mills so the Union could not use them. This chimney was the only surviving part of the sawmill.
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Bay Bluffs Park
Walking the steps and boardwalk down the bluffs to water level at Bay Bluffs Park in Pensacola.
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Pensacola Bay
View to Pensacola Bay from the bottom of the boardwalk. It’s not that hot at 80F (27C), but the humidity is really high and it feels much hotter.
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Heron about to grab a fish head discarded by a fisher at Palafox Pier in Pensacola.
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El Asador
The first time we’ve eaten at a restaurant in 15 months, at Taqueria El Asador in Pensacola, Florida. It’s outside, so we’re still not technically in a restaurant, but it’s a start. The order window was perpetually lined up and the restaurant had two large propane tanks repurposed as barbecues full of meat on the broil, using charcoal imported from Mexico. The tacos were delicious, the best we’ve had for a long time.
Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map, with the complete log of our cruise.

On the map page, clicking on a camera or text icon will display a picture and/or log entry for that location, and clicking on the smaller icons along the route will display latitude, longitude and other navigation data for that location. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at


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10 comments on “Road Trip to Seattle: Florida
  1. Henry says:

    I am so envious of your road trip. I’ve delivered 7 cars across America plus up to and around Alaska. I’m currently 18 inches from a radiator in Melbourne, Australia and not allowed leave the country. GRRRR.

    • It’s been a really fun trip and having lived in Australia for more than a year and a half, where you are “trapped” is a pretty amazing part of the world as well. We lived in Australia for more than a year and a half and really enjoyed it.

  2. Steven E Coleman says:

    Hello James,

    He might not be far off, The National Weather Service listed the high in Seattle at 108F on June 28, 2021.

    Depending on where he was at and the thermal mass around him, 112F isn’t outrageous.

    Here in Missouri, we rarely see actual triple digits but it does push it quite frequently and occasionally does ramp up that high.

    I can remember many days spent on a roof working on equipment at 98F with 80% humidity where the 126F air coming off the condenser fans felt like a cool breeze.

    • Yes, many that I work with in Seattle have been complaining about the weather. We’ll be there next week to experience it for ourselves.

      The closest I’ve had to working in 98F with high humidity, is changing the hydraulic stabilizer actuator on the boat as we crossed the equator on our St Helena to Barbados run. It’s hot, it’s humid, and there is a diesel engine working hard less than a foot behind me. The combination of the heat, noise, and boat motion make the job considerably more taxing. Your roof top HVAC service operations sound similar.

      • Steven E Coleman says:

        It’s similar in many ways however, working inside a boat underway injects one more factor, possible Mal de Mer.
        I never personally experienced it during my time in the Navy but, I’ve witnessed people who had it bad. We even had to take one reservist off during his two week active stint with a helicopter due to dehydration and weight loss.
        The U.S. Navy wasn’t big on sea sickness medicine back in the late 1970’s, I don’t even know if we had anything.

        • Your right Steve. I just about never get sea sick but that time I was working the water ingress problem in the North Atlantic 4 years back, the long time below decks in confined spaces while working the problem was brutal and I learned I can be sea sick in some conditions. I feel fortunate to not be impacted much by sea sickness. As you said, for some people it debilitating and can be dangerous in the more extreme forms.

  3. Per-Ola Selander says:

    See you are making good headway across the country and seem to have reached the west coast. Just after our 112F temps here in Seattle. Good timing (Monday was HOT around here).
    Enjoy your drive up the coast.

    • 112F in Seattle? Better check that thermometer. Seattle has not been that hot since the earths crust started to solidify :-).

      We’re looking forward to being there.

      • Per-Ola Selander says:

        Your timing is excellent. You’d be surprised how hot (insanely hot) it was up here earlier this week (my Kirkland thermometers showed 112F).
        Look for an e-mail from me after the weekend.

        Puget Sound Metro Area:
        113: Maple Valley, Darrington
        112: Redmond
        111: Bellevue, North Bend, Sammamish, Woodinville, Brier
        110: Renton, Snoqualmie, Redmond, Issaquah, Bremerton, JBLM/Tacoma,
        109: Bothell, Enumclaw, Auburn, Fall City, Silverdale, Lynnwood
        108: Seattle, Kent, Tukwila, Burien, Sumner, Marysville, Arlington
        107: Black Diamond, Kenmore, Duvall, Poulsbo, Snohomish, Mountlake Terrace, Sedro-Wooley


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