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(Frequently Asked Questions)

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Q: When will Along I-75 be updated and the next edition published?

A: We released the newly updated 18th edition of "Along I-75" in the fall of 2014; the next edition (19th) is tentatively scheduled for release in the fall of 2016.

If you would like our annual newsletter which includes an update notice about our books, please email us your postal (snail mail) information. We only do one mailing each year (in September) and still prefer to do it the "old fashioned" way (through the Post Office). The mailing also includes a discount coupon for our books. Your information is very safe with us; we keep it strictly confidential. Rest assured that it is not given or sold to any other company.


Q: When will Along Florida's Expressways be updated and the next edition published?

A: This date is still tentative but it is on our calendar to release the new 4th edition in October, 2015.

If you would like advance notice of our new editions, please email us your postal (snail mail) information. We only do one mailing each year (in September) when we provide details about our new book. The mailing also includes a discount coupon. Your information is very safe with us; we keep it strictly confidential. Rest assured that it is not given or sold to any other company.


Q: How many changes are there in the new edition of Along I-75?

A: Many ... these include changes to the gas, food and lodging facilities at I-75 exits, new editorial material in the mile-by-mile travelog stories and changes to road information such as traffic laws, state gas taxes, etc.

And of course we are always adding to (and sometimes removing because after inspection they no longer meet our standards) our "Insider Tip" recommendations.

And don't forget our special website (only accessible to purchasers of the current edition) which has updated information including any major changes to the current book road information and our Insider Tips.

To give you an idea of exit facility changes alone, here is a chart of the differences between our 16th, 17th and the current 18th editions.

Chart of changes

We spend about six months researching new material and more than five months updating and ensuring that each new edition of Along I-75 is as fresh as possible. As we often say, "would you read last week's newspaper to get today's news?"


Q: Do you produce an electronic copy (eBook) of Along Interstate-75?

A: Sorry, but we do not have the book available in an electronic form.

We have seriously looked at producing eBook versions of Along I-75 and Along Florida's Expressways. We have not only considered digital books but have done much development work in that direction, including registering all the necessary copyright requirements.

We are still a few years off though, waiting until four specific issues are resolved in the marketplace. These are:

1). Digital Rights (DRM) protection so our work cannot be stolen - we work far too hard to allow this to happen. This is a big (although quietly discussed) problem in the eBook world right now. Wireless phone and mobile reader virus attacks are also on the increase. Recently one managed to affect iPads and iPhones through the iTunes store, although Apple was very quiet about it.

2). Standardization of eBook formats. Formats are still proprietary and tend to stay with specific distributors. Kathy and I actually have working prototypes of both books on our readers and tablets but they are PDF and do not yet tie into GPS for automatic page and map tracking,

3). We need a huge market move towards color eReaders - this is happening slowly but we need a majority of such readers in our customer base since a black and white (eInk) book will never be able to provide the same level of information built into our colored maps. Industry projections indicate this will take at least the next five years until b&w readers have been replaced by color (think about TV and how color slowly replaced b&w in the 1960s).

4). Finally, the move must be for a majority of our readers. At present, most prefer the "paper" format and have told us that this is much preferred over eReaders and GPS technology. Last winter a major bookstore chain listed our book in its online catalog as a "paperback." We were surprised by the many emails we received from people who thought we had moved away from a spiral bound product (we had not and are not sure how this rumors get started) - many wrote and said "please don't change."

We are too small a company (just two people operating from the basement of our home) to support two different formats. Before switching to ebooks, we must be sure that we can be profitable in a digital book market, otherwise there will be no future "Along I-75s" ... in any format!

Hope you understand.


Q: Where does Interstate-75" start and end?

A: At its north end, I-75 starts on the Canada/U.S. border at the top of Michigan at Sault Ste. Marie. It heads south to Naples in Florida, where it abruptly bends east and runs across to Miami. This last section through the Everglades is called "Alligator Alley."


Q: How long is it?

A: In total from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan to Miami, Florida, it's 1,786 miles long (2,874kms). By state: Michigan-395 miles (636 km), Ohio-211 miles (340 km), Kentucky-193 miles (311 km), Tennessee-161 miles (259 km), Georgia-355 miles (571 km), Florida-471 miles (758 km).


Q: What are the major towns and cities along the I-75 Corridor?

A: In southbound sequence, I-75 starts at Sault Ste. Marie in North Michigan at the U.S./Canada border, and ends at the Palmetto Expressway in West Miami, Florida.

"Along I-75" covers the route with detailed 25 mile-per-page colored strip maps, between Detroit to the Georgia/Florida border.

"Along Florida's Expressways" covers I-75 with detailed 25 mile-per-page colored strip maps, from the Georgia/Florida to its conclusion in Miami. This book also includes all the other major interstates and toll routes, within the Sunshine State.

Here are the towns and cities along the way:

  • Michigan: Sault Ste. Marie; Grayling; BayCity; Saginaw; Flint; Detroit; Monroe.
  • Ohio: Toledo; Findlay; Lima; Wapakoneta; Piqua; Dayton; Cincinnati
  • Kentucky: Florence; Dry Ridge; Georgetown; Lexington; Richmond; Berea; London; Corbin; Williamsburg.
  • Tennessee: Jellico; Caryville; Norris; Knoxville; Lenoir City; Sweetwater; Atehns; Cleveland; Chattanooga.
  • Georgia: Ringgold; Dalton; Calhoun; Cartersville; Marietta; Atlanta; Jonesboro; Forsyth; Macon; Perry; Cordele; Tifton; Valdosta.
  • Florida: Jasper; Lake City; Alachua; Gainesville; Ocala; Wildwood; Tampa; Bradenton; Sarasota; Pt Charlotte; Ft Myers; Naples; Miami.


Q: Why does "Along I-75" start in Detroit rather than in Northern Michigan?

A: Detroit is a natural focal point for those travelers coming south from Michigan's Upper Peninsular and from Ontario. To add the 348 miles between I-75's northern limit (Sault Ste Marie, MI) and Detroit would mean that we would have to add 28 additional colored strip maps plus 14 travelog pages. The addition of these pages would boost the retail cost of the book, by $5-6 dollars.

Since our readership covers a large section of the Midwest from Chicago and Wisconsin in the west; to upper New York State and Ontario, Canada in the east our market studies indicated that expanding the book to include I-75 north of Detroit and increasing the price substantially would result in far fewer books being sold. As a result, our company would no longer be able to stay in business and "Along I-75" would quickly go out-of-print.


Q: Why does "Along I-75" finish at the Georgia/Florida border and not continue to Miami?

A: Our objective in writing Along I-75 was to get people from the cold north down to Florida's sun, as cheaply, safely and with as much interesting entertainment as possible. Once in Florida, people go their different ways, not just down I-75. The Along I-75 book maps actually takes you right to the parking area of Florida's Welcome Center, just south of the Georgia/Florida border. Inside you will find expert staff who can guide you to any part of Florida and also save you money on your lodgings, etc. They always know about the "special" deals available throughout the State.

They also know our "Along Florida's Expressways" book well and use it at their information counter. In fact, VisitFlorida, the Sunshine State's official tourism authority, has actually endorsed our book (see its back cover) and recommends its use.


Q: Why do your southbound maps show "South" at the top of the page? Most maps have "north" at the top.

A: It makes reading our colored strip maps so simple - you don't have to be able to read maps and you certainly don't have to turn our maps upside-down to align them to your direction of travel.

If you think about it, you are traveling south and "South" is at the top of the page. So, everything drawn on the right side of the map, appears on the right-hand side of your car . . . and vice versa. Everything outside the car windows relates intuitively to the strip map on your lap. Now isn't that simple and don't you wish everybody who drew maps did this?


Q: Why do you have two sets of 25 mile-per-page colored strip maps - one southbound and the other northbound?

A: Simple - we want you to have the most accurate travel information you can find anywhere. There are many differences between the southbound and northbound sides of I-75. There are actually some exits which are on one side and not the other. Rest areas may be in different places. Of importance to RVers, the number of lanes and where they merge is not consistent - at the same mile marker, southbound may have 3 lanes while northbound has only two . . . and of course, the police have different favorite places for their radar guns.

These are just a few of the differences between the two route directions.


Q: In "Along I-75," the 25 mile-per-page colored map (page 8) which crosses the Michigan/Ohio border shows the page tab for Ohio before Michigan as you "drive" up the page. Why is that?

A: Much thought was given to the placement of the state names on the page edge tabs - Michigan - Ohio - Kentucky - Tennessee - Georgia - which, because our southbound pages are read from the bottom to the top, caused us a bit of difficulty when designing the book. And we thought about it long and hard before going to print.

The tabs printed on the edge of our pages are there to provide a quick reference to the maps for each I-75 state, when the book is closed and viewed from the side. The map pages where we cross a state border of course, requires two page tabs - one for each state.

Because most snowbirds start using "Along I-75" at the beginning of their drive south to Florida, the physical placement of the page edge tabs for the entire book was set in southbound sequence, starting with Michigan at the top and running down the side of the pages to Georgia. Each state tab is measured a certain distance from the top of the page, and has to be consistent on all tabbed pages, so that a person looking for Tennessee knows that it is always the 4th tab from the top.

In most normal map books, this would not present a problem since normal maps always have north at the top of the page.

But Along I-75" is not normal. We turn our southbound pages upside-down so they are much easier to use as you drive. South is at the top of the page so that everything printed on the right hand side of the map, appears on the right hand side of the road (and vice versa) as you drive south. This of course, occasionally conflicts with the fixed position of our page side tabs.

See map 8 for example. Starting at the bottom, the page covers Michigan's 21 miles to the Toledo border, then enters Ohio at mile marker 211 and leaves the page at the top, at Ohio mm 207. But because our page edge tabs are "fixed" into a physical pattern, we must list Ohio before Michigan as you read up the page. This also happens on map page 17, 31 and 45.

It would have been inconsistent if we had relocated the side tabs to match the actual states on that map page, so we had to compromise as follows:

Side (page edge) tabs are used solely as a reference to get a reader to a page. Once on the page, on the odd occasion, the page edge tabs may not necessarily relate to the material presented within the page's sequence of contents.

We gave a lot of thought to this before sending the book to press. If anybody has a better idea - we would love to hear it.


Q: Which is the shortest/fastest route to link with I-75 South for Canadians driving Highway 401 from points east of London - Hwy 401 to Windsor or Hwy 402 to Sarnia?

A: If you are driving on westbound Highway 401 from London, Ontario, or a point east, you are soon going to be faced with a choice. Should you take Highway 402 to Sarnia and cross at the Blue Water Bridge or should you continue on the 401 to Windsor and cross at the Ambassador Bridge?

Here are the two routes with distance and time statistics. To ensure we are not comparing "apples to oranges" I have chosen the junction of 401/402 as the start point, and I-75, Ohio exit 187 (just south of Toledo) as the most southern (end) point.

  • Hwy 401/402 to Windsor - Ambassador Bridge to Detroit - I-75 to South Toledo (exit 187).     Distance is 301 kms/187 miles; Time to drive: 3 hours, 10 minutes. With the opening of the new Ambassador Bridge toll plaza and ramp which will join I-75 south (scheduled for mid-November, 2009), this will be an easy drive.
  • Hwy 401/402 to Sarnia - Blue Water Bridge to Port Huron - I-94 south to Detroit where it becomes the Edsel Ford Freeway - switch to I-75 (Detroit) known as the Chrysler Freeway and then the Fisher Freeway - to South Toledo (exit 187).     Distance is 323 kms/201 miles; Time to drive: 3 hours, 21 minutes. This route can be problematic though since it takes you right into downtown Detroit, to the very busy I-94/I-75 Edsel Ford/Chrysler Freeway junction.

There is a third route favored by some. It completely avoids Detroit but it is a much longer distance. Here it is.

Hwy 401/402 to Sarnia - Blue Water Bridge to Port Huron - I-69 west to Flint - US23 south to Ann Arbor and to the junction of I-475 - I-475 south (Toledo Bypass) to I-75 - to South Toledo (exit 187).
Distance is 406 kms/252 miles; Time to drive: 3 hours, 53 minutes.

Hope this has helped. Now it's up to you to choose.

Go to the "download" section of this website and get your free colored strip maps of Highways 401 and 402. Also, driving instructions to link from Highway 402 in Sarnia, to I-75 South near Detroit.


Q: To avoid the I-75 construction near Chattanooga, Tennessee, is it faster to go off the Interstate at Cleveland, TN, and drive south on local roads to Dalton, Georgia? I've heard this avoids the construction in the Chattanooga area?

A: First, let me say that apart from ongoing maintenance, the contruction project in Chattanooga is now complete. The number of driving lanes has been expanded and the road surface, superb.

Having said that, let me explain something unusual about the course of I-75 in this area. In the 1960s when highway engineers planned the interstate route between Knoxville and Atlanta, they knew it would be expensive to build it in a straight line south because of the southwest barrier ridges of the Appalachian mountain chain. To reduce cost, they decided to build I-75 following a natural valley which led to Chattanooga, from where they could then make a straight run south to Atlanta. This created quite a large dog-leg in I-75's path.

Over the years, some people have suggested cutting across the dog-leg by leaving I-75 at Cleveland (a point 20 miles/40 kms north of Chattanooga) and driving directly southward on local roads to Dalton in Georgia where they can relink with I-75 south. The direct I-75 path is 38 miles (61 kms); the short-cut is 33.1 miles (53 kms).

This suggestion used to "work" 10-15 years ago when the communities along the way were much smaller, but today, you will encounter traffic lights and a lot of local traffic. There are still a number of "country" single lane stretches where you can get stuck behind farm equipment or other slow moving vehicles with no "over-taking" dotted lines in sight. But in my mind, the worst problem is the truck traffic in North Dalton, when you leave the short-cut and join the major east-west US41/US76 toute, to take you west to rejoin I-75. In my experience, it is an absolute pain and not worth any advantages gained.

However, I have not driven this route for several years and perhaps traffic is a bit better now, but I doubt it.

If you would like to try the route, here are the details. Let me know how you get on:

  • Leave I-75 at TN exit 20 (US 64 Bypass East) and drive 5.8 miles (9.3 kms) to the junction of SR60 (Dalton Pike). Turn right (south).
  • On SR60, drive 11 miles (17.7 kms) south to the Tennessee/Georgia border. At the border, the route number changes to Georgia SR71 (Cleveland Road).
  • Continue south in Georgia on SR71 for 10.8 miles (17.4 kms) to the northern limits of Dalton. The traffic is noticeably heavier here.
  • Continue for 2.7 miles (4.3 kms) to the junction of US41/US76. Turn Right.
  • Follow US41/US76 for 2.8 miles (4.5 kms) until you reach the junction of I-75 (exit 336). Follow the signs to rejoin I-75 South.

Another disadvantage - you don't get to see Elaine, Betty, Jane and all my other Georgia "girl friends" at the I-75 Welcome Center. Now that would keep me heading south on I-75 if nothing else would!

Hope this has helped. Now it's up to you to choose.


Q: Why are books issued by Edition Number and why do you not show the year on the cover?

A: We would actually prefer to show the year on the front cover of our books but some major bookstore chains do not like it. In our earlier days, we not only printed the year on the front cover but also a "best before" date on the title page. We felt that travel information was rather like fresh fruit - it became stale and useless after a certain time. We work very hard to give our readers the best and freshest travel information.

But many major bookstore chains do not like "dated" covers. In fact, one national bookstore buyer told us that unless we removed the year from the front cover, it would no longer stock our book. Why? Because stores sell books for a profit - even stale ones. And if the year is on the front cover it is very easy to identify whether a book is "stale" or not.

There are two ways for you to determine the year of our books. Check the copyright date printed on the back of the title page. Better still, click here to see the cover images of all our books, with the year of publication listed.


Q: Why do you not write about other routes?

A: For several reasons. First, we are a small family company. Writing and publishing Along I-75 and Along Florida's Expressways provide us with a full year of work keeping up with all the changes and new information constantly appearing along the way. As publishers, we are also busy with book publicity, distribution, mail order and all the other aspects of the retail book world. So time does not really allow us to research and write about other routes, and give them the justice they deserve.

Secondly, a travel author cannot successfully write about routes and destinations unless he or she has an intimate knowledge of the subject . . . to do otherwise is not only deemed unprofessional by the travel media but is also unfair to the readership. Kathy and I have been traveling I-75 since it was built in bits and pieces in the mid 1960s. There is not an inch of the road and surrounding countryside between Detroit and Florida which we do not know . . . that's over 46 years of I-75 corridor knowledge. This combined with my passion for history and research, helps produce an entertaining book to ensure you have a fun and rewarding time on your trips to and from the Sunshine State.

But most importantly, over those years we have met and become friends with hundreds of local "I-75" folk who are always feeding us interesting information about their "home" section of the interstate. Anybody can "write" an interstate guide by listing exit information or collecting standard information packages from tourism offices, but we provide all the "deep-down" local knowledge which puts you in control of your journey and provides pleasant and surprising "discoveries" along the way. Oh, and my friends are your friends which is why we include many of their names in our book.


Q: What is the status of the proposed Canadian retiree 8 month visa?

A: A number of years ago, the Canadian Snowbird Association (CSA) started lobbying the U.S. Government for a special visa which would allow retired Canadian citizens of age 50+ with property in the USA, to visit the USA for eight months instead of the current six. This resulted in a bipartisan Bill being introduced in Congress in 2013, which until its death at the end of the congressional session in 2014, had been co-sponsored by 166 Representatives.

The CSA has continued its efforts and on March 17, 2015, a new Bill (now known as HR1401) was reintroduced to the 2015 Congress. It has moved to the House's Judiciary subcommittee on Immigration & Border Security. After appropriate study, it will move back to the House or Senate with a recommendation for further action.

Congessional committee studies and reviews can take a long time. Even if it survives the sub-committee process, passage into law is not assured.

Click here to read the Bill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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