I-95 guide bypasses problem of gas-station guessing

January 31, 1993|By Daniel M. Amdur | Daniel M. Amdur,Staff Writer

If you've ever spent time in a car heading south, the following is probably a familiar scene:

You're heading along Interstate 95 for parts warmer, and a sign up ahead flashes that familiar rest stop logo. You take a quick look at the --, and the fuel gauge reads just a tad under the quarter-tank mark.

Should you stop, or try to make it to the next rest area? Decide quickly! There's only one mile to go, and it's coming up fast!

For all those seasoned travelers out there tired of second-guessing their fuel tanks, John McConnell has come up with a solution. For $1, the Philadelphia resident is offering an I-95 travel guide that lists the mileage between Philadelphia and Vero Beach, Fla., and 22 key cities in between, while also recording where each rest stop is by the mile marker in five states -- Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

The guide, printed on a 3-by-5 1/2 -inch card, lists the information for travelers going both north to south and south to north. It's easy to use and perfect for planning where to stop overnight. And all proceeds go to the Indian River County Council on Aging in Vero Beach.

According to Mr. McConnell, a retired marketing executive, frustration was the main motivator for starting the travel guide. "My wife and I have been traveling to Florida for 20 years, and we always go I-95," he says. "When you're speeding down the road and you see a sign for a rest stop, do you frantically pull over, or do you wait till the next one?

"I'm 78 years old," Mr. McConnell says. "And sometimes I've got to look for a rest stop."

After riffling through road maps, he bought a book on the interstate, but even that didn't have what he was looking for -- how far to the next pit stop. So Mr. McConnell took matters into his own hands.

With $350, he printed the cards and began selling them in Philadelphia and Vero Beach, where the McConnells frequently go to play a little golf and "take life easy." Since he began almost a year ago, Mr. McConnell says he's sold $1,600 worth of the guides.

Although he's been asked to include cities such as Chicago, Mr. McConnell says no plans are in the works for extending the guide farther north.

The cards can be purchased by sending $1 with a stamped self-addressed envelope to Mr. McConnell, 732 Governors Circle, Newton Square, Pa. 19073.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.