​Revisiting America for the first time

Following in Charles Kuralt's footsteps 06:32

Founding "Sunday Morning" anchor Charles Kuralt left us plenty of memories of his time "On The Road," when he died on the Fourth of July back in 1997. His wanderings continue to inspire, as Lee Cowan reports:

Inda Lou Lambert Schell's life in Chatom, Alabama, was busy and full. She played the piano in her church, taught school, enjoyed her children and her grandchildren.

She never really had the urge to wander too far from home -- until, that is, she read Charles Kuralt's book. "I gave it to my husband as a Christmas present," she said.

The book was about Kuralt's favorite American places, many of which he had visited while "On the Road" for CBS News.

"We read the book and thought how wonderful to do something like that when he retired," Schell said.

When her husband of 52 years died, Lou Schell thought that her dream of going on the road had died with him.

But at age 77, she realized it had not.

"I asked my four children to come to lunch and told them that I would be spending their inheritance," Schell recalled. "And their reply was, 'Mom, go for it!'"

She decided to spend a month in each of Kuralt's favorite spots, rearranging his itinerary so that she and her sister, Janie, might drive from place to place.

On the 1st of January, 2011, they set out.

"My driveway was filled with neighbors and friends and family, and I always say, a few doubters," Schell said. "And I get in my car and pull out of my driveway with a police escort."

First stop: New Orleans, Louisiana.

"The scenery, so different. And of course you can always eat your way through."

Then, Key West.

"Key West, Florida, in February - what could be more perfect," she said. "We got key lime pie with meringue four inches tall."

Visiting Ketchikan, Alaska. Courtesy Lou Schell

Charleston, South Carolina. "I got in a boat and rode through a former rice field and shot pictures of alligators."

And Blowing Rock, North Carolina, where her piano-playing skills made her feel right at home.

"We arrived there April 1st and it was snowing. I played the piano at their church on Easter," she said.

Lou Schell's itinerary. CBS News

New York City -- the Big Apple -- was their next destination.

"We rented, I suppose you'd call it a loft in a brownstone in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn," Schell said.

As they had everywhere they went, Lou and Janie made good friends. Roy and David were their Bed-Stuy neighbors. "They would sit out on their steps in the afternoon and we would visit with them, and I felt we became good friends with them," Schell said.

From New York, they headed north, to Woodstock, Vermont; and Boothbay Harbor, Maine, where, sadly, Janie was taken ill, and had to go home.

Undaunted, Lou Schell set her sights, and her GPS, for Ely, Minnesota.