Sunday, November 24, 2013

Mad Rush - Day Two

Ok, so yesterday was no good... time to think about today, and the rest of the trip...

Friday night, we made it from the eastern Arizona mountains, to our hotel on the east side of El Paso, a distance of 410 miles; in about 7 hours total, but only about 5 hours of that was actually spent on the road. Average speed on the road worked out to about 80, average speed overall, a bit less than 60.

That's not bad... actually, it's pretty good. In fact it's particularly good since we had stopped more times, and for longer, than we'd originally planned, but still made a 59mph average speed.  It boded well for our progress.

Then... yesterday happened... 

Saturday we were supposed to make it from the east side of El Paso, to at least Texarkana (800 miles), with a stretch goal out to Little Rock (just over 900 miles).

Instead, we only made it to Pecos, about 200 miles... in about 7 hours of travel... for an average speed of about 28mph.

That's very bad. We would like to avoid that in future.

Overnighting in Pecos puts us at a bit under 1400 miles to Johnson city. That's way more than one driving day at the pace we want to maintain (frankly, at any pace it's more than a bit far... Even averaging 60mph with stops, that's still a 24 hour drive).

So, we're gonna have to have an intermediate stop tomorrow night.

Now, the weather hasn't fully lifted yet, and they're still clearing wrecks off the roads etc... So we're going to get a late start in the morning. Looks like if we wait 'til 10 or so, things will warm up enough, and they should have had enough time to clear things; we should be able to just push on through.

So... if we look at say 10-11 hours worth of actual drive time, a couple hours for gas and food stops...

That leaves us in Little Rock at a reasonable hour Sunday night (8pm say), instead of late Saturday night as we planned.

So, basically, we lost a day to weather and traffic...

Which is exactly why we decided to leave Friday night instead of Sunday morning... and frankly, if we had left AZ this morning, it probably would've been a lot worse. We'd've probably been trapped in El Paso anyway, not making it through before the road closing.

So, if we make it to Little Rock tomorrow night, and leave after a reasonable breakfast Monday morning, we should be in Johnson city for dinner Monday night.

Which means New Jersey for dinner Tuesday night, and a late afternoon arrival in New Hampshire Wednesday.


So we decided to hang out and wait for weather to clear a bit. As of 11 am local, we are now clear between Pecos and just west of Fort Worth, and DFW should be clear for a good while before we get into the area.

Unfortunately, the I-30 up through to the I-40 won't be. Given the current weather and weather up to midnight, we've decided to alter the route south from DFW.

We're still going to head on towards Dallas, but we're going to stay on 20, and go through Shreveport and Jackson. We'll probably stop at Jackson for the night.

This puts us in clear weather, or at worst rain, once we clear Abilene; and we don't spend the night in Little Rock, or on the 30 between Dallas and Little Rock, which is supposed to get freezing rain all night long.

Radar shows clear by the time we get to Dallas, but not if we continued on to little rock... we'd just end up driving back into the nasty.

It only adds about 50 miles and less than an hour to the travel time... and given the weather I think it might actually trim a couple hours.