Friday, November 22, 2013

A Mad Rush... Through a Damn Blizzard... Awww hell no...


Well, we'd planned our trip to be Sunday through mid-day Thursday, arriving in Weymouth, MA in time for Thanksgiving dinner, then heading up to my Aunt Helens place in New Hampton, NH.

Further, we were planning on staying on the 40 through to eastern Tennessee, and stopping at Mels aunt and uncle in Johnson City, so that her uncle can see the baby (he's in ill health and can't travel anymore); and stopping in to see my Aunt in New Jersey (again, so she can see the baby).

...looks like nature has other plans...

If we followed out original plan, we'd be driving up the I-95 corridor in the worst part of this weather, for three days (a 5 day total trip, of appx 2900 miles).

Yeah... no... we're not going to do that.

Well, first thing, we've decided NOT to drive up with the trailer first time up. We're going to drive up bare vehicle, leaving the trailer and the dogs, with Mels dad. This will make our trip faster, with better fuel economy, and, given the weather... not suicidal.

I REALLY do not want to try to haul 20,000lbs and 60ft by 8 foot 6" of combined vehicle on northeastern roads, on a holiday week, in that weather.

... and in the long run, it will be easier to find a house without having the trailer and the dogs to worry about.

We'll come back after Christmas, pick up the trailer and the dogs and do the trip all over again, only slower... but at least we should have a house to take the trailer and dogs too by then.

Second... we're not taking OUR truck. We rented a brand new Explorer (the company is paying for it, not me). It'll be comfortable, safe, 50% better fuel economy (using much cheaper fuel. Diesel is NOT cheap in the northeast, and can be a pain to find off the major highways), it'll save the mileage and maintenance on our truck, and it should be a faster drive in it.

Plus, we'll have it the entire month, in Boston and New Hampshire, and it'll be a lot easier to get around Boston with than the 23 foot long 7 foot tall Truck of Doom.

Third.. we're not leaving Sunday anymore. We're leaving tonight if we can manage it. We've already done all the prep work we need to do in Phoenix, we've just got to finish packing, and packing the truck.

So, tonight, we scoot out of here, and drive until we need to stop to make sure we get a rested and early start tomorrow.

This should give us all day Saturday and Sunday, and most of Monday, before the bad weather hits.

When we were going to take the trailer, our route wasn't even really a question. We were going to have to backtrack from Kearny to the I-17, then north to I-40.

Without the trailer, we're a lot more flexible. Right now, we're trying to decide if it's quicker/safer/easier trying to take the backroads through the mountains of eastern Arizona and New Mexico up to Albequerque to take I-40; adding 200+ miles to the trip backtracking to I-17 and going up to the 40 through flagstaff; or adding 150 miles and taking the southern routing across Texas.

Right now, we're leaning towards Texas; because it's been raining hard all night and all day, and 385, or 585 miles of mountain roads, in the wet, to get to ABQ, vs the broad, straight, fast highways of Texas... yeah...

If we want, and the weather is good, we can still visit Mels family in Tennessee. Depending on how far we get tonight, we could be there Sunday night, or Monday morning.

... Or we might just push straight through, take the midwestern route splitting off I-40 in OKC, straight up into New Hampshire; and try to get to New Hampton on Tuesday, instead of Weymouth mid-day Thursday... we'll decide while we're on the road, based on conditions and the time we're making.


Ok, we're definitely leaving tonight, and we've got our route and schedule planned out:

We're leaving in an hour-ish (around 1800 mountain), and will be aiming to hit somewhere around El Paso before we stop for the night on day 0.5.

Full day one (Saturday): It's on to somewhere around Hope Arkansas... we may stop in Dallas for dinner with Mels brothers (she hasn't seen them in like 4 years, and they haven't seen the baby yet). We may even stop for the night, and just accept the 4 or 5 hours lost travel time.

Day two (Sunday): We head to Johnson City TN. If we stop in Dallas for the night Saturday that's a bit far, so we may not make it to Johnson city, in which case we'd stop in Nashville, or Knoxville, and head to Johnson city in the morning, stopping there for lunch, and doing an overnight rest, making it day two or three.

Day three or four (Monday or Tuesday): It's on to Medford, NJ, and my aunt Maureen, who hasn't met the baby yet either. That's a relatively short day, for flexibility.

Day four or five, (Tuesday or Wednesday): It's just a six hour ride from NJ to New Hampton, NH., or just a four and a half hour ride to my dads place in Weymouth, MA.

If we push, it gets us off the roads entirely before the snow starts Tuesday night... and gives us a day of flexibility if we have any problems, or if we want to take some time to visit with family, before the snow gets really bad on Wednesday night. If we relax, we're still off the road before things get bad on Wednesday night.