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Published: January 17th 2015
Travelling the highways of the U.S.A. Day 1 – Jan. 10, 2015
This year’s travel adventure, to avoid the worst that winter can offer, has included a road trip across the United States to San Diego.
We left Ontario a week ago on a day that started out clear and cold -16°C. The very first task before heading off was to clear the mound of snow blocking the end of the driveway as the plow had gone by at 6:00 am and left us a little present. After having breakfast and loading the car we hit the highway at 8:17 for the Blue Water Bridge as our entry point into the USA.
The actual crossing of the bridge went smoothly until we came to the US Customs & Immigration Plaza. Here things slowed down considerably, 30-45 minutes with 11 lanes open, two dedicated to trucks and one to Nexus cardholders.
During our interview with the customs officer he wanted to know where we intended to stay this evening and when we told him Indianapolis he warned us not to go anywhere near the I-94 as it
was still blocked from the major accident that occurred there yesterday.
As we cleared the plaza and headed out we found the I-69 links both on the map and visually but the GPS kept telling us to turn left, for no apparent reason. In the end we turned it off suspecting that she wanted to take us to I-94 via Detroit instead of inland via Lansing.
The interstate was clear and traffic moved well all day until we reached the Indianapolis area. Again we did not agree with the GPS’s interpretation of how to get to our destination but in the end we located our hotel for the evening.
Distance travelled for the first day was 823.9 km. Day 2 - Jan. 11, 2015
The day started out cloudy and remained that way all day with a temperature of -2°C at 9:14 am when we set off for Springfield, MO. The weather report threatened freezing rain but that did not materialize while we drove on a southwesterly course.
Just after we entered Missouri we encountered heavy rain that lasted
for the remainder of the day. Around 12:45 pm we crossed the Mississippi River into St. Louis with the Arch on the skyline.
A great deal of St. Louis’s river front area was torn apart in a major rebuilding program with many of the streets in the historic area being cobblestone. As it had been raining for several hours before we arrived the cobblestones were very slick and rough. Of course the GPS didn’t know anything about the construction and kept running us in circles that always seemed to end up at a “road closed” barrier.
Finally we were able to navigate to a side street close to the arch for several shots. Unfortunately the camera battery died on our smaller camera so I used the large Canon in a heavy downpour for two shots of the arch before declaring “We came, we saw, lets get back on the highway”.
For the rest of the afternoon we encountered rain that came and went in bands, and we finally arrived in Springfield, MO at 15:04, temperature -1°C. Sorry but Homer Simpson was nowhere in sight.
Distance travelled for the
second day was 701.9 km. Day 3 – Jan. 12, 2015
We slept in so got a later start today.
It had rained all night but there was no sign of any freezing rain as had been predicted, which was very fortunate. The rain at least performed one important task as it washed much of the road grime off the car.
Normally we have only had to purchase gas once a day but today was the first time on the journey that we had to buy gas for the second time. We attribute this to the higher rate of consumption as we were travelling on I-40 at 75 mph most of the time.
During the day and early evening we passed several enormous wind farms near the highway. At night they are all marked with rhythmically flashing red lights. Obviously the communities that were situated nearby had no major objections to the placement of the farms on the open prairies.
Driving into unfamiliar areas is always a challenge even with a GPS unit. It told us which exit to take off
I-40 and then announced that we were at our hotel, but it was not where we expected it to be; it was on the other side of the interstate. After navigating a series of one way streets a we found the hotel and decided that it would be easier to call for a pizza to be delivered to us rather than trying to find our way around in the dark.
Distance travelled for the third day was 870.5 km. Day 4 – Jan. 13, 2015
Today we got up early and were on the road by 8:00 am with the outside temperature sitting at -6°C.
Today we gained another hour as we passed into Mountain Standard Time. In addition we experienced almost every type of weather condition – snow – rain – a little sleet - hoar frost on the trees – sunny skies – heavy winds. As we drove along Brooke tried to capture some of this photographically with mixed results; it’s a real challenge to take photographs from a car speeding along at 75 mph.
For most of the day we shared the
highway with transport trucks in every conceivable size and configuration, including a house split into two sections and one complete house that occupied one & a half lanes. This all happened while we were speeding along at an average speed of 75 mph .
Later we crossed the Continental Divide in a heavy snowstorm but that didn’t stop us pulling off the interstate highway to a portion of old Route 66 so that Brooke could take some photos from the car window of the elevation markers.
After passing over the Continental Divide the weather started to clear. We stopped at a native art center to looked over their goods and saw many interesting pieces; however when we spotted the handheld calculators on each station we know that meant that the prices were not set and you had to negotiate them down to what you thought you should pay.
After crossing into Arizona we stopped at their information center to take some photos of the surrounding mountains, which were illuminated by the late afternoon sun. We arrived in Holbrook at 3:04 MST and found that the temperature had
risen to 3°C by the end of today’s journey
Distance travelled for our fourth day was 822.5 km.
Tot: 0.353s; Tpl: 0.018s; cc: 8; qc: 45; dbt: 0.013s; 1; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
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