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May. 9th, 2005 @ 01:16 am VA to AZ in 60 hours Pt 1
Before the cut, let me just say that AAA and their TripTix map service is a godsend. If you're planning a major trip, join up, get them to send you the TripTix for your route and all the related tourbooks to help with where to stay and you can't go wrong (heck I think the postage on that package alone was equal to my membership for the year!) We didn't try the Lodging Line, but it was good to know that it was there if we didn't find something we liked. Also just walking in off the street and saying AAA was enough the first two nights and the last night I used Hilton Honors points to get a free nights stay so we scored pretty well then too.

Ok now the first rock

The plan said: Get up at 5AM, be in the car and moving at 5:30, gas up, get breakfast to go and miss the rush hour in DC.

We were close. My fault entirely, I decided I could squeeze a few more things into the trailer, and I did, but then I found that the load had shifted and I couldn't get the rollup door down again! Fighting and sweating with it, my older brother (co-pilot, fellow cat wrangler and general reason I was able to do this as fast as I did) came looking for me at 5:30 and with him holding a few things at bay, we got the door down quickly. I'd already done a walk around of the SUV and trailer so we were moving just a little later then planned.

Gas and sausage and egg sandwiches and we're on the road at 6:12AM (Breakfast and gas from the Four Mile Run BP, which has a nice little deli instead of service bays, fresh egg, meat and cheese on toast for less then $2.00. I used to get a couple of dozen every other month or so and treat the office to breakfast, never had any complaints. I'm still looking for someplace as cheap and good out here!)

TripTix says the trip would be 2316.7 miles (give or take 20 miles since I don't recall if I told AAA exactly where in Phoenix we'd be, but it was close)

I took the first shift driving, since if there was any problems with towing the trailer, especially at highway speeds, we'd decided that I should be the one to find out.

Virginia was a flash, 20 miles on the map, but they had us going around the beltway and instead we went through the GW parkway and enjoyed nearly zero traffic. Even the dread bridge crossing was pretty smooth with traffic only picking up when we got into Maryland and approached the exit for 270. 108 miles after we started (sorry I missed the exact time) we left Maryland and entered Pennsylvania. Sunrise was amazing, and I regret that the camera had gotten buried in the back of the car.

We made excellent time, and easily did 3 or even 4 hours of driving each shift the first day and after 14 hours and 735 miles down the road we pulled into Effingham Illinois at just after 8PM.

We stayed at a Hilton Garden Inn, a little pricey, but the hot tub was a major relief and the restaurant was very good.

We sacked out early (especially considering that we'd gained an hour) and decided to keep our trip time on Eastern time (as my brother was heading home Sunday and I felt that it would be easiest for him not to try and adjust).

((this also meant that we were getting really early starts in local time.)



Well that's the first day, 14 hours, 735 miles, and a little less thn 65 gallons of gas (yeah that's not even 12 MPG! The SUV is a pig, and towing a trailer only made it worse. The good news is that the big V8 and full time four wheel drive made towing that trailer effortless.)

Not sure if I'll make the second post tonight or not, the furniture that I had shipped is arriving tomorrow and I want to make sure that everything is out of the way (like the cats!)

Fast job search update: I've gotten a followup call on the interview I had last Friday, they want a face to face and are flying out here to see me. That sounds really good, the only bad part being that they won't be here for another 10 days.

There's also other things working I'd really like to go to that face to face with another job offer in my back pocket.
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AZ Burrowing Owl
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From:kalligraphy
Date:May 9th, 2005 05:08 pm (UTC)
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Actually I used to drive that exact route up GWP, across the bridge and then up I270 in rush hour every morning. Baring accident, it moves just fine. Heavy but not stop and go or even slow. It moves well. You were going up it early enough that probably missed the worst of it anyway.
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From:thirdstreet
Date:May 9th, 2005 06:57 pm (UTC)
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The TripTix are amazing. We got one (and assorted guidebooks) for our drive from Toronto to San Francisco last year. It was dead-on accurate and incredibly handy, especially when planning our breaks and stops. Needless to say, it got us safely where we were going, without a hitch. (Mind you, I'd have liked it to have pointed out that the "scenic route" through Independence Pass was a rather intense drive.)

Sounds like you made really good time. I don't know if I could have stayed seated in a vehicle for 13 or 14 hours straight.