Category Archives: Road Trip

Lafayette, Indiana to Reading, Pennsylvania

We’re looking at a shorter, less snowy drive for our road trip today. We’ll be departing Lafayette and heading east for a day and a half until we arrive in Reading. The mileage on this trip is 662 miles, and the first day will cover 480 of those miles, because the eastern interstates tend to run slower. For example, our speed will be about 60.1mph, which is a far cry from yesterday’s trip.


This certainly WILL be the exact opposite of yesterday’s trip. We will be south of the track for nasty weather that is presently established through Canada. This will mean nothing but smooth sailing from Lafayette to Somerset, Pennsylvania. There aren’t many places to stop along the PA Turnpike, so we end up stopping in Somerset a lot, it seems.

The rest of the little trip through Pennsylvania will probably be cloudy, what with the Appalachians and a storm system sneaking into New England. I don’t expect any rain or snow or anything like that, but perhaps just enough to keep the sunglasses in their case. Reading will be at the very southern fringe of every system that comes through the Northern US over the next several days, so enjoy that.

Bellingham, Washington to Lafayette, Indiana

This one is going to be lengthy, my friends. There is a lot of ground to cover between Bellingham and Lafayette. It will be a 4 day trip that covers 2258 miles. The first three days will cover 531 miles, leaving the rest for Sunday. The extensive time spent on western interstates will mean a speed of 66.4mph, allowing such a high daily total for our drive. That’s out of the way, let’s get forecastin’.


Unfortunately for our purposes an area of low pressure is diving from the Gulf of Alaska into the Pacific Northwest. There is an honest to goodness cold front associated with this which will mean some more consistent wind flow than there usually is with the Pacific Northwest confused jumble that we have all grown to expect. That said, it will rain almost entirely through the day tomorrow. The heaviest will be along the coast to Seattle, then east towards the Cascades. After we start making our way uphill towards the Snoqualmie Pass, all that rain will turn to a sticky, wet snow that will really slow things down. I hope you have snow tires. It will continue until we get to the top of the climb and start winding back downhill when, suddenly, things will clear out. They will last from the leeward slope of the Cascades until about Spokane, when the dreary skies will probably start spitting some drizzle again. The end of the day will be in Big Pine fishing area in Montana northwest of Missoula. Bring a tent.

That system will continue to follow us into the expanse that is Montana. We will be ducking the snow most of the day, and the precipitation we see will definitely be snow, until we start coming out of the mountains around Butte. From Butte to Bozeman the snow will likely be at it’s fluffiest, with some rain possibly mixing in from Bozman to near Billings. We will get out ahead of the wintry mix eventually to Eplie, which is in the rural southeastern Prairie. No way of knowing if they actually have services there. Bring a tent.

The flurry activity will remain with us when we wake up on Saturday morning. The good news is that, when the system sets itself up on the lee side of the northern Rockies, it’s going to slow down. A warm front will set itself up through North Dakota, or the Dakota we will not be in. Hooray! This means we’ll be able to enjoy sunny skies and seasonably warm temperatures as we make our way to Luverne in the very southwestern corner of Minnesota. It doesn’t come along very often that we end a day in Minnesota. How exciting. And I’m almost certain that we can stash the tent in Luverne.

It’s going to be a long drive to get from Minnesota to Lafayette. I used to make this drive when I was in school though (I went to Purdue, for those that have never checked the about us page), so it can be done. Once again the storm system will catch up to us while we sleep. In this case, however, temperatures will be warm enough aloft and at the surface that we will see only light rain and fog with the system. It’s going to be a Sunday as well, so traffic in the Chicago area will be slowed but not impassable as we reach that last interminable bit of driving. Trust me, the drive from Chicago to Lafayette is tough. It’s not a difficult drive objectively, but after spending 9 hours in the car in crummy weather already, it’s not so much fun. Anyways, maybe some drizzle in Lafayette.

Lansing, Michigan to Sioux Falls, South Dakota

After I took my nice, relaxing road trip out to the west coast, here is a nice, relaxing road trip through the upper Midwest. It will take a day and a half to cover 819 miles. We’ll keep a pace of 64.2mph, thanks in large part to our time spent on I-80. Our pace will allow us to notch 514 miles on Monday, leaving a short little drive on Tuesday.


Much of the upper Midwest made news this weekend for the big time snow totals, which came earlier in the season than is typically expected. Well, I am happy to inform you that this isn’t the expectation for this little adventure. As soon as we get to I-80 in the Chicagoland area, we should start to see some sunny skies as we pass through Illinois. Sunset comes early, so the sun will be in our eyes until the Quad Cities, then it will simply be beyond the horizon from then on. By the end of the day, a few clouds could start filtering back in. It shouldn’t be a terrible drive.

A little pulse of moisture will pass along the Iowa/Minnesota border as we sleep, and some of those clouds will remain in place as we drive towards Omaha, then north into Sioux Falls. Still, there shouldn’t be anything by way of disruptive weather, though don’t count out the chance for a decorative snowflake or two as we approach our destination.

Fayetteville, Arkansas to Blacksburg, Virginia

One day before I go on my road trip, it’s time for a forecast for another fictional trip, from the Ozarks to the Appalachians. This trip is about two days in the car and we’ll roll up 944 miles on the odometer. We’ll be able to cover 64.5 miles per hour, indicative of some solid interstate travel. Our first day we will cover 516 miles, leaving the rest for Wednesday.


The rain will begin picking up in the Ozarks tonight and last through the morning. This almost always leads to fog in northwestern Arkansas along 540, some of which could last right through noon as we leave. The heaviest of the rain will stay south of our route through Arkansas, but after we clear Memphis and begin our drive towards Nashville, we will stay much clearer, though some clouds may obscure the sun a bit. Our day will end on the west side of Nashville.

There is a decent enough chance that soe showers will filter their way into Tennessee overnight, and leave us in for another drizzly day as we push eastward. The fog we experienced at the outset will return when we hit the Smokies and the Appalachians. The drizzly conditions should leave us behind after we finally get into Virginia and begin working our way into Blacksburg. There will be a chance for some overcast conditions in Blacksburg, but hopefully it means no sunburn.

Janesville, Wisconsin to Raleigh, North Carolina

Road trips headed east are a lot easier, in their way, than those headed west, because if there IS any weather, more than likely it will stay with you for the length of your travels. Our trip starting on Halloween, spooky though that is, will cover 973 days and last 2 days. We’ll be able to cover 61 miles per hour, slowed by the distance traveled through higher elevation and on non interstate roads. This will mean the first day will end after 489 miles. Let’s get our haunting haul away.


An upper level trough is still sort of lagging through the Great Lakes, and a brisk northwesterly wind will give us a little bit of a tail through Chicago, which will be goo on the gas mileage and doubtless give way to a few “Windy City” quips. As morning turns to afternoon and we turn towards the southeast, wind will die down, and we’ll be left with clear sailing right on through to the Lexington, Kentucky area, more specifically Wyandotte, on the east side of town.

The winds will be westerly in the Carolina plains, which may lead to a bit of a cooling trend in Raleigh, but will certainly lead to some dry weather for most of our drive. Some fog could linger in West Virginia through the morning, even into the early afternoon, but we will drive out of it and be on our way towards Raleigh in no time. Sunny skies are expected in Tobacco Road.

Cleveland, Tennessee to Chicago, Illinois

From the Southern Appalachians to shore of Lake Michigan, this trip will cover 625 miles. We’ll split it up into 2 days and give you a bit of an overnight rest in Indianapolis. Away we go!


As we travel northward to Knoxville then onwards to Lexington, clear skies and calm winds greet us as high pressure looks to take hold over much of the Mid MS Valley and OH Valley. It’ll be more of the same as we make our way past Cincinnati to Indianapolis, our stop for the night.


Nothing much else to speak of today either, as high pressure over the region will keep the trip from Indianapolis to Chicago dry and only seeing a few high clouds. Time to put on the sunglasses and visit Navy Pier!

Columbia, South Carolina to Rocky Mount, North Carolina

A trip through the Carolinas is in order for tomorrow. It will take us only 4 hours to cover the 254 miles, which will put us at a pace of roughly 62mph. Why don’t we get on our way?

There is a system that will be sweeping into the Carolinas as we drive between South and North. The moisture will wait to begin producing rainfall until the afternoon, until we are in the Benson, North Carolina area, leaving us only with about an hour of driving in the rain. We’ll get to experience the bulk of the activity while we are doing whatever it is we need to do in Rocky Mount.

Palm Coast, Florida to Punta Gorda, Florida

It’s just a short little intra-state adventure as we head from the Atlantic to Gulf Coasts of Florida, covering 215 miles over 4 hours and change. That means a pace of 52mph, because we’re not exactly taking interstaes on this trip. Let’s see Florida!

The drive across Florida will be beset by a few obstacles. The first will be the sun, which will undoubtedly be in our eyes. The second is the warmth, which will mean the windows should be rolled down, making it difficult to hear the radio. Then, of course, is the drive through Orlando, and the inevitable desire to stop at Disney World. So, pretty tough drive to Punta Gorda.

York, Pennsylvania to Jonesboro, Arkansas

High pressure is beginning to become the norm across the country, which bodes well for our 979 mile, two day trip from Pennsylvania to Arkansas. As always, we will be slowed by the drive through the Appalachians, however we will be able to maintain a respectable 62.5mph pace. The first day will be a little bit longer, but we’ll cover 500 miles even on that first day. I hope you bring your sunglasses.


High pressure has a crushing death grip on the center of the country. There is a little area low pressure over the northern Rockies trying to gather some energy, but that’s going to promptly fall apart in the face of the much stronger ridge. I guess what I’m trying to say is enjoy the drive, because you won’t have any weather to contend with. The day ends in Huntington, West Virginia.

Kentucky is probably one of my favorite states. Very friendly people, a lot of beautiful natural phenomenon, and generally some of the best weather in the country by almost anyone’s measure. We’ll spend a lot of time in the Bluegrass state, so you’ll be able to tell me if you share my opinion on this second day on our trip. No problems in Kentucky, and none in Jonesboro either.

Blacksburg, Virginia to Jackson, Michigan

Talk about consistency. The last road trip I did was 507 miles. This one is about a 5K jog longer, at 510 miles. Will this jaunt from Virginia Tech to Eastern Michigan University have sunny skies? It’s the famous Hokies/Eagles showdown, road-trip style!

Upon our departure from Blacksburg, only a few scattered clouds are expected as high pressure continues to build into the Eastern Great Lakes and Ohio Valley. For pretty much the entire trip northward through WV and Ohio, clear skies will rule, along with some gusts of 15-20mph. Don the sunglasses and enjoy the trip!