Category Archives: Road Trip

Columbus, Indiana to Danville, Illinois

A short little trip today, but one that may be fraught with adventure. We are covering only 136 miles in just over two hours (about a 61.5mph pace, for all you speed limit buffs), but it will be a snowy mess! Stay tuned for the Blog Roundup from the Danville area!


It appears as though a clipper riding a jet ridge through the northern Plains will start nosing into our route juuuust as we are departing from Columbus. The heaviest band of snow will lie from about Danville to Columbus tomorrow morning, which doesn’t bode well for our hopes of making this journey quickly. The snow won’t really generate much in terms of wind, and the high end for snow totals is about 2 inches, which will be most likely west of Indianapolis. It’s going to be somewhat harrowing, as it always is when snow is falling, but it shouldn’t be as bad as it could be. So there’s that.

Now for the Blog Roundup from Danville
Storm Center 17’s Lee Davis last updated on the 17th, but talked mostly about his Facebook account. His counterparts at WAND TV have their own blogs here and here. And spend a little bit of time poetically and climactically welcoming the month of December. It should be noted that WAND is labeled as the Champaign-Springfield-Decatur NBC affiliate, so mentions of Danville may be spartan.

Flight from Dothan, Alabama to Honolulu, Hawai’i

Yeah, this little bugger certainly can’t be a road trip, can it? Instead, we’ll be flying from Dothan to Atlanta tomorrow at 2pm, then flying to Portland, Oregon at 6 and arrive their at 10 local time. Following that, we will unfortunately be laid over in Oregon (not that Oregon is a bad place) overnight before finishing the flight to Hawaii at 9 the next morning. So let’s head out on this lengthy, three part flight. (Flight was the cheapest found on www.kayak.com)


Flying from Dothan to Atlanta will likely be pretty easy on our stomachs and our watch, as there won’t be much turbulence, even for our prop plane to Atlanta. There won’t be any limiting conditions, and wind will be calm for the duration of our brief flight.
Heading from Atlanta to Portland will be a somewhat different story. A jet is running along the eastern slope of the Rockies, which should cause a bit of turbulence, amplifying what we typically would see over the Rockies with mountain waves. Turbulence won’t be severe, but we will probably have to buckle up for the last third of the trip. Some lingering moisture will cause snow in the Cascades as we land in Portland tomorrow night, but we shouldn’t have any delays.
The last leg of the journey will be pretty harmless in it’s middle. After we get off the coast, there will be another cold front trying to work it’s way ashore, and we may have to contend with the jet slowing us down for the first hour or two, generally during the ascent on our flight out to Honolulu. There will likely be a thunderstorm or two north of the Hawaiian Islands as we make our descent, but Oahu and Honolulu itself are going to be left alone, and we should land mostly problem free. Winds to 15mph could cause a little side to side pitch on descent, but no real turbulence. After that, enjoy Honolulu!

Battle Creek, Michigan to Ann Arbor, Michigan

Our all Michigan evening continues here on Thanksgiving, as we take an hour and a half jaunt from Battle Creek to Ann Arbor. Not a terribly difficult drive. It’s 80 miles between towns, and we will average about 60mph. Easy math.


The drive between Battle Creek and Ann Arbor tomorrow really couldn’t come at a better time. Winds will be blustery from the northwest, and we should keep both hands on the wheel, but any snow coming at the back end of a cold front pushing through Detroit will be taken off the roadways by the time we make it through town.

Charleston, South Carolina to Terre Haute, Indiana

It’s a surprisingly short distance between Charleston and Terre Haute, and the drive will only take us a day and a half. It’s only 800 miles from the two cities, but the middle of the route takes us right through the Appalachians, so we will be slowed a bit to a pace of 63.1 mph, which isn’t terribly slow, but it’s no west coast drive. Expect to net 505 miles of the 800 on our first day and we can polish off the rest on Tuesday.

DAY ONE

IT’s a wintry mess for a substantial portion of the country today, but one window of pleasant weather is the southeast, including the Carolinas. We will start the day with some coastal clouds but the majority of our day will be spent in sunshine. The route we take is really quite scenic, intercepting only some smaller cities, like Columbia, Asheville and Knoxville, so we should make good time, or as good as time can get while driving through undulating terrain. The end of this rather pleasant day in the car will be in Berea, Kentucky, which is about 40 miles south of Lexington.

DAY TWO
Unfortunately, day two, even if it will last less than (purportedly) 5 hours, will be something more of a challenge. A fairly strong cold front will come crashing into Berea. We will start the day with some very heavy rain and maybe even a thunderstorm as we try to get our things together to make the last leg of the drive to Terre Haute. We may punch through the heavy rain as we cross the Ohio into Indiana, but we will likely still be drizzly until at least Columbus, Indiana. Things will begin clearing out as we arive in Terre HAute, but be sure to bring a jacket!

Rome, Georgia to Charleston, South Carolina

A nice, brief road trip to finish the week, heading from the suburbs of Atlanta to the beach in Charleston. I think this would be a very nice place to spend a weekend. It’s a 6 and a half hour drive to get to Charleston, covering 390 miles. That’s not a very rapid pace thanks to a drive through Atlanta, but we’ll still be covering 61.5mph. We can do it. Bring a beach towel!

We’re looking at a fairly easy drive out to the coast. It’s going to be sunny skies until we reach the far eastern stretch of our route after we cross I-95 on I-20. Even then, it’s just going to be a few puffy clouds that won’t really do much to us. By that point, the sun will be in our rearview mirror, so those clouds won’t even prevent squinting as we drive. Not a bad day in the car.

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.

DAY ONE

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.

DAY TWO
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’.

DAY ONE

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.

DAY TWO
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.

DAY THREE
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.

DAY FOUR
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.

DAY ONE

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.

DAY TWO
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.

DAY ONE


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.

DAY TWO
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.

DAY ONE

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.

DAY TWO
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.