Category Archives: Road Trip

Pueblo, Colorado to Springfield, Illinois

I think this would be one of those drives that people would be willing to attempt in one day, but per our rules, we’ll break it down into two wonderful days. We’ll cover the 938 miles at a pace of 64.9mph. That means the first day will mean we can cover 518 miles. It’s going to be a solid drive, good opportunities to stop at road side attractions, because there won’t be any rain.


There will be literally nothing exciting about this drive. well, nothing foreseeable anyways. There will be no rain, and the terrain will flatten to pancake like proportions. It’s a lot of empty countryside for our Wednesday route, which will take us into Manhattan…. Kansas.

I would like to say Thursday will be better, and in a way it will be. We get to cross the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, as well as pass through Kansas City and St. Louis. But really, in terms of weather, we couldn’t ask for a better trip. Sunny skies, temperatures in the high 70s to low 80s. As close to perfect as you get. Springfield will be just as pleasant when we arrive.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Knoxville, Tennessee

It’s the Philly-Knoxville express as we head from Pennsylvania’s largest city to the Smokeys of eastern Tennessee. It’s going to take us a day and a half to get there, covering 478 miles of the 625 on the first day of the trek. It’s going to be a fairly slow drive thanks to the stretch between Philly and DC, and we’ll only be covering ground at about 59.8mph. Let’s go drivin’!


The first leg of our journey will be delightful, save for the incumbent traffic in Philadelphia, Baltimore and DC, as temperatures should be in the low 70s and there won’t be a bit of rain. A nice little ridge of high pressure is building into the Mid-Atlantic, but will also help pin some showers in the southern Appalachians. The threat for rain will pick up around Staunton, Virginia and will continue along with us right on down to the stop on our trip in Chilhowie, which is southwest of Roanoke. Isn’t that hw it always is? It starts raining as soon as we hit mountains.

A weak little area of low pressure will develop over southern Alabama and shift north to be parked between Huntsville and Chattanooga by the time we are ready to go on Monday. It will be extraordinarily wet for our short drive through the high country along the Virginia/Tennessee border. Somewhere on the order of 1-2 inches will fall around the Tri Cities just during our 3 hour drive. We’ll finally make it to Knoxville, in need of an umbrella.

Alexandria, Louisiana to McAllen, Texas

This delightful Gulf Coastal drive will last just under the official 1 day trip threshold, lasting almost 10 hours. We’ll follow the Gulf Coast almost the entire way on the roughly 600 mile trip. If you can do the mental math, that means we’ll be covering roughly 60 miles an hour. Blame the pace on Houston traffic.

The flow over the Gulf remains easterly, which means some lower level clouds for many places in east Texas. The best threat for a sprinkle will crop up as we drive past the bays and estuaries along the coast, like near Houston and Galveston, or in the Victoria area. Every where else on the trip, expect partly to mostly cloudy skies with some muggy conditions covering the area. Keep the windows up and the AC on, it will make our little journey a little bit more tolerable. Especially if we are spending almost 10 hours in a car together. You wouldn’t want to sit next to me when I’m sweaty.

Billings, Montana to Abilene, Texas

This is a very similar trip as one we took a couple weeks ago, from Rapid City to Laredo, in which we spent our time mostly in the high plains on our way to West Texas. It will be a trip of two days and change, covering about three hours of Texas highway on the third day. It’s a 1234 mile drive that we will cover at a speed of 65.7mph, thanks in large part to the empty expanses we will cover. At that rate, we’ll cover 525 miles on the first two days in the car. There is a lot of prairie between Billings and Abilene, so let’s hitch up the wagon.


A warm front appears as though it will be a little bit more well established over Montana than the forecast had called for yesterday, so there looks to be a good chance for rain through until we exit Montana around noon. As we drive through Wyoming and into northern Colorado, expect clearing conditions, with the undulating elevation being the only issues to speak of. The day will end in Dacono, a suburb north of Denver.

We should be good on our second day in the car, but as we approach the border with Oklahoma and then into Texas, there will be a very remote chance for a thunderstorm anywhere from Lamar, Colorado south to Memphis, Texas, our stop for Saturday. I wouldn’t count on storm chasing because the possibility is so remote, but it is worth mentioning. The better chance is that we stay dry all day, and start to get very warm.

Tropical Storm Karl will be slamming into the coast south of the Mexican Border, but his impact will still be noticed all the way up between Memphis (which is west of Childress, if you are looking for it on a map) and Abilene. It will cut off any moisture, some good subduction will be seen across the area, and we will be left with a very pleasant drive to finish things off.

Madera, California to Sheboygan, Wisconsin

Just one post today, and it’s a road trip, from the Central Valley of California to the shores of Lake Michigan in California. It’s a 4 day journey to cover the 2241 miles. That means we will pick up 536 miles on the first three days (the 4th will be longer) at a rate of 67mph. Here’s hoping for high pressure the whole way through!


There is an area of low pressure over the Great Basin, but even this system will keep all of it’s associated moisture north of the route. Against our better instincts, we’ll actually head south to start, and that will take us through the dry desert, the Las Vegas metro and into beautiful southwestern Utah, near Toquerville which is fairly close to Zion National Park.

The cold front associated with the low that will stay north of us will also not cause us much concern. Instead, we’ll be able to enjoy the magnificent scenery and hope the radiator in our car is functioning properly, as we’re going to fight the elevation changes all the way to Frisco, Colorado, which is east of Vail.

We’re just going to keep on chasing that front right on out of the mountains. It will be rather dry and cool for the entire trip, and the sun will be shining brilliantly the whole day through. Expect to arrive in Wood River, Nebraska (near Grand Island) wondering what happened to all the mountains.

This is where we’re going to make our money. Lots of turns to pay attention to, and quite a bit of country roads. It will still be sunny, still be dry, still be cool. It’s going to be a good way to pull into Sheboygan.

Midland, Texas to Killeen, Texas

Texas is a big state. This is how a trip that stays in state can last over 5 hours. Expect a slow drive (56.7mph on average), as we’ll need to take quite a few state highways and county roads as we cover the 296 miles between the two cities.

Most of Texas will be in great shape tomorrow, and Midland and Killeen are no exceptions. An area of low pressure off the Mexican coast will prevent any moisture from filtering past the Texas coast, while the recent influx of cooler air will keep temperature more manageable than they have been all summer. It should be a happy drive to Killeen.

Rapid City, South Dakota to Laredo, Texas

We’re taking a road trip, well aware of the the hurricane out east. It’s probably a good idea that we’re making the trip through the high plains, then, from Rapid City to far southern Texas. It will be a 1388 mile journey that will take almost three days, thanks to a lot of time spent off the interstates. In fact, almost none of the drive will be on an interstate and all of it will be through corn or wheat fields. Our off freeway driving will mean we will drive at a rate of 62.6mph, and will cover a paltry 500.6 miles a day. It’s beautiful in it’s stark emptiness out there. You have to believe me.


Another deep trough in the Northern Plains is spinning up trouble tonight for the Dakotas and High Plains. We won’t entirely wait it out by the time we are ready to leave tomorrow morning, and there is a chance for some showers and isolated thunderstorms over southwestern South Dakota that will linger as we leave Rapid City. Expect some showers to remain with us as we slide into Nebraska and to remain an issue as far south as Chadron (though the chance will go way down before we even reach Nebraska). Expect some breezy conditions and seasonably cool temperatures as we make our way into eastern Colorado and beautiful Wiley, between Kit Carson and Lamar.

Our drive on Friday will actually take us through some real cities, like Amarillo and Lubbock as we make our way into western Texas. It will continue to be a dry, easy driving day as we drive the high plains. We’ll be on our way to Sterling City, which is between Big Spring and San Angelo, our destination for the night when we will see our first hint of clouds or rain.

The cloudy, intermittently dreary weather will probably continue for most of southern Texas. It’s a possibility that we will stay dry the whole drive, but we may see a little splash of rain, particularly around Del Rio and Eagle Pass. Just enough to force the windows closed in the hot stuffy weather. We’ll arrive in Laredo with cloudy skies and hot temperatures surrounding us like a blanket.

Springfield, IL to Lubbock, TX

A 2-day, 940 mile trip through America’s Heartland. Will we see sunny skies or a good old-natured Plains thunderstorm? How about we dabble in both?!


A large ridge of high pressure has parked itself over the Great Lakes with some patchy morning fog found over Central Illinois. We’ll make our way down I-55 towards St. Louis under sunny morning skies and relatively light winds. The high pressure ridge continues into the Southern Plains, so with the exception of a few high clouds later on in the afternoon, the day should be sunny and quiet. Sunglasses will be a must as we continue through Springfield, MO and make our way down I-44 to Tulsa, OK, our stop for the night.


We head out of Tulsa towards Oklahoma City, with significantly more clouds than we started off yesterday with. A cold front pushing its way through the Plains yesterday has pushed itself further south as well during the overnight. Showers and thunderstorms that continued through the night over CO and KS have pushed ahead of the front into portions of northwestern OK by morning. Overcast skies will take over by midday and we can expect some scattered showers and thunderstorms to wet the windshields as we make our way south out of Lawton, OK and towards Wichita Falls, TX. Chances for showers and storms will remain through the rest of the day into Lubbock, but luckily are not expected to be severe.

Ames, Iowa to Anniston, Alabama

It’s an alliterative road trip to take us to the end of the week from soggy Ames to humid Anniston. We’ll take almost 2 full days to cover the 922 miles that we we want to cover. The route will allow us to cover 63mph, and about 506 miles on the first day. It’s going to be damp at beginning and end. How about the middle?


The only issue we should have on our first day will be leaving Ames. With the recent flooding the town has seen there is a possibility that some roads could still be underwater, making travel a bit sticky as we try to get out of town. The route will take us along a lot of Iowa state highways, which will introduce us to quite a few fun small towns before we are ultimately surprised to come across Saint Louis. The day will end without incident in Goreville, Illinois in the far southern part of the state.

For the most part, the second day of driving, Friday won’t be too bad either. Sure, when we cross into Alabama, we could start seeing some thunderstorms, but that will only be the last hour or two of the entire drive, so we shouldn’t complain. Expect some thunderstorms in and around Anniston upon arrival.

Grand Forks, North Dakota to Ames Iowa

Today’s trip will cover exactly 8 hours. Right on the nose. How about that. It’s a 528 mile journey, so if you do the math, that means we’ll average about 66mph, thanks to driving that will exclusively cover interstates. Let’s just hope that Ames isn’t underwater when we arrive. For once, Grand Forks isn’t.

The trip will get off to a somewhat rocky start with a cold front sweeping into northern Minnesota. Overnight, there could be a little bit of severe weather in eastern North Dakota and northern Minnesota. The boundary isn’t moving terribly quickly, and we’ll be able to sink south of and shower or thunderstorm activity tomorrow after we have reached the Alexandria, Minnesota area. Since it’s still early in the morning, I don’t think we’re going to be in for any huge thunderstorms, just some nagging rain and thunder. South of the front, everything looks good. Look for the typically clear and warmer weather ahead of a front, which will envelope us all the way into Ames.