Category Archives: Road Trip

Naples, Florida to Beaumont, Texas

Today’s journey will wrap us around the Gulf Coast for a couple of days. It’s a 1054 mile drive, and we will be able to net 533 miles on the first day thanks to a rapid pace of 66mph. Making good time, having a good time. Or something.

DAY ONE

An area of low pressure is developing over the center of the country, and doing so rapidly. Our first day will take place entirely in Florida, and it’s a matter of timing for when that cold front comes crashing into the Florida Peninsula. I say we will see some passing clouds, maybe an occasional area of showers until Ocala, when we are due for the initial wave of heavy thunderstorms. We stand the chance of seeing some heavy weather until at least Live Oak, maybe even all the way to Tallahassee. In Florida, these strong thunderstorms are typically windy systems with occasional small tornadoes, so be on the lookout for that, and keep your hands on the wheel. The day will end in Caryville, which is in the Panhandle.

DAY TWO
After the heavy weather on our first day in the car, it’s going to be a rather pleasant drive on Monday. Behind a cold front, we’ll have a west-northwest flow that will cut the stifling heat that one might expect along the Gulf Coast. Even the humidity will be down somewhat as we arrive in sunny, beautiful Beaumont.

Allentown, Pennsylvania to Santa Cruz, California

Yup, a grueling 2906mile cross-country trip that’ll take 6 days. Best get on our way…

Day 1
Clouds will be streaming over Allentown early in the day as a warm front slowly lifts its way towards the Southern Great Lakes. The first half of the trip should be fairly benign with clouds thickening and lowering, however, light rain showers will begin to show themselves by early afternoon. As we make our way into Ohio and head towards Cleveland, some moderate rains will be possible as the main area of low pressure that’s affecting the region passes off to our south. No thunderstorms are expected for us, as those will remain a decent distance towards the south. We will need to make sure the windshield wipers are in working order though as we finish off the day making our way towards Toledo, the stop for our first night. A few light rain showers will still be possible in late evening, but will continue to dwindle overnight as the system presses eastward.

DAY TWO
Dry weather greets us as we wake up for our next leg of our trip, but will be markedly cooler with morning lows in the upper 20s with high pressure starting to build in during the morning. Mostly sunny skies are expected as we trek into northern Indiana with temps warming into the 40s by midday. Today should be a fairly non-descript day as we continue past the south side of Chicago and towards the Quad Cities. Southerly winds might pick up some towards the latter pary of the day as we make our way to Des Moines, our stop for the day, as another system starts taking shape over the Southern Plains.

DAY THREE
As an area of low pressure ejects into the Southern Plains, the winds could kick up a lil bit during the morning hours as we hop back onto the I-80 and continue our westward march through the Plains. Some light rain is possible during the morning as the low pressure makes its way fully into the Plains, but will increase to a possibly heavier steady rain as we continue west on I-80 through Omaha and through the Cornhusker State. Rain will start to lighten up as we cruise past North Platte and pretty much end as we make our way past Ogallala. Clouds will continue to linger over the area as we make our way to Sidney, NE, the halfway point of our journey.

DAY FOUR
By now the kids are getting restless as the batteries in the Gamy Boy gets low, but soon they’ll have something to keep them entertained, mountains! The topography that we’ve been lacking the last couple of days will show up almost immediately as we make our way into Wyoming and past Cheyenne. High pressure will be moving over much of the Rockies today, so aside from some lingering low clouds early in the day that’ll burn off, just some mostly high clouds will dim the sun from time to time as our exploration of I-80 continues. Again, today should be a fairly non-descript day as we wind our way into the Rockies and finish our day at Salt Lake City. Who’s up for a swim!?

DAY FIVE
A large trough is going to start moving its’ way towards the West Coast, so clouds will be on the increase as we make our way out of Utah and wind our way through Northern Nevada. The view should still be entertaining and clouds will remain high as the thicker ones haven’t quite been able to push over the Sierra Nevada just yet. A couple of isolated showers are possible during the early afternoon north of Battle Mountain and Winnemucca, but our afternoon should continue on the dry side. A couple of stray showers might be able to make their way over the mountains and into Reno as we finish our day, but most of that action should be moving in overnight.

DAY SIX
We finish our exploration, and our trip, today as we make our way up into the Sierra Nevada towards Truckee, CA. Most of the heavier rains will have happened during the overnight, and begin to lighten during the morning hours. It’ll be slow going during the morning with the wet roads and steep grades, but luckily today’s trek is not nearly as long as the rest of the trip. Conditions will dry out as the bulk of the system pushes into the Northern Rockies. A few lingering upslope showers are possible as we head out of the Tahoe National Forest, but for the most part the rest of the day should be on the dry side. Some low clouds will continue to linger over the area as another system will move in towards the overnight hours, but the rest of the drive into Santa Cruz should by dry, but cloudy. Finally, we’ve arrived at the Pacific Ocean! And we didn’t even need to ford a river.

Columbus, Georgia to Gainesville, Florida

It’s a little shorty with this shift, that will take less than 5 hours. We’re headed south into Florida, a trip that will cover 279 miles. If you do the math, that means a slow pace of 59.4mph. Let’s go ahead and inch our way to Florida.


Not only will the drive be brief, it will be remarkably easy. There could be a few lingering clouds over southern Georgia, but really nothing that should hinder our drive. Things will simply clear out, probably by the time we reach Albany, Georgia. Sunny and seasonably cool conditions await us in Gainesville.

Jonesboro, Arkansas to Newport News, Virginia

Are you excited for this two day excursion that will zig-zag from northeastern Arkansas to southeastern Virginia. It’s a 974 mile, mountainous journey that will put us through 2 full days of driving. In a perfect scenario, we’ll drive at 63mph and nail down 505 miles on the first day. We’ll see how that goes.

DAY ONE

The first day of our trip will be rather wet, to say the least. The center of low pressure will pass right over Arkansas and push an occluded front with some heavy raun and even a Thunderstorm right over Jonesboro early on Sunday. the heaviest of the rain will have pushed off to our east at 10, our departure time, but as we head to the east we will catch up with the very heavy rain once again. By the time we reach Jackson, Tennessee, the light, scattered showers will turn themselves into heavy rain again, with thunderstorms in the mix as well. We’ll have to contend with fairly strong showers or storms until we reach Cookeville. We may see some clearing after that, but the boundary will still chase us on into Morristown/Lowland Tennessee, which is in the far eastern corner of the state.

DAY TWO
The system will pull it’s self through the Appalachians and the Smokies and we will be in line, perhaps, for some snow as we wake up in the highlands of Lowland, Tennessee. It won’t be much, but there will continue to be the threat for a flurry mixed in with any spotty showers up along the spine of the Appalachians to I-64, where we will make our eastward turn, when our mix will turn to all rain again. Today, we’ll be behind the the front, however, so the threat for thunder is reduced. It will certainly be dreary as we arrive in Newport News on Monday evening.

Allentown, Pennsylvania to Montgomery, Alabama

Our late week drive is going to be a two day trip south to Alabama. It’s a 961 mile journey that we will cover at a rate of almost 63mph. We’ll net ourselves 503 miles on the first day and finish it off on day two. It looks like we will be having a pretty enjoyable drive, so let’s bundle up and head on out!

DAY ONE

Another area of low pressure is developing over the southeast, preparing to shift jut off the coast. We won’t see any rain or anything out of this system, but moisture wrapping around the circulation will likely interact with the Appalachians and produce some clouds almost as soon as we pass into Virginia. They will stay with us right on until we reach Bristol, along the Virginia/Tennessee line.

DAY TWO
As we sleep in Bristol, the low off the coast will pull away from the coast and allow some clearing to find it’s way into eastern Tennessee/western Virginia. Clouds will be reluctant to depart because of our position in the hill country, but as we hit flatter land south of Chattanooga, we’ll be able to enjoy some sunny, warm conditions. We’ll see them all the way to Montgomery.

Fresno, California to Allentown, Pennsylvania

We’re looking right down the barrel of a daunting 6 day trip from the San Joaquin Valley to the Lehigh Valley that will cover 2823 miles. That last day will only be a few hours in the car, but the first 5 will cover 529 miles a day and we’ll put 66 miles behind us an hour It’s going to be a pretty extravagant trip, so lets get on the road before we change our mind.

DAY ONE

The good news is, our first day of travel will be uneventful. Driving from Fresno to anywhere almost always takes us through the desert, as it will on Wednesday. With an area of low pressure sliding into the northwest, high pressure wasn’t even in effect for the Mojave, so the drive to west of Ash Fork, Arizona, will be pretty boring, frankly.

DAY TWO
Our second day of travel will again be fairly dormant, headed from northern Arizona to northern New Mexico, and the city of Montoya. We’ll be able to traverse the extent of the mountains and get into some plains for our drive on Friday. Good for gas mileage, maybe not so good for scenery.

DAY THREE
A nice, Spring area of low pressure will be developing over the Northern Rockies by the time we hit Oklahoma on Friday. It will dangle a cold front into the High Plains by Friday afternoon and bear down on the state into the overnight. We won’t notice much change, aside from some warming temperatures and southerly wind during our travels, we won’t notice much change. While we spend the night in Adair, Oklahoma in the northeastern part of the state, we will likely notice the thunderstorms a bit more.

DAY FOUR
That darn cold front is going to set itself up right along I-44, which won’t e a problem for many people, except those taking I-44. That would be us, of course. Don’t be surprised to see showers and thunderstorms along the way from Adair into Missouri. The strongest storms and heaviest rain on Saturday will likely come between Sullivan and Saint Louis, Missouri. The final 2 1/2 or 3 hours across Illinois will be drier, and we’ll be out of all the rain by the time we reach Vandalia, Illinois. The destination will come a couple hours later in Terre Haute, Indiana.

DAY FIVE
For the most part, we will remain ahead of the system that will bisect the country on Sunday, evading a few prefrontal showers but likely having to deal with clouds the whole way. Showers will likely be at their most persistent from Terre Haute to Dayton, Ohio with lighter showers possible after that. The conclusion of our final full day will be on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in the town of Breezewood.

DAY SIX
Finally, Monday we will have less than three hours to contend with the slick roadways of central and eastern Pennsylvania. And make no mistake, they will be wet. The system will finally catch up with us and begin to ascend to the north. The central circulation will be just east of Allentown, which means heavy rain will only get heavier as we head through the Appalachians into Allentown. The Lehigh Valley’s weather will be considerably wetter than that of the San Joaquin.

Memphis, Tennessee to Elkhart, Indiana

Our first trip on the new version of the site takes us from Memphis to northern Indiana on a trip that will take us nearly 10 hours. Not a terrible day, but longer than we are used to. It’s a 611 mile trip that will see us travel at a rate of almost 62mph, slowed down by the intricate interstate systems of Memphis and Chicago. It’s going to be a soggy trip, so lets change those windshield wipers and be on our way.


It will have been miserable in Memphis for about 48 hours by the time we leave, so why should we expect anything different? A whirling mass of rain and clouds over the center of the country isn’t going anywhere. The most recent round will feature a stronger cold front that is primed to enter Memphis just after midnight tonight, bringing some thunderstorms into the mix. As we leave Memphis, we’ll be driving in the heaviest of the rain, but will see an abrupt clearing as we pass through Arkansas, Missouri and into Illinois. This front is the best chance we have at some legitimate clearing. It will actually be fairly dry, but probably cloudy most of the way through Illinois, a fairly fitting climate for anyone who is driving through rural Illinois. As we pull into the Kankakee area, we will run into the rain once again. The occluded system will have wrapped itself back east at Chicago, which means we’ll likely be in the rain the rest of the way to Elkhart. Not just a little bit of rain either, but a soaking, thorough rain. Better than snow.