Category Archives: Road Trip

Hagerstown, Maryland to Corvallis, Oregon

A long distance drive today, likely to take us into a short 6th day. It will cover 2753 miles, and after a slow start through some hill country, we will eventually speed up. Our average pace will be 64.9mph, fairly slow for a cross country trek. We’ll cover about 519 miles a day at that pace, which, frankly, isn’t a whole lot. We have some driving to do, so lets get to it!

DAY ONE


Well, we couldn’t have timed our departure better. A system will move into Hagerstown by the time we leage, with a warm front angled from Hagerstown northwest towards Pittsburgh, which is essentially our route to start the day. By afternoon, the heaviest slug of rain will be up towards Cleveland, also part of our route. Rain will clear out by the time we are south of Sandusky, and we will be in dry weather for the rest of the day, which will end in Elkhart, Indiana. Our route will take us just south of Milbury, Ohio, the suburb of Toledo devastated by an EF4 tornado over the weekend.

DAY TWO
Our day will begin quietly, and we can traverse the rest of Indiana and Illinois in peace (aside from any traffic in our neighborhood) though as we slip on out of the Quad Cities, the threat for some showers and isolated thunderstorms will pick up. A developing system in the High Plains will be the culprit, and any rain we see will be the result of hot humid air streaming north. That means it could be torrential at times, but won’t likely be associated with anything severe. Our day will end in Walnut, Iowa, which is about 45 miles from the Nebraska border.

DAY THREE
Most of the rain, at this point, looks like it is going to stay north of I-80 in Nebraska. Expect a lot of driving in Nebraska, by the way. There is a chance we could see some rain before we reach the Panhandle, but the way things have trended lately, it seems much more likely that we will be dry and fairly warm from Walnut to Ogallala, Nebraska. Some rain and a cooler wind will then kick in, ending our party. The day will end in Burns, Wyoming, just after we cross the border from Nebraska.

DAY FOUR
This will likely be the rainiest day of our drive. A distinctly summerlike wave will get hung up over the Upper Midwest and trail back into Wyoming, stalled and bleary. We’ll see our heaviest rain as we pass through the highest elevations of the state. Frankly, we’ll hope to be out ASAP,, given the way things look. Utah will be better, but now much. We’ll again be driving through the peaks and valleys of that state, and contend with some remnant showers into the Panhandle there. The day ends right up along the Idaho border, in Blue Creek.

DAY FIVE
We’ll experience some showers to begin our Sunday. We should get out of it by the time we reach the Rupert, Idaho area, and then finally be in the sun. I can’t foresee any rain for our Sunday afternoon. The day will take us through the rural parts of Oregon, and the day will end in the remote town of Millican, right in the middle of the state.

DAY SIX
With that many words expended thus far, I think we deserve a nice finish to day. We’ll get to enjoy the Cascades in all their sunny glory. Don’t worry about any weather problems as we finally close in on Corvallis.

Benton Harbor, Michigan to Auburn, Alabama

Alabama day continues, with a road trip to the first state alphabetically. We’ll be traversing the center of the country, riding the Tennessee Valley from southwestern Michigan to southwestern Alabama. The trip covers 772 miles and will take us a day and a half. We will start by passing through the fringes of the Chicago metro, then will pass through Indianapolis, Louisville, Nashville and Birmingham before getting off the interstate to head towards Auburn. It will take us a day and a half to head through these metropolises at a pace of 61.3mph. The first day, covering about 2/3rds of the trip will only see 490 miles tick off on our odometer, but it’s going to be slowed down by a Friday drive through all those cities.

DAY ONE

A strongish system skirting the US border in Canada and a weak upper low with a lot of energy to work with in the Gulf will be putting a squeeze on us as we begin our drive. A cold front with heavier showers and thunderstorms with sometimes gusty winds will be sweeping into Lake Michigan as we head south. We’ll be dry for sure until we get to about Indianapolis, when we’ll be in the northern reach of the instability of the southeast. We should stay dry most of the way through Indiana, but the threat for showers and storms will be there, and will only increase as we had south. There’s a good chance we will see SOME rain by the time we reach Franklin, Tennessee, just south of Nashville and our stop for the night, but given the pattern, it’s tough to say exactly where it’s going to hit us. Most likely somewhere south of the Ohio River, however.

DAY TWO
The storms will die off over night, which is nice for any of us that want to sleep. OF course, who wants to do that in a hopping town like Franklin? The storms will take a until after 1 or so to really get going in Alabama and Tennessee, and by that time, we’ll already be on 280 between Birmingham and Auburn. We’ll probably have to dodge a thunderstorm or two in that last hour of the trip, and they will likely be stronger than anything we see on Friday, but there is also a good chance the sun will be shining when we show up in Auburb.

Portland, Maine to Elmira, New York

We’re taking one day to travel through interior New England, driving from beautiful downstate Maine to beautiful downstate New York. The 462 miles of the trip are mostly not on major interstates, and we won’t move terribly swiftly. We will only inch along at 60mph, but it’s all right, given the scenery.


There is a cold front setting itself up through the mid Atlantic, kind of following an arcing path through that area. It’s going to set off some thunderstorms over eastern New York this afternoon, but will slowly drift out of our route tonight. We’re going to have to deal with some trailing showers, probably after we reach the Oneonta, New York area lasting into Elmira, but the rest of the drive will be quiet and very easily manageable. Enjoy the drive!

Jackson, Mississippi to Atlantic City, New Jersey

Or drive today will take us to the gambling haven of Atlantic City from the.. something haven of Mississippi. It’s a 2 1/2 day journey covering 1168 miles. Our first two days will cover 495 miles at the slow pace of less than 62mph. Lots of urban driving. Let’s collect our chips and hit the road!

DAY ONE

It’s going to be a hot one tomorrow. Our air conditioner will be cranked up to full blast, which is fine, because the windows will need to be closed when it rains. After we find our way through Mississippi and are in Alabama, the heat of the day will start kicking up scattered showers and thunderstorms that will follow us right on into Knoxville, Tennessee, our destination for day 1. Nothing will be severe, per se, but some downpours will be heavy enough to make us need the lights and both hands on the wheel.

DAY TWO
Expect a similar drive on Thursday as we had on Wednesday, with thunderstorms ramping up in the afternoon, after we have been on the road for a few hours. The day will take us through Virginia and into Maryland, and the rain will become a more pressing concern after we pass the Roanoke area. Our drive will end in Cooksville, Maryland, west of Baltimore.

DAY THREE
Just a short little trip over to the Jersey Coast and Atlantic City. It will still be rather unstable over the mid Atlantic, but the cooler Atlantic may keep things from going up right over Atlantic City. The drive in will be rainy, with a weak front finally closing in on the area, but we will spend the rest of the day in a casino, so does it truly matter?

Jacksonville, North Carolina to Jackson, Mississippi

We travel from one namesake to another as we go off on a 2-day trip through the Deep South. Whoever could have sponsored this journey? Randy? Peter? Michael? Maybe we’ll find out at the finish of our 852 mile trip.

DAY ONE
We start off the trip on a cloudy note, as some east-northeasterly flow over the region continues to keep some patchy morning fog and low status clouds over the Carolinas. During the morning the clouds will lift up and the fog will dissipate, we don’t expect to see much sun throughout the day as broken clouds will linger throughout much of the region. Scattered afternoon showers and thunderstorms will dot the region as well, which will also be aided by an area of low pressure that’s pushing closer to the Carolina coastline from the waters of the Atlantic. Expect thundershowers to be waning as we pull into Atlanta, GA for the night.

DAY TWO
It should be a somewhat less cloudy morning as we continue our westward trek, aided by a general high pressure and an upper ridge not to far off to the north. Breaks in the clouds for sun to sneak through will become more numerous as the morning progresses. However, it won’t be totally devoid of activity, as some afternoon showers and a few isolated thunderstorms are expected to pop up as we trek into through Alabama. It should be easier to dodge them today than yesterday, however, and be a fairly uneventful afternoon as we finish our drive into MS towards Jackson.

Great Falls, Montana to Fayetteville, Arkansas

We’ll be spending the end of the week in the Plains, as we swiftly cover 1467 miles in three days, the third shorter than the first two. Given the lenient speed limits where we are traveling, we’ll cover some serious ground every day, about 536 miles a day at an average of 67mph. Tough to argue with that.

DAY ONE

A cold front will be sweeping into town as we depart Great Falls, bringing some cold air, wind and rain with it. We should be able to stay ahead of it, as the system is going to tend to shift back to the north, rather than to the east, and by the time we turn south from Moore, Montana, we will likely be in the clear. Of course, when we turn south, the front will catch up with again, and we will be dodging showers and storms right through Billings before the threat finally, truly comes to an end. A nasty thunderstorm complex in the southern Plains will stay south of our route into South Dakota, and we will likely be dry with some partly cloudy skies over Kadoka, South Dakota, which is in the Buffalo National Grassland, and is our stop for the night.

DAY TWO
Any and all inclement weather is expected to have to shift out of the Missouri Valley, for the most part, as we drive on Friday. There will be some morning showers in Kadoka, but the drive through South Dakota, Iowa and into Missouri is expected to be pretty decent. The day will end in Mound City, Missouri.

DAY THREE
Saturday too will not be a problem behind the wheel. A temporary high pressure will establish itself over western Missouri and the Ozarks. The drive into Fayetteville will be enjoyable and easy, so enjoy the scenery on the trip into town.

Lancaster, Pennsylvania to Oxnard, California

No better way to start a week than by planning a road trip that covers the whole thing. It’s going to be a 5 day trip headed out west covering 2703 miles. We’ll get there at a clip of 65.8mph, which will be good for about 527 miles a day for the first 4 days. We have a bit of driving in our future, so lets be on our way!

DAY ONE

The first day of our trip looks like it will be the only truly unpleasant day of the trip. It will be dreary with rain for most of the day, though I wouldn’t anticipate really heavy rain. It will be enough that the windows will likely need to be closed, but it shouldn’t slow the trip. Our drive will end in Lisbon, Indiana, east of Indianapolis, with not much hope for seeing the sun on Tuesday.

DAY TWO
Upon waking up, it will still be a bit dreary in Indiana, and will be a little gray until we cross into Illinois, when things will rapidly clear up. Driving through Saint Louis will be a treat weatherwise, with sun shining and temperatures climbing. A warm front type system is going to be developing over southwestern Missouri, and we will run into some showers and storms around the Lebanon, Missouri area with about an hour left in the day. We’ll end up in Halltown, just past Springfield.

DAY THREE
The little system in the central Plains will spin itself up in place, bringing heavy overnight rain to Missouri, including Halltown. Make sure everything is closed up tight overnight. When we leave Thursday morning, we will be engaged in the shower activity. We’ll begin to clear out by the time we reach Tulsa, but the threat for some rain all the way to the Texas border will continue. Driving the the Panhandle, through Amarillo, however, it will get dusty and dry. The day will end about 20 miles from New Mexico, in Adrian, Texas.

DAY FOUR
The dry weather will continue through New Mexico and Arizona, as one would expect. It will be a bit cooler in the mountains, but the drive will be warm and sunswept. We’ll end in Parks, Arizona, between Flagstaff and Williams.

DAY FIVE
No rain as we approach California, but a trough over the west will drive winds up, and we’ll have to worry about some gusty conditions all the way from Needles to the Coast. Driving through the desert, it may get a little dusty if the wind picks up, but the rain they are seeing to day could keep it down a bit. I wouldn’t count on it. We’ll arrive on the coast with partly to mostly cloudy skies and temperatures in the 60s.

Providence, Rhode Island to Hickory, North Carolina

Late night planning for our day and a half road trip from New England to North Carolina. It cover 821 miles at the snails pace of 59.5mph, which will get us 476 miles on the first day, leaving the rest for a shorter second day. Let’s pick up stakes and drive through some megaplexes, OK?

DAY ONE

An occluded front will sweep out of New England by the time we leave, allowing an unexpectedly dry day as we leave town. We shouldn’t have any issues, actually, as we make our way south out of town and through the New York area. We’ll pass south through Harrisburg and south into Middletown, Virginia with few issues. There could be some chunky looking clouds as we end the day, but we’ll end up problem free.

DAY TWO
As we continue south into Virginia and eventually into North Carolina, the threat for thunderstorms will increase as the day goes on. By Roanoke, we’ll be dodging showers and storms. Nothing strong in terms of hail or wind, and storms won’t last much longer than 15 minutes at a time since we’ll be driving through them, but we may have to concern ourselves with heavy rain and some frequent lightning as we hone in on Hickory, but as long as we have some good Aquatreads, I think we’ll be OK.

Omaha, Nebraska to Port St. Lucie, Florida

A 1552-mile trip from a land-locked state to the one with the 2nd most coastline in the country. Away we go!

DAY ONE
Well, it’s going to be a VERY interesting start to this trip. An area of low pressure is deepening and shifting into the Central Plains as Monday gets underway. Strong southerly flow out ahead of it combined with the increased pressure gradient will make for some very gusty southeast winds, to the tune of 30-40mph at times. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, a good swath of rain will push through Omaha during the morning hours. It’ll be a bit of slow going to start off the day as we push through the rain and the wind, but the most fun we’ll have during the day is outrunning the severe storms that are expected to develop over KS and OK before pushing eastward into MO. While we should be well ahead of the worst of the severe weather, there is still a decent chance of some strong thunderstorms out ahead of this activity during the afternoon hours as we push our way through central MO past St. Louis during the early evening hours. Better hope the windshield wipers are new, because they’re going to get a workout all the way to Mt. Vernon, our end to this rather ugly weather day. Or picturesque if you’re a family of storm chasers!

DAY TWO

Low pressure will have shifted towards the IA/MO border by the morning, with heavy rains shifting through central IL ahead of the frontal boundary. As we start our day heading towards southern IL and ultimately towards Nashville, it’ll be a slow beginning as the heavy rain and some thunderstorms shift through our path. Luckily, this won’t be too long lived as the front looks to shift off to the northeast by the late morning hours. We’re still going to be in the warm sector of these systems however, so with a good amount of instability in the region, scattered showers and storms will dot the TN Valley as we cruise through Nashville towards Chattanooga. Hopefully Nashville escapes these storms, as they’re still dealing with the devastating flooding that hit there last week. Storms should be on the downturn towards the evening hours, especially as we make our way past Atlanta and pull into Macon, the stop for Day Two.

DAY THREE

Finally! After two days of rather interesting weather, high pressure is controlling much of Florida and the Gulf Coast during midweek with a general east to west flow occurring over the state. There could be a couple of popcorn or seabreeze thundershowers over the central part of the FL Peninsula as we drive past Gainesville and Orlando during the afternoon and evening hours. A beautiful sunset should greet us upon our arrival into Port St. Lucie. With a couple extra days of good weather expected over the region, should be a great vacation for everybody along the sands of the Atlantic Ocean!

Corvallis, Oregon to Danville, Virginia

This is going to be a full blooded journey, I tell you what. It’s going to push into it’s 6 days, covering 2815 miles. That’s a long ways. We’ll be able to move along at 64.8mph on average, which means each of those first 5 days we’ll cover 518 miles, leaving the rest of the drive for day 6, which isn’t until Friday. Yeesh.

DAY ONE

A system is charging going to slowly develop over the southwest, as all the best systems do. As this western trough digs over Arizona, an inverted trough will angle it’s way back northwest into Oregon, the site of most of our driving on day one. We will likely avoid any and all rain in central Oregon, but the best chance will be from Bend to Burns. Expect cloudy skies to fill in as we pass through Boise on our way into Bliss, Idaho, which is between Mountain Home and Twin Falls.

DAY TWO
I’m hard pressed to say that day two will be particularly rainy or snowy, but something will certainly happen, particularly after we’ve entered Wyoming. Expect some isolated showers and thunderstorms, but more prevalently, expect snow in the high mountain passes on our Mother’s Day. Just when you expect snow. Our day will end in the awesomely named Fort Steele, just east of Rawlins in Wyoming.

DAY THREE
The low will get better organized overnight, and rain will pick up as we stay in Fort Steele. We will in some murky weather as we head east into Nebraska, though temperatures will be on the increase. Fortunately for our purposes we will trail the actual cold front and will endure cloudy skies and light, post frontal rain instead of a squall line, which will be about 200 miles to our east. We will end the day in Henderson, Nebraska, which is west of York.

DAY FOUR
Wow, Day Four. You don’t see that much, and there is still more to come! We’re going to continue the same luck as we saw on Monday, trailing the front through the Plains. Expect some good clearing for us behind the front, with cool crisp weather in the wake of said clearing. We may encounter some cloudy skies and drizzle very late in the day as we approach O’Fallon, Illinois, which is in the Saint Louis metro. Other than that, good times for the drive on Tuesday.

DAY FIVE
The front will stall through Kentucky along an east-west angle, and will put down a LOT of rain over central Kentucky. Of course, our route takes us through southern Indiana, north of the. There is a decent chance we will stay out of the rain until we reach Lexington, after which we will dodge some hit or miss showers right on through to our Day Five destination, Pax, West Virginia, in the hill country of that particular state.

DAY SIX
The last few hours in the car from Pax to Danville are more than likely going to be dry, but there is still a chance that we could see some light showers out ahead of the next rapidly moving system in the Ohio Valley. That said, I don’t expect problems upon our arrival in Danville, but just know, we may see a shower or two.