Category Archives: Road Trip

Toledo, Ohio to Rochester, Minnesota

This is going to strain our friendship, I think, this drive from Ohio to Minnesota. It will be just shy of 10 hours, which is under out threshold for one day’s driving We will definitely need some stretching when we are done with our 593 miles in the car. It’s going to be an interstate laden drive, buy the time in Chicago will slow us down and we’ll cover the distance at a pace of 60.3. Let’s make our way to the Mayo clinic.

It’s been an active week or so for the northern tier, but a squall line moving through northern Indiana, when it arrives in Toledo, will signal the beginning of the end of the stormy, nasty period for at least a day or two. Fortunately, one of those days will be the one we will be in the car. After Toledo shakes off some morning sprinkles, we will be on our way through some warm but not terribly oppressive weather as we inch through Chicago and eventually roll through Wisconsin, other areas that have been recently raked by severe weather. Actually, both Toledo and Rochester have seen their share of rough weather over the past couple of months. Let’s just keep driving and avoid the gawker slow down at people picking up the pieces after their rough weather.

El Paso, Texas to Lawton, Oklahoma

Just a one day journey today, headed to Lawton, perhaps the only site that you can get to in one day from El Paso. It’s a 655mile drive that will actually take us about 9 1/2 hours. IF you do the math, that’s a 68.5mph average, telling you all you need to know about the terrain we will be covering.

The drive will be extremely warm, with temperatures in the neighborhood of 100 degrees in El Paso and not much cooler through west Texas. I wouldn’t be surprised to see 90s all the way through the drive. The dry line will set itself up along the Texas/New Mexico border, but its associated storms won’t go up until around 4 or 5 in the afternoon, and by that time we’ll be between Abilene and Wichita Falls, well away from any inclement weather. Hot and dry will be the name of this long, steamy drive.

Pocatello, Idaho to Little Rock, Arkansas

Today’s trip takes us 1,555 miles from the lovely Rocky Mountains to the Land of the Ozarks. Off we go!


We begin out trip traveling east out of southern Idaho, watching a beautiful sunrise over the mountains. Well, if we’re lucky. A cold front is making its way through the Northern Rockies, streaming some high clouds out ahead of it with showers pushing their way through the Pacific Northwest. While we should stay dry during the morning as we make our way into southern Wyoming, the skies should remain mostly cloudy out ahead of the front. With the flow increasing ahead of the system, our main issue throughout the day will be gusty south-southwesterly winds of 25-35mph at times, especially in western Wyoming through some of the mountain passes. While we won’t get the worst of it, it’ll still be breezy as we travel through Cheyenne southward into Fort Collins, CO, the stop for our first night.

A fairly quiet start to the day as we travel southbound towards Denver, some partly cloudy skies greeting us. Our area of low pressure over the Northern Rockies is continuing to shift east and intensify some, increasing the southerly flow over the Plains. By midday, some showers and thunderstorms are expected to develop over KS as a remnant boundary kicks up activity. Most of this activity is expected to be off to our north, however, making for some picturesque scenery as we travel eastbound through Hays towards Salina. Some southerly wind gusts might catch us off guard as the low shifts towards the Northern Plains, and maybe a stray thunderstorm or two, but otherwise the evening shall end on a quite note as we roll into Wichita, KS.

Our friendly low pressure system is now shifting fully into the Northern Plains and deepening. The old frontal boundary that was lingering over the Central Plains yesterday has disintegrated as strong southerly flow continues to stream up through the Plains to the low. Also, broad high pressure is found from the Great Lakes down to the Lower MS River Valley, quelling much of the activity through the morning hours. With the low level jet feeding northward, our trip out of Wichita through Tulsa will be rather windy, but dry and sunny. Winds should die down as we cruise across the Arkansas state line at Fort Smith. While we may see some thunderstorms off in the distance, east of Little Rock, we should remain dry as we pull into the state capital.

Elmira, New York to Ocean City, New Jersey

Our trip is short for Saturday, as we will only be moving from one state to the next state over. It’s a 5 hour drive that covers about 302 miles. It will be a slow way, because we won’t get to take the interstate too much, and we’ll only average 57mph. How will the day go? Let’s find out.

It’s been a very active couple of weeks to begin the summer across the northern tier of states. This won’t change for our trip through the Mid Atlantic on Saturday. Showers and isolated thunderstorms will be possible through the day, I suppose, but I wouldn’t worry about them until it’s around 1 in the afternoon, by which time we will be in Allentown, Pennsylvania. After that, some storms may follow us into Ocean City, but really, I just think it’s going to be dry and hot. Well, humid, but you know what I mean.

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!


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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!


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.