|Map of our latest trip there and back again.|
Six Days? Five Days? Not sure entirely how to count it, really. We left on Wednesday and got back on Monday, so that's six days. However, we left Wednesday night and drove overnight. So, five days; sort of. The map link above says it was 3,101 miles, but the odometer in the car reports 3186 miles. There were a few little side trips and such along the way which I didn't map out, I suspect.
It was a whirlwind trip, to say the least. We drove to Arkansas to see my wife's family, and we were there for a total of 24 hours then right back on the road again. The first stint was certainly the most difficult though. 23 hours from home to St Louis in one shot and that was after a whole day awake getting ready to leave. This was not really such a great idea, and I managed to get sick in the process. Strep throat, probably, brought on by exhaustion (or rather, I lost the battle against it due to exhaustion). So we had a quick stint from St Louis to Rogers AR to my in-laws' house and I arranged for a visit to a nearby walk-in clinic for antibiotics then off for another night's sleep. We were then back on the road the next day (after a short, but very important family visit which was the reason for the trip) heading back to St Louis. Pretty exhausting trip so far.
The trip from that point on was somewhat easier. We did a long stint to Cleveland OH where we stayed in a hotel. Then a last stint through Corning NY, the Leatherstocking Region and then on to home.
This trip was relegated to Interstate highways because of the tight time frame we had to work within. My wife only had a few days of vacation time she could use, and we had to wedge the whole trip into the five days we had available; hence leaving Wednesday night right after work, instead of in the morning and being better rested.
We did have a few really enjoyable roads in southern Missouri and Arkansas. Federal route 62 and Arkansas routes 12 and 23 are little mountain roads which run through areas of the Ozarks and amongst mountain farm lands. No preplanned arrow straight roads in that area. Driving there was amazing, to say the least. Not only that, they have a decent sense of speed limits out there. Outside of the towns and villages the state speed limit is 55 on roads so small and twisty that up here in the north east towns would slap 30 or 35 limits on them. It was an absolutely wonderful drive, and I am quite glad we took the BMW on this trip, and not one of the SUVs. Not only was I able to get an average of 30.9 MPG, but it was a joy to drive on those little mountain roads.
We're glad to be home though. As with any trip (especially one under such a tight schedule) getting home is always a welcome end to a few exhausting days on the road.
Now, of course, I am already looking forward to the next trip.