Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Travel Tales: Akron to LA 2013 - Day One

In late summer and early fall of 2013, I had to deal with a medical situation that required some extra attention.  I was exhausted during that time since my body was working hard on healing itself. I briefly considered whether driving across the country was a wise idea. After I was given the okay from my doctors, I began my preparations and told myself I would rest more along the way if I needed to do so.

After weeks of preparation and second-guessing every single aspect of my trip, I embarked on my journey. As with every trip, I could not sleep the night before I was to leave. I tried to go to bed at 7:00 to get as much rest as possible, but gave up on that effort at 1:30 and decided to depart.

Originally I was going to leave on Sunday, but noticed the chances of severe weather. That weather system produced a major outbreak of tornadoes. The strong wind continued on Monday, so travel was not an option. Tuesday was my choice even though I realized I had a bad weather situation waiting in the Southwest. I planned for an extra day on the road in case I had to wait until the bad weather passed.

I had a clear day for driving and I was able to avoid all rush hour situations in the major cities that day. That fortunate timing meant I was able to avoid the bypasses and drive straight through Indianapolis and St. Louis. Gas prices along the way were lower than normal. As is always the case, the lowest price was in Joplin, Missouri. I had not seen $2.74 for gas in a long time.

Finding the hotel coupon books on the road was difficult this time. Once I found them, I saw my favorite hotel in Oklahoma City had a coupon and decided that was where I would stay. A couple hours before I was going to arrive in OKC, my daughter called me and said she wanted to contact the hotel to make sure it had available rooms. I am glad she did that because the hotel had no vacancy. A college sporting event was taking place, so that meant many hotels in the area would be booked. After some quick research, we found another hotel on the north end of town. That was fortunate because I arrived in OKC just as rush hour was beginning. The exit was near the Kilpatrick Turnpike, so bypassing OKC in the morning was easy.
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