Thursday, August 6, 2015

On the Road: Keep up with the News

Wildfire in Santa Clarita, California in Octob...
Wildfire in Santa Clarita, California in October 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I used to be such a news junkie, but I am not anymore. I guess I just got tired of the 24-hour news cycle. The most I will do is glance at the headlines on news sites. Since I do not have cable, the internet is my only source of information.

When I travel, I catch up on current events in two ways. Each night in the hotel I make sure to read or watch the news. The other way is to check the televisions in the travel plaza while I am on the road. Usually people come inside the travel plaza to pay for their gas, go to the restroom or to purchase food. These activities do not take much time. When I notice a group of travelers in front of one of the television sets, I know something unusual is happening. I make sure I join the group to see if the news affects my travel plans. In most cases the news involves the weather.

Last month two pieces of news affected travelers in Southern California. One item was the Cajon Pass fire. Interstate 15 was shut down because a wildfire had jumped the interstate and burned twenty vehicles. For those driving to Los Angeles from Las Vegas, this created a traffic nightmare. Two days later heavy rains took out a section of Interstate 10. Once again traffic was halted. Vehicles had a lengthy detour to exit the area. This information would have been available on the televisions in travel plazas. A quick check could have helped drivers avoid huge traffic delays.

One of the most reliable ways for me to keep informed is to have a person at home who knows the route I am taking. That person can be on the alert for any news situation that could affect my travel and can also be available to assist me in formulating a Plan B to deal with the dilemma.

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