A week off
I didn't take the time to make a weekly post last week because the wife and I took off on a much needed vacation, without the kids.
We ended up going to Branson, Missouri. Why Branson? First, we where going to go to California and see my brother Dan and be with him for the trip home from Twentynine Palms. His enlistment ended early so the dates didn't work out. Next, we where going to go to Washington D.C. but looking deep into it I figured something that the wife would enjoy more would be in order. So Branson was a third choice. How does any of this have to do with anything automotive you ask? We drove instead of flying. Trip time you ask? 10 hours down, 9 1/2 coming back.
I've done the drive before, on my way back with brother Troy from Twentynine Palms when we took Dan's truck out to his base. So nothing was new to me, I just want to vent a little about some odd laws certain states have. Hello Illinois.
I just get aggravated driving in that State, here are some reasons why. First, Tolls. Sorry Illinois, your sucking extra tax dollars from the drivers and your roads are worse then any other States I've driven in. Where the heck is that money going? Second, like Wisconsin, Illinois has a 65mph Interstate speed limit. Which I think is silly but I'll get to speed limits later. But to top it off they make all trucks over a certain weight and any pulling a trailer stay at 55mph. So when traffic is at a staggered speed you end up in some odd situations when you quickly catch a Big Rig doing 60mph in the left lane trying to pass a Rig doing 55mph in the right and your cooking along at 70+. If anything it makes you stay alert to your surroundings but I sure think you could let the speed limit be a across the board speed. One thing I think they do right down in FIB land is make all the Big Rigs and trucks with trailers stay in the right lane but they have too do that since they have two speed limits.
Wisconsin is by no means perfect. On our way back it seemed everyone was on the road on 90 coming from Rockford towards Madison. We had bumper to bumper traffic and it at times was slow going. I think it could have been smoother if they had the Big Rigs in the right lane so when there where slow downs it is their lane that is the only one coming back up to speed slow.
Now, if everyone could get on the same page and do what Missouri does life would be much easier. 70mph for a Interstate speed, very nice. We keep about a average of 75mph with some 80mph runs with traffic. We made good time threw Missouri because everyone was running the same pace. I couldn't pull off driving times like Troy and I did because the wife wouldn't allow me too. Only a few times where the Rigs stacked in both lanes causing some back ups. For the most part they where trucking along at the same pace as the rest of traffic. Please don't get me wrong when I talk about the Big Rigs, those guys and gals rule. That many miles on the road with a better accident rate then cars and light trucks is amazing. I always give them a wide berth and try to stay the hell out of their way so I won't anger them. Heck, they're a lot bigger then I am. I know I'd lose that battle.
So my solution, 70mph speed limit, Big stuff and vehicles with trailers in the far right lane passing when needed, and no tolls. Now who do I call with this solution?
And also. If your in Branson and looking for a place to stay check out this one.
Outback in Branson
It is in no way a part of the Outback Steakhouse franchise. That chain of restaurants was created a year after these folks went into business.
The Motel portion was really nice, setback from the main drag so there was no noise. The pool area was quite and relaxing. The Restaurant had great food and the Pub was a blast. The wife and I spent a week there one night drinking buckets of Miller Lite and listening to some of the locals sing Karaoke, and it was good Karaoke. Some where really good, I didn't want to leave the couch we sat our tailsides on.
At no time did I exceed any speed limits or break any laws on our vacation, all of the above talk about driving is fiction, poorly written, and full of terrible inaccuracy's :)
Everything about the Outback is true though :)