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The Road to Tennessee: Day 1

Saturday, August 14 – 2021

Something always happens to the best laid plans. You plan, configure, adjust, reconfigure and tweak until you have set the course you’re going to take. When the day comes to execute the strategy, the starting gun is fired and off you go!

The goal was to have the truck packed and ready to roll Friday night. Come Saturday morning, we’d button up that which was left and hit the road around 10am. Thanks to the help of some friends, the truck got 99.9% packed. Even with as fast and efficient as the work went, it still took about an hour and a half longer than I anticipated.

We have a lot of crap.

Tori and I didn’t get to bed until almost 3am. Needless to say, we didn’t get up as early as we wanted. This led to not getting things buttoned up in our set time frame. The result: We didn’t get on the road until 2pm.

What’s four hours when you’re traveling 2,200 miles, right?

The end game of the first day’s drive was to make it from Kalispell, MT to Sheridan, WY. That’s roughly 600 miles. If one averages 60 mph for 600 miles, one would think that it should take 10 hours to get there. With a departure time of 2pm, roughly 10 hours on the road, we should arrive in Sheridan around midnight. That’s just a little later than the 8pm arrival time that we had hoped for.

We didn’t average 60 mph.

Western Montana is very hilly. It’s the Rocky Mountains for cryin’ out loud. One thing about 26 foot long diesel moving trucks is that they don’t like to climb hills at a decent rate of speed. They descend quite nicely. However, going up they whimper like a baby who has had their bottle stolen. Needless to say, we whimpered a lot. When climbing the hills we were lucky to hit 45 mph. Sometimes we sped up the hill at 25 mph. On top of the slow speed, the truck would run hot. I’m talking warning light hot. At one point we had to stop to let the truck cool down.

Another thing about large moving trucks is that they bounce around. Plus it’s hard to judge if you’re centered in your lane. I kept erring to the right hitting the rumble strips, or diving by braille, quite a lot. I think I hit the braille-line more in that first day of driving than I have in my entire driving career.

All in all, the first day went well. We just ran late with our arrival in Sheridan, WY being around 2am. Since our checkout time was 11am, at least we knew we’d be on the road for Day 2 a little earlier. Hopefully the next day’s journey would go well also.

First we had to get some sleep.

(Photo by: Tori Close)

Published by Derek

Musician, Writer, Husband of Miss Tori & Son of the King!

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