Saturday, January 21, 2012

Westward Ho

Lusitano rearing

We are at the Walmart in Demopolis, Alabama (map). We did our final wrap-up at the Montgomery hot site yesterday morning, but I waited until the rain stopped in the early afternoon to ride the scooter over to the chapter to return the key. We also needed to put some fuel in, to keep the level above the generator dip tube, and so we stopped at a station that had $3.69 diesel before we left town.

Between the late start and the fuel stop, we arrived here just a few minutes past sunset. The last time we stayed in Demopolis, almost exactly three years ago -- also on our way west from the Montgomery hot site -- we spent two nights at a lovely Corps of Engineers campground, just upriver of the lock and dam. This time we opted for the free overnight option, as we did not need the power (the low last night was barely 60°) and we're really just passing through. Besides, we've already seen the river and the marina on our last visit. We opted for the truck bypass around Selma this time, as well.

Now that we're done with all of our commitments here in the east, we are westward bound, with a commitment in Las Vegas in the middle of February. We have exactly three weeks to make the roughly 45 hour drive, which makes for a very comfortable drive of just over two hours each day, not counting stops.

Of course, it's never that simple, and as long as we are making the trek, we've arranged the route to make some stops along the way, as well as move us down into slightly more comfortable traveling weather. And, after announcing the route plan, we acquired another visit in Phoenix a few days before we are due in Vegas. Allowing for the flexibility of the other stops, as well as speeding up a bit to make the Phoenix commitment, I am figuring on around two and a half hours per day here in the eastern half of the country, and more like four hours in the western half.

Today we will continue west toward Jackson, MS. The cheapest diesel on the first half of our route will be just west of there, in Clinton, not far from where Louise worked a relief operation for several weeks back in May. Clinton is also were we will pick up the Natchez Trace Parkway, which will take us all the way to the Mississippi River at Natchez.

Photo by LylithLusitana, used under a Creative Commons license.

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