Getting Out of Dodge


We’ve had our first snowfall, which melted right away, and the Airstream is perched on the side of our front yard headed toward warmer climes. Even though it will be several months, and several feet of snow to move beforehand, our trip to the Southwest is in our minds. We’ve got travel guides, vacation material from Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico tourist offices, and the trailer is winterized and waiting.

One of the big concerns is timing our departure and getting south of the snow/slush zone with dry roads and no blizzards to fight. I know too well how tricky winter driving can be — and as a pilot, also know how unreliable long range weather forecasts are. However, my brother has done it for years — picking a window of decent weather, and driving long distances until he gets out of snow country.

Getting out of Vermont is not easy hauling a trailer. Getting down our driveway isn’t either — summer or winter. However, if we avoid the passes in the Green Mountains, we can hit Route 7 and take our normal cut-over to the Glens Falls and then take the Northway (I-87) south to Albany.

My thinking at this point is to take I-88 over to Binghampton and head south on I-81, which can be terrible in winter heading down toward Wilkes-Barre. We’ll have to stop somewhere north of Harrisburg I suspect, and then head south toward Knoxville. Haven’t thought too much about beyond there — since I may have an airplane to look at in the Knoxville area. (I’m in the market for an old Luscombe)

I’ve done some online research on Flying J and Walmart locations along the way and need to gameplan as to how and when to activate the winterized systems. As I sit in front of our woodstove, it’s fun to think about heading into warm dry desert territory in early 2010. We just have to make sure we get out of Vermont unscathed — easier said than done in January.

photo from skidrd

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