We wanted to make a return trip back to Houston to finish up a few of the small items left over from Hurricane Ike trip last September. Tony's work was also asking them to take 10 days vacation that quarter to get them off of the books. The two reasons came together and once again we loaded up the truck and hit the road.
We left for Houston Thursday (4/16/09). The plan was to be in
Houston on Saturday. We managed to make the 700+ to Chandler AZ the first night. On
the last trip we stopped in Phoenix AZ the first night. Chandler is just east of Phoenix. We figured it
would be better to drive the extra 20 minutes and stay the night on the other side of the downtown
area. This will get us past the next mornings commute traffic we hit last time.
Friday we spent the day driving the 650 miles from Chandler AZ to Fort Stockton TX. It was a nice drive.
Once again both Arizona and New Mexico have nice rest stops. It was very windy for most of the drive and they still had a lot
of construction near Tuscon AZ. The only real bad part was hitting the Friday afternoon commute traffic in El Paso, TX.
One would not expect El Paso to have as much traffic but it does. The TomTom Sat Nav has a nice feature to tell you what
lane to be in, so that was a big help. Once we got pass El Paso the truck seemed to want to pull to the right a little bit.
The speed limit quickly jumped to 80 MPH and we flew into Fort Stockton for the night. However the pull to the right was
getting a little worst. Since it was dark when we arrived in Fort Stockton, we would have to wait until Saturday morning
to check things out.
|Getting to work||Tire damage|
|Tire damage||Tire damage|
Here are a few of random photos taken while in Houston.
|The truck got new shoes||The new tires|
|The new roof||The new roof|
|The new roof||The new roof|
|Tony put in a new bathroom light||We also picked up some used furniture|
|Ant hill in the yard||Another one(nothing like that back home)|
|Cheryl and her mother in the warehouse||Cheryl and her mother in the warehouse|
|Seen this truck on the way to Lake Charles, LA||Satnav and Sat radio ready to head home|
We left for home on Monday morning. This time we thought we would travel a little longer on
the fist day of driving and make the second day a little shorter. Instead of stopping in Fort Stockton, TX we
would keep going to Van Horn, Texas which was about 631 miles.
A brand new Hampton Inn had
just opened a few days prior to our heading home so we thought we would check it out.
The drive was rather uneventful which is what you want. However, we did hit some very heavy rain near San Antonio and it lasted about 2 hours. The kind of rain where you can hardly see the truck ahead and you have to slow way down. It was also thundering so hard that you could feel the truck shake from it. Lucky the storm was headed to the east and we going to the west.
Tuesday we started the 550 miles to Phoenix AZ in the morning. It made for
a shorter day and our plan was to stay at the same hotel we stayed at last September
when we made this same trip. This hotel is on the west side of Phoenix and would let
us avoid any morning commute traffic. Only problem was we managed to hit Phoenix during
the afternoon commute. The last 5 or so miles were stop and go. I guess we could have
left a little later or goofed off more during the drive to have gotten in a little
Finally we were on the last leg home. We pulled out of the hotel and
decided to top off the tank with some $1.79 gas. By the time we got back to San Jose the
price was up to $2.41 at the gas station near our house. As soon as you hit California
the price jumps up.
Here are a few more photos taken on the driving part of the trip.
|We got a kick out of this truck||Just about to leave Texas for New Mexico|
|But first, lets stop for a Slurpee/Icee||One of the rest stops|
|More rest stop scenery||Yep, more rest stop scenery|
|You almost expect to see Wile E. Coyote to fly buy on a ACME rocket||Enough with the rest stop scenery|
Once again we did about 3800 miles round trip and got a little over 24 MPG average for the entire trip.