Info about our April 2009 car trip to Houston.

Mapquest of San Jose to Houston

   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.

Day 1

mapquest of San Jose to Phoenix    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.

Day 2

mapquest phoenix to fort stockton    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.

Day 3

mapquest fort stockton to houston    Saturday we were getting ready to hit the road. Cheryl took the first load out to the truck and reports that she could not get the tail gate to go down. Tony had put a locking mechanism in the tailgate when he installed the roll top cover that can be locked. The tailgate will lock and unlock when the passenger door is locked/unlocked. In this case, you could hear the tailgate unlock but it still would not open. That was the nice part of the morning. Tony went out with her to take the next load and give the tailgate a quick look. Stepping out of the hotel door the first thing Tony said was "forget the tailgate we need to get the spare tire out". In the daylight it was easy to see why the truck wanted to turn right. We had a problem with the front left tire. We were very lucky this thing did not blow out at 80 MPH or even the 70 MPH we were doing once it got dark.

Getting to work Tire damage
Tire damage Tire damage

Days 4- 12

   We stayed in Houston for a week+. We did some work inside the house where we had some water stains. Brought some furniture over from the "warehouse" that Cheryl's sister owns. It is across the intersection from our house. We also got to check out the new roof the insurance company paid to put on after the hurricane Ike damage. Tony's quick fixes from the last trip had held up but it really needed to be replaced.
We also took a day off from doing any work and drove over to Lake Charles, LA to check out one of the casino's. It is close enough to be an easy day trip.

   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

Day 13

mapquest of Houston to Van Horn    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.

Day 14

mapquest of San Jose to Phoenix    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 later.

Day 15

mapquest of San Jose to Phoenix    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.

Last updated: 06-23-09 19:39
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