Driving Ms. Beverly.

Sorry for no posts the last two days. There is no data network on the road in the desert southwest.

Last Friday morning I got up at a quarter to 4 so I could catch a plane to Tucson Arizona. The purpose of the trip, was to move my 82 year old mother back to Kansas City, after my quite delusional older brother Mark decided to kick her out of the house. That is a post unto itself, that I am not going to go into at this time. I’m still just a wee bit angry about the whole situation and his ill treatment of our mom. What I am posting about today is the experience of driving about 1300 miles in a day and half across the states of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas.

The trip for the most part was rather uneventful. The roads were good. We encountered no bad weather. Traffic was typical I guess, but with gas hovering around 3.50 a gallon and diesel around 3.90 I couldn’t figure out how so many people could afford to haul these giant fifth wheel trailers from Arizona to places like MIchigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Canada. Seriously, I would say that 1 out of every 10 vehicles on the road was a huge diesel truck pulling a monster sized trailer at 10 under the speed limit. All of them heading north, going home for the summer, after spending the winter at a trailer park in the desert southwest. It really was mind blowing. These people are for the most part modern nomads, living 6 to 8 months out of the year in a camper because they hat the cold of winter. It was absolutely crazy.

The other thing I thought was nuts were the number of people cruising at what must have been 100 miles per hour. I had my cars cruise control set at 77, and I was being passed like I was standing still. The only time I didn’t see it was outside Albuquerque, and that was because the highway patrol had probably 20 cops busting people for 10 miles on each side of the city.

The point here is, obviously people don’t give a damn about the cost of gas, and the environment. If they did, they’d slow down, and or buy a second home in the desert southwest. I would think the cost of the fifth wheel trailer, plus the cost of the gas, is equal to, or greater than the cost of a second home. If you had a second home, you could dues it as base camp for weekend get-away or day trips to points of interest. And if you drove at a reasonable speed, like the speed limit you would save enough on gas to pay for part of your trip.

One last thing. All the cellular networks need to update their maps to be just a bit more accurate. While they all boost coverage across large swaths of the country, they need to be perfectly clear… you might make a phone call, but you are not going to use all the features of your new smart phone. I had no data network at all on most of the trip. Most of the time I was on a degraded Edge network. And for a few hundred miles, my cell signal dropped in and out as the geography changed. This meant my GPS app on the iPhone was spotty, Photo’s and blog posts could not be uploaded, and email couldn’t be checked with any level of efficiency. Thankfully there were truck stops with free WiFi, and in New Mexico, two of the rest stops had it, but for the most part it was an Edge network dead zone.

I’m glad I’m back.