Trip meter 208 miles
We left Dallas and the hospitality of the Austins this morning. Sally made sure we wouldn't go hungry by stocking our refrigerator with armloads of home cooked food! The coast is calling us and the pull is strong. In addition, another cold front promises to engulf most of Texas in subzero temperatures tomorrow and we think we can run in front of it. After a fabulous lunch prepared by Sally, we were finally hitched and ready to roll. We find that the longer one stays in one place, the harder it is to get ready to roll again. We have to traverse Rockwall, Garland, Mesquite, a piece of Dallas, and the tip of Lancaster before we get to Interstate 35 heading south. Did I mention that the wind has picked up in advance of the cold front? The wind was gusting up to 15 mph from the Southwest, which means that we were being pushed sideways a lot, and what with three to four lanes of side-by-side traffic, the various ramps and lane changes, it was taking a toll on my nerves. If I remember correctly, a wind speed of 15 mph would exert a pressure of 2 lbs per square foot, meaning we were experiencing 800 lbs of thrust, at random intervals. Needless to say, we where relieved to get to I-35 and turn into the wind (more or less) and to have the traffic thin out a bit.
I was driving 60 mph which helps to minimize the effects of the more ferocious wind shears, and gives me a lot more reaction time to stay in my lane. Doing 60 on a freeway with a 75 mph limit means that (a)just about everyone was passing us, and (b) it was going to take a bit more time to get to our destination.
We stopped in Temple for a cup of coffee at the local Starbucks and found the town of 70,000 to be quite nice. We were driving down the interstate observing the dark grey clouds and the bare trees, and whipping winds, so we were astonished when we stepped out of the coach to learn that it was 79 degrees! I know, we have a dash thermometer, but it just looked like a cold December day like we'd have had back in Oregon, and we were caught off guard. Back on the interstate we heading to Austin some 60 miles south. We said our mission was to explore the smaller blue roads, and that's what we named this journal, but today's mission is to run in front of the cold weather approaching! Jim Austin texted us at 9:30 PM with the news that it is cold and rainy in Nevada, TX where we were this morning, and we are sitting here in Georgetown with the windows open and a 72 degree breeze blowing through. We heard on the TV weather broadcast that a new record high temperature for December 19th was recorded here today- 84 degrees! Tomorrow we run again, as the temperature is expected to get to freezing by tomorrow night. We hope to make it to Corpus Christi or Rockport in about 4 hours of travel tomorrow. 66 degrees for a high and 42 for the low expected there and building to the high 70's as the week progresses.
Holiday greeting to all, Jeff and Joan