It’s always wise to prepare carefully when traveling a long distance. I attended a writing conference 120 miles from home yesterday. I packed carefully, making certain that I had all of my medication, clothing, and other essentials. I also packed my Kindle because I always like to have something to read.
The drive to Branson on Friday morning wasn’t bad at all. There were a few construction zones, but no real delays. Traffic flowed fairly smoothly, and I managed to avoid the congested streets once I arrived. Everything went well.
The drive home was an entirely different story. I stopped in Ozark to meet some of my family at a restaurant for a short a visit. I ate a sundae while catching up with those I see far too infrequently. When we were finished visiting, I climbed in my car and left. I didn’t fill my gas tank or buy any snacks to take with me.
I was driving down I-44 and making good time until the traffic simply stopped. We were lined up for as far as I could see, which was several miles. I had a half tank of gas, a small cooler with two cans of Diet Dr. Pepper, my cell phone, my device charger, and my Kindle.
Traffic sat absolutely still on the interstate for well over an hour. I killed the engine after about 15 minutes and rolled down my windows to save gas. It was hot, but not unbearable. I would have been bored out of my mind if I hadn’t brought my cell phone and Kindle.
Sometimes I forget about the technology at my fingertips. I was able to discover that there had been an accident on the highway from a friend on Facebook. Another friend reminded me that I could check for construction zones and traffic delays before and during travel. The site for Missouri is Missouri Department of Transportation. I’ve used this site before, and it’s quite helpful. I just didn’t think about checking before I left this time. I had other things on my mind.
I should have planned better, but everything worked out fine. It was a nice enough day that I could roll down the widows and turn off my engine. I had eaten ice cream when I met my family, so I wasn’t hungry. I had my cooler of cold soft drinks, so I didn’t get thirsty. I had my charger with me, so my phone didn’t die. I had my Kindle, so I was able to entertain myself while other people were getting out of their vehicles and pacing around angrily. My trip home could have been better, but it also could have been much worse.
Many people will be traveling tomorrow to see the solar eclipse. I encourage you to take the time to prepare and ensure that your trip goes smoothly despite any unforeseen bumps in the road.