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New Driver

Road trip in a pandemic

Travel from a winter home in Fort Myers to home in central Illinois normally is a two-day trip.  But with 'stay at home' orders taking much traffic off interstates, I began to ponder a long day behind the wheel in making the journey this spring.  Anticipating the usual travel challenges, we reserved a room in Paducah, KY, about five hours from our destination.  We left Fort Myers at just after 5 a.m. (eastern) and hit the road, north on I75.  At that early hour on a Saturday, traffic was light, as expected.  The farther north we traveled, traffic picked up but nothing close to what we had experienced before.  I set the cruise control on my BMW Z4 at 80, sat back and steered.  It was easy to navigate around slower vehicles without a steady line of cars in the inside/passing lane.  As hours passed, we made good progress, encountering only moderately more traffic around Atlanta and Nashville.  A couple hours from our overnight reservation, we decided to continue on.   I'm happy to report we arrived home at 10:30 (central).  Driving time was 17:48 hours; distance 1289 miles; speed ave 75.2 mph; gas 33.1 mpg.  It was one of the best road trips I've ever experienced, second only to driving through the George Washington National Forest in my 1956 Austin Healey Lemans in 2014.  All the factors came together - my excellent navigator/wife; light traffic, dry roads, and a great road car in the Z4.  I have to acknowledge at 70 years old, I likely won't do that again!!

Community Manager

Glad you made it home safe!