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Driving from San Diego to Charlotte.

Driving from San Diego to Charlotte.

Old Oct 27, 17, 10:27 am
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Driving from San Diego to Charlotte.

All good things must come to an end, right? I like to think this proverb is true, because it means bad things won't last for ever either . This past summer Mrs. Madone59's and my time in California came to an end so we said good bye to the ocean and said hello to the humidity of the South. Feel free to pile on the "You're leaving San Diego???" and "Are you nuts?!" comments - I have heard them all. Unfortunately California was just too far from family for us, and seeing that we welcomed a little mileage runner into the world last month closer to family is exactly where we needed to be.

So with the house sold, and car impressively packed - if i do say so my self - I enlisted the help of SANdEhGo and we hit the asphalt. Because I was still drawing from my former employer in San Diego my goal was to leave as late as possible while still arriving before the moving truck. We took possession of our new home in Charlotte on June 20th, and the truck was scheduled to arrive June 21st so we would be on the road early June 17th. The trip was broken into three hard days and one half day. The three hard days were: 1. San Diego to El Paso, 2. All of freaking Texas to Shreveport and 3. Shreveport to Atlanta. On the fourth day, the half day, we would sleep in a little and would get to Charlotte in the afternoon.

The night of the 16th SANdEhGo and I were generously treated to a toast of my time in California which I will admit was worth the delay getting started the next morning.

Car packed to the point it was ready to bust, the gas tank was topped, Bruce Springsteen was on Pandora. We were ready to ride (or die).

A picture of us departing, seriously!

Bye Bye San Diego!


Hello Arizona....that was quick. Only like eight more hours to go today

When driving through Arizona there was NO WAY I was going to miss a chance to see Pinal Airpark in Marana Arizona. I may or may not have completely lied to SANdEhGo about "How close" the complex was to the highway and in the end it was kind of a bust. We were on too much of a time crunch to really explore some of the legal back roads, and the car was way too loaded down to put up with any bumpy off roading of any kind. One thing we did see from afar, which was really cool was supertanker 944 - the fire fighting 747. That is a great looking bird!!

This is the only shot I got, and I'd do it all again to see the endless rows of tails off in the distance even if they didn't photograph well.

Shortly after getting back on the highway we saw what looked like a train engine storage facility. The line of engines was staggering!

Google says there were originally 1,200 or so parked out there, but now they are down to about 300 in storage. What a sight.

Almost six hours in it was time for lunch, and a second fuel stop. Being Jurassic Park fans it was only natural that our McDonald's had a velociraptor

Full of gas and fuel we were back on the road where we began to get bombarded by advertisements for something, though I can't put my finger on what it was.

More rocks



Peace out Arizona!

Needing to stretch out legs we stopped at the legendary I-10 "A-MAZ-ING" tourist trap

"So many things we can't buy in California!!"

12 Gauge cross

I bet my new neighbors in North Carolina will like this one

New Mexico.

OK. Enough junk shopping, and SANdEhGo looking to buy a knife we need to get back on the road. After a bit more boring as toast I-10 we caucused and decided to take 146 South to US 9 along the US Mexican boarder. A fantastic decision!

Good Ol' 146 to Hachita

Hachita, NM.

After a few minutes of wondering around the flea shop and not seeing anyone I got really twitchy asking SANdEhGo if he had seen the movie The Hills Have Eyes, and walked back to the car. We did eventually meet the owner of the "store" which didn't really put me at ease, especially because SANdEhGo was feeling extra talkative and I wasn't.

Leaving Hachita.

To anyone that lives in the area, or is making this drive in the future I can not recommend route 9 enough. Our circuitous path to El Paso we rewarded with a fantastic sunset.

Once the sun was down, and we had been given a talking to from boarder patrol for stopping in a spot where a lot of smugglers arrange pickups of "illegals" we were back on our way. As beautiful as US-9 was with the sun up it was the road of choice with the sun down. Aside from my Hills Have Eyes fears that someone was going to pop out of the bushes with a chainsaw we had no cell service, and an overloaded car on bumpy roads. Had we have gotten stuck..............you know what. We didn't, so let's just be happy.

Blurry eyed and weary from almost 13 hours behind the wheel it was dinner time. I had a room booked at the El Paso airport Marriott but we were passing the highly [yelp] ranked State Line BBQ. It was dinner time.

2nd to last shift got to drink...why oh why did I offer to pull last!

The bread. Oh, the bread! It was like eating clouds. Like when you are a kid and you wonder what clouds feel like to touch but you grow up, start flying through them and notice they have no tactile property other than wet. This bread is what childhood you hopes clouds felt like. Got it?


After a short 30 minute drive to the hotel it was time to crash. Day one; done!
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Last edited by Madone59; Oct 27, 17 at 7:29 pm
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Old Oct 27, 17, 11:13 am
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Great pictures. That's some yummy looking BBQ.
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Old Oct 27, 17, 2:30 pm
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Incredible first installment! ^
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Old Oct 27, 17, 3:47 pm
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Almost passed reading this, as it was a drive and not a flight! What on earth was I thinking - IT IS MADONE59!!!
Loving it
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Old Oct 27, 17, 4:40 pm
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To anyone that lives in the area, or is making this drive in the future I can not recommend route 9 enough. Our circuitous path to El Paso we rewarded with a fantastic sunset.
This was an absolutely stunning stretch of road, the sunset was quite a parting piece.

The bread. Oh, the bread! It was like eating clouds. Like when you are a kid and you wonder what clouds feel like to touch but you grow up, start flying through them and notice they have no tactile property other than wet. This bread is what childhood you hopes clouds felt like. Got it?
Airy pillows of joy, the perfect vehicle for delicious Texas BBQ.

Off to an awesome start. Bring on the road trip nostalgia!
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Old Oct 27, 17, 4:50 pm
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A fantastic start. Looking forward to the rest.
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Old Oct 27, 17, 5:30 pm
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OMG, this is a great trip report! Loving it!
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Old Oct 27, 17, 9:09 pm
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Great TR - looking forward to more. Enjoy life and your extended family closer to you in NC - it is really sweet and it helps. Just sad that this means fewer luncheons with sfo747. Trade offs...
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Old Oct 28, 17, 2:41 am
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I grew up in San Diego and left when I was 37, I only missed for the first year, but after that its nice to come back to once in a while, the cost of living there to me isn't worth it..
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Old Oct 28, 17, 10:46 am
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Day two: All of Freaking Texas

The 730 miles of day one were behind us, but it was not time to get cocky. We had over 800 miles ahead of us today. "Texas Day" was going to be the longest of the three full driving days. The temperature was well over 100 degrees all day, so with the AC cranking in our overloaded car we sucked through gas stopping four times to reload .

Fully loaded with gas, two bags of sunflower seeds and a lovely breakfast from the Marriott we were back on the road.

Good morning El Paso

"Hey, what do you think about taking I-10 again?!"
"What a super not boring idea!!"

Booooooooorrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnggggggg gg

Driving is boring, until you see trains!!

Mrs. Madone59 was already in Charlotte so I decided to send her a message from Texas. Now, I don't want to spoil any surprises but one of us got our car shipped across the country and that same person got to fly on a direct flight too.......again I am not going to say who didn't have to flatten their rear end for four days in the car. I am just going to say someone didn't have to, and leave it to you guys to figure out. If you can. I know this is a very tricky puzzle BUT you are a sharp group.

Texas is enormous. I've flown through both Dallas and Houston but other than one three day work trip to Houston a few years ago I had never spent much time in the lone star state; it's huge! SANdEhGo lived in Dallas for a while and always tried to explain to me there even the sky looked bigger in Texas, but I didn't understand it until I saw it - the sky really looks bigger. It really does!

SANdEhGo gets artsy with the camera as I possibly slowly get heavy metals poisoning from sunflower seeds ^

So as broad as central Texas is the frequent brownout dust clouds grew old quickly and the smell of oil was permeating the car. My recirculation button was no match for the thousands of wells buzzing past us and the crude in the air.

Not yet ready for lunch but in a desperate need for a walk my travel companion Bill Nye suggested we stop and look at the Odessa meteor crater. I'd rather have a meteor land on me than get out of the car to look at rocks, but the options were limited so we followed the signs.

There it is folks, a slight depression in the ground....err....I mean where a meteor landed!!

OK. I am calling bull roar on this whole thing! I've got $10 that says this is where some yoke blew up an oil well but instead of paying out the liability claim Halliburton just put up a gift shop and called it a meteor site.

Well of course they have one of these too.

This bush had the largest thorns I've ever seen "They look like cocktail sticks" - James May. I tried to get SANdEhGo to hug it

OH HELL NO! SANdEhGo wanted to walk around the crater. OK, Bye Felecia!!! Leave me your wallet so I don't have to walk out there to get it back; I am going into the gift shop!

Sweet merciful air conditioning - I love you.

Nice try Halliburton, but I'm on to you!

Space rocks

After a very very excited Bill Nye rejoined me in the gift shop/ learning center we chatted up two very nice woman who lived in the area but had just never come out here to "See this thing." No need to go into detail, but it was three against one when it came who thinking this was awesome . The locals made a few phone calls for us to see if any good BBQ was open on Sunday but they came up empty handed so we ended up heading towards another Texas favorite - Whataburger.

On the way back to I-10 We did stop a brief second to have a look at a cool old family ranch.


I hate to disappoint but I ordered the chicken fingers. I know it's supposed to be a legendary burger but i just did not care enough to try it, and the chicken looked good.

Lunch got interesting when a girl, who I hope was over 18, that was eating lunch with her family in the booth behind us started looking at me.......frequently. I was not looking back, but being in conversation with SANdEhGo possibly made it appear that I was because she was over his right shoulder. Now I don't know if it was when she opened her legs (she was wearing a skirt!) or when her family noticed she was not paying attention to them at all but her father took notice and get a bit cross. I didn't really realize what what had happened until his death stare caught my eye but I assumed it was because I had California plates on my car. I did lean into SANdEhGo and comment that a girl behind him appeared to be up to no good but I honestly had no clue that this girl was looking at me. The family left without saying anything, and thankfully took Hester Prynne with them!

Full of chicken and laughing about the beat down I possibly just dodged we got back in the car to get some gas and continue across Texas. I. SWEAR. TO. GOD. I pull up to the pump, and the car across from me is the Whataburger family. Seriously, you can't make this stuff up. Luckily I was only down a half so I didn't have to absorb the death stare too long, but it was an uncomfortable splash and dash stop indeed.

Back on the road and enjoying the sights

More of these...

...more of these

Lots, and lots of these


Don't tell me what to do!


Like, there is just a hole full of Gilberts? Neat.

Finally we get to turn off of I-10!!


$1.94 I can get used to that

A little traffic and another pit stop near Dallas gave us time to look ahead and see that there was nothing worth eating in Shreveport near our hotel. With the sun going down we pulled the trigger on a BBQ spot in Tyler Texas. SANdEhGo is a big fan of yelp and google reviews - he will follow rankings and stars very seriously when deciding where to eat when in a new town. I don't not look at these things, but I am nowhere near as in tune to them as he is. When looking for a dinner spot we got into a little debate which was that really good local spots wouldn't have high rankings because they were local and locals in many parts of the country aren't on Yelp too much if at all. Our searching, and debating did not let us down - we hit the jackpot.




Hurting bad from all day in the car and stomachs full of Q we finally dragged ourselves into the humid planet known as Louisiana. The hour and a half from dinner to the hotel felt like it lasted a week, but mercifully day two came to an end and it was time to sleep.
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Last edited by Madone59; Oct 29, 17 at 6:36 am
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Old Oct 28, 17, 12:01 pm
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An epic road trip across the country, Madone59. That 12 gauge cross will look great on the wall of your new place.

Some tasty BBQ on the way. hauteboy has been doing some serious road trips across Texas too in his WRX. I think his unfortunately doesn’t have a stick shift though.

Last edited by DanielW; Oct 28, 17 at 11:36 pm Reason: typo
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Old Oct 28, 17, 6:50 pm
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Madone59, beautiful photos; thank you for sharing. I certainly admire your stamina. We did Boston to Houston one time over the course of six days with four stops. Since that trip, we've left the German engineering at home and utilized UA, lol.

Bon voyage!
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Old Oct 28, 17, 8:00 pm
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I've eaten at the Stateline many times - it's a shame neither of you got the beef ribs - that is what Feed Flinstone would eat ...
and that El Paso Marriott used to be a dump, has it been re-modeled?
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Old Oct 29, 17, 2:30 am
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Looks like its a fun road trip so far! I've taken Amtrak's Sunset Limited from LAUS to NOLA before which hugged the border in Texas. North South or Middles Texas is HUGE!

Last edited by seat38a; Oct 29, 17 at 2:49 am
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Old Oct 29, 17, 4:24 am
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Looks like it was one hell of a great long journey but enjoying what you've posted so far.

BTW what was that dessert you had in the last report above?
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