If my memory serves me correctly, which it usually doesn’t, some 6 million people fled the great state of Florida before the big storm. My wife and kids and me made it 6 million and 4. We had never done a road trip before so we decided to make a vacation out of it.
In an effort that would have made my dad proud, we drove 12 hours up I-75 to get to my Aunt’s house just outside Knoxville, Tennessee, only stopping twice. There was a lot of traffic until we got past Atlanta. We rested up the next day and then drove another 4 hours to Charlotte, North Carolina to stay at the Great Wolf Lodge. If you have kids, and they like water parks, then this is the place to stay. It is a hotel with a water park inside. A full-on wave pool and slides water park. The kids loved it. There is a bar inside the water park. We loved it too.
After a couple days we returned to my Aunt’s to wait out the storm. Yesterday we decided to head back home. We checked google maps and there seemed to be no delays. 9 hours and 35 minutes from door to door it told us. We didn’t realize at the time that 6 million other people made the same decision.
What followed was a 17 hour drive to cover a mere 619 miles. That’s an average speed of 36.4 mph on a highway with a speed limit of 70. From just north of Atlanta all the way to the start of the Florida turnpike it was nothing but bumper to bumper traffic. There were rare times when you could get all the way up to 50 mph, but mostly we were all just crawling along. No accidents, just millions of cars on the road at the same time.
Google maps said we would be home at 8:20 in the evening. We pulled into our garage at 5:20 the next morning. Thank the gods for Red Bull.