January 3, 2019
We left home early on the 28th of December. Initially the plan was for the 26th but with the cold temperatures we decided to wait and have an extra day of prep and load.
It was 7C when we left @ 7:05AM heading for Windsor and the border crossing. It took 2 hours to get through the border. We were directed down through the truck lanes and got there just as it seemed all the agents were rotaing off shift. After sittin in a lane for a bit the red light went on and the agent left so we switched lanes. Then we were directed to another lane where we got an agent with an agenda. He took issue with us changing lanes, then he had an issue with us being retired it seems (yeah, I wouldn’t want to be his age and sitting in a box for hours either LOL). So, off we went for a drive around the buildings and inside where they wanted to count how much cash we were bringing in. They just kept telling us we should be using a debit card and not paying cash when travelling. The first agent we spoke to had no idea what was what and called another, then we spoke to another. The last agent was the most reasonable and sent us on our way after verifying the cash amount we had declared out at the truck lane.
We made it to Franklin, OH where we did our end of day fillup and parked for the night at the Pilot. Ony made 514mi with the border delay but this was the same stop as last year. We had strong headwinds through Ontario which became crosswinds that pushed us around and resulted in 9.1mpg for the day.
On the road at 5:30AM we headed south towards Nashville for the turn west. Traffic was fine with no slowdowns and we ended up in Texarkana, AR at the same FlyingJ we had used last year. Weather was fine with temperatures as high as 10C. We did 787mi @ 10.8mpg this day.
We were up and on the road just after 6AM and planning to cover Texas. We drove for 12 hours and arrived at the FlyingJ in Sparks (just before El Paso) after 812mi (9.8mpg).
Driving through the Permian Basin area by Odessa you could see that there was a lot of business activity. New hotels were under construction, “Now Hiring” signs everywhere and lots of active drill rigs. It was also the highest diesel prices we had seen so far in the trip with prices as high as 3.35$/g right across the road from a refinery.
We were again on the road at 6AM and headed toward Benson, AZ with the plan of staying at the SKP Saguaro again for New Years. During the trip we hadn’t bothered to roam either of our phones as we didn’t need to use them. After getting onto I10 in NM (we did the El Paso bypass again) we called the park to see about availability. When they weren’t open we realized that the truck clock was on manual and hadn’t been getting the time changes from the Nav GPS. All the time we had been driving on EST and not switched to CST and then MST. Pretty much explained why the sun came up so late and traffic around El Paso was so light (it was 4AM). After a good laugh we just kept on going and arrive in Benson at 9:30 where we booked in for a week. That allows us time to get some shopping done, clean the truck and trailer and rest a bit after the driving.
We did get some decidely unwanted weather after the start of the year.