Sunday, August 01, 2010

A short note on the travel from London to Dallas

I had been preparing for the trip for a long time. The most concern was that my 9 years old Jeep was subject to tons of maintenance and repairs. The expensive labor and parts for Jeep forced me to service it by myself. As such, I flushed the coolant reservoir and radiator, transfer case, front/rear pumpkin and 
transmission, and replaced the governor pressure sensor and solenoid in the transmission, and the brake pads and rotors.

After the maintenance and repairs, I drove 2 days and covered 2100 km from London to Dallas.  The following are my experiences that need to be recorded for future reference.

1. Plan the trip well and have both paper map and GPS handy.  I forgot my North America atlas home and the GPS gave me much trouble: The Garmin GPS was very shy to approach the country border and led me to some unexpected roads. Also,  the Garmin GPS is misleading and annoying when there are some temporary construction sites in the highway.  It would keep demanding the driver to a closed highway entrance.

2. Keep a correct tire pressure. Most tire explosions are caused by incorrect (low) tire pressure.  Too much tire pressure will make car bumping on the highway which is also dangerous.

3. Keep off trucks and be careful when passing trucks.  Trucks have much larger blind area than cars. Do not drive parallel to a truck for a long time because the truck would change lane without finding a car in its blind area.

4. Refill the gas tank in a timely manner and keep energetic. There are many gas stations and motels along highways.  So we don't have to worry about where to go. However, there is a smart way to save money. If we need to have a rest and meal, try to find a Walmart supercenter in a small town close to the Highways. We can find almost everything in Walmart including a quiet and clean restroom. I had meal and stayed for two hours at Anna Township in Illinois before I continued my trip. It is really a unforgettable memory in my life.

5. If we have to customize a route in GPS, do not set a via point off the highway. This is because we would change the stopover points from time to time. If you set a via point off the highway and don't stick with it, the GPS would be mad at you. At this time, we have to turn off the GPS and shut it up. Well, these actions are dangerous during high-speed driving.

Even though I had some trouble at Lansing, Michigan, where the entrance to I-69 S was closed and I almost drove around the city for two cycles before I found an entrance,  this long travel was a success and will be a pleasant experience in my life.  Let us keep down the cities and townships I travelled:

First day, 800KMs: London, Ontario --> HWY 402--> Sarnia--> HWY I-69 --> Grand ledge (near Lansing) -->HWY I-69 --> Indianapolis-->HWY I-70 --> Cloverdale, Indiana

Second day, 1100 KMs : -->HWY I-70 -->Effinham (Illinois) --> HWY I-57 -> Anna (Illinois)--> HWY I-55-->West Memphis (Arkansas)-->HWY I-40 --> Little Rock (Arkansas) --> HWY I-30 --> Texarkana (Texas) --> New Boston (Texas)

Third day, 260kms: -->HWY I-30--> Dallas.



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