AARoads Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

The AARoads Wiki is live! Come check it out!

Author Topic: Spring break in Texas (3/12-3/20)  (Read 2428 times)

SkyPesos

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 5086
  • I-80E to NYC, not Clarion, Dubois, Bloomsburg, etc

  • Age: 20
  • Location: Cincinnati
  • Last Login: March 02, 2024, 11:10:03 PM
Spring break in Texas (3/12-3/20)
« on: March 21, 2022, 01:32:13 PM »

Last week was my university's spring break, so I spent that entire week down in Texas.

Day 1 (3/12)
Left West Lafayette IN on IN 25, then turned onto I-74 WB, crossing into IL. Then turned onto I-57 SB, which we continued all the way south to its terminus. This is my first time driving on a non-concurrent part of I-57, as my previous times on I-57 are only on its concurrencies with I-64 and I-70. Then turned onto I-55 south all the way to I-40, which then we turned west towards Little Rock, which is also the first time I've ever entered Arkansas. Then turned onto I-30 at exit 153B, staying on it to exit 111 (US 70), which then we used to Hot Springs, where we stayed for the first night, near Lake Hamilton.

New routes on day 1: IN 25, IL 32 (fuel stop), IL 33 (fuel stop), US 60 (concurrent with I-57), MO 84 (fuel stop), I-30, US 65 (concurrent with I-30), US 167 (concurrent with I-30), US 270 (concurrent with US 70), AR 88 (new number), AR 7

Day 2 (3/13)
We spent the morning in Hot Springs National Park, before continuing the drive on I-30 to the first city we're stopping at in the Texas Triangle: the DFW Metroplex. Our intention for the first attraction to visit is the JFK Sixth Floor museum, but unfortunately, tickets were sold out when we arrived, so we settled for the Perot museum. After that, did some walking in downtown Dallas, then ate dinner at a Korean BBQ place in northwest Dallas (at Koryo Korean BBQ), getting there via I-35E, then settled for the night at our hotel (Hyatt Place Las Collinas), which we got to from the restaurant via I-35E, TX 348 and TX 114.

New routes on day 2: US 75, TX 366, I-35E (if counted separately from I-35, which I don't), TX Loop 12, TX 348 (new number), TX 114 (new number)

Day 3 (3/14)
First thing we did that morning was a brief stroll at the Mandalay Canal Walk, not that far from our hotel. Then, we drove to the Fort Worth Stockyards, where we spent most of the day. Got there via TX 114, TX 121, I-820 and I-35W. I had lunch at Risky’s BBQ at the stockyards, then walked around the area and rode a horse after that. We were going to visit the Kimball Art Museum after the Stockyards, except it was closed on Mondays, so we settled for the Water Gardens in downtown Fort Worth. Made a stop at the Target just west of downtown Ft Worth before continuing down to San Antonio, our second city we’re staying in. Mostly used I-35W and I-35 on the drive between the two cities, an interstate that I’ve been on in KC and the Twin Cities before. This drive made me appreciate frontage roads a lot more, as it was easy trying to get around a backup on the main freeway by using the frontage road. Did it twice on the drive between the two cities. Made a stop at a conveyor belt sushi restaurant for dinner in the north of Austin. We arrived at San Antonio at night and stayed at the Grand Hyatt in downtown for the next 3 nights.

New routes on day 3: TX 121 (new number), TX 183 (new number, concurrent with TX 121), I-820 (new number), TX 199 (new number), US 77 (concurrent with I-35), US 190 (concurrent with I-35), US 183, US 290 (concurrent with I-35), I-410 (new number, concurrent with I-35), I-37, US 281 (new number, concurrent with I-37)

Day 4 (3/15)
No driving on day 4, we pretty much spent the entire day in the downtown area, with the morning at the Alamo and the rest of the day on or near the Riverwalk. Also managed to visit two Texas classics I’ve heard about for a long time: H-E-B and Whataburger.

Day 5 (3/16)
We first stopped at the Historic Market Square, then we drove to the Japanese Tea Garden via I-35 and US 281. Later, we headed to the Natural Bridge Caverns via US 281, Loop 1604, I-35 and FM 3009, and ate dinner back in downtown SA.

New routes on day 5: Loop 1604 (new number), FM 3009 (new number)

Day 6 (3/17)
Finished some final touches in San Antonio before driving to Houston, using I-10. We encountered probably the most anti-climatic highway backup I’ve seen. The EB lanes were backed up for about 5 miles, roughly between MM 665-670. One lane was closed just so workers can fix a broken guardrail. I wonder if it was even a good idea to close a lane during daytime to fix something as minor as a guardrail, instead of doing it at night. Stopped at Buc-ee’s in Katy just to see if it’s worth all the rave I’ve seen on this forum. Got myself a brisket sandwich there. Definitely the largest convenience store I’ve visited, but not the best (I still prefer Taiwan’s 7/11). Then we continued to our hotel in Uptown (a Hyatt Place), using I-10, Beltway 8, Westpark Tollway and I-69. This is also my first portion of I-69 that’s not concurrent with another interstate I’ve been on, as I’ve only been on its concurrency with I-94 prior (and its future concurrency with I-465). My dad (who was behind the wheel at this point) thought that our Ohio EZ Pass was the same as an EZ Tag and got on the Westpark, not knowing that they weren’t interoperable, so that will be fun to deal with when the bill comes in. It was raining for the rest of the afternoon and evening, so we just spent a couple of hours in the Galleria (probably one of the largest malls I’ve visited, alongside the Mall of America in MN), and ate dinner at a hot pot place (Chiba Hot Pot) in the northwest part of the metro, which we got to via I-610 and US 290.

New routes on day 6: US 87 (concurrent with I-10), US 90 (concurrent with I-10), TX 130 (new number, concurrent with I-10), TX 71 (concurrent with I-10), Beltway 8, I-610 (new number), FM 1960 (new number)

Day 7 (3/18)
Visited the Johnson Space Center for the first half of the day, getting there via I-69, I-45 and NASA Route 1. On the way there (pretty close to the space center), I noticed an exit for FM 528 on I-45, and the number is familiar to me because FL 528 leads to the Kennedy Space Center. So, is one numbered after the other, or are both numbered 528 purely a coincidence? Then, we headed to Galveston for a drive around the island, passing by the historic downtown and a beachside amusement park. Then, we had dinner at Kileen’s BBQ in Pearland, getting there via I-45, FM 528 and FM 518. And that’s it for us on this day, getting back to the hotel via TX 35, Beltway 8, TX 288 and I-610.

New routes on day 7: I-45, NASA Route 1, TX 87, TX 275, FM 528, FM 518 (new number), TX 35, TX 288 (new number)

Day 8 (3/19)
This was our last day in Texas. We spent the morning in the Museum of Natural History. Then got lunch at Pho Saigon, and a whole roasted duck at Siu Lap City next to it (food for the drive home). We drove to the Houston Premium Outlets on the northwest side of the city after lunch. Then starts the long drive home. I chose a route back to Lafayette, IN roughly resembling future I-69 using existing expressways. Got to I-69/US 59 from the outlets with Loop 99, and used US 59 all the way north to I-30 at Texarkana. Really hoping that I-69 gets implemented on this corridor in the future (as it should, as the connection from Houston to the Midwest and Northeast), as the numerous speed limit changes, ranging from 45 to 75 mph, is tiring. Went through Arkansas on roughly the same routing as the way to Texas (I-30 and I-40), this time using I-440 to bypass Little Rock. I noticed that St Louis is a control city on I-440. Idk how far north the 4-lane section of US 67 makes it north of Little Rock, but Missouri’s 4 lane section of US 67 from I-55 southward ends just south of Poplar Bluff, so there’s a long bit of 2 lane for a long-distance control city, which I find interesting. And I-57 would be on US 67 north of Little Rock, which is a St Louis bypass route. Anyways, we decided to stop at Memphis for the night, so we crossed on the I-55 bridge and used the southern loop of I-240 to our hotel in the Germantown area.

New routes on day 8: TX 99, Loop 287 (concurrent with US 59), Loop 224 (concurrent with US 59), US 84 (concurrent with US 59), US 79 (concurrent with US 59 and I-55), TX 43 (concurrent with US 59), I-369 (new number, concurrent with US 59), I-440 AR, I-240 TN, US 72

Day 9 (3/20)
Continuing the drive back to Indiana, we got back to Arkansas using I-40, and switched to I-55 NB in West Memphis. Continued on I-55 to Hayti, MO, where we switched to I-155 EB, crossing into Tennessee again. Then followed US 51 north to the Kentucky border. Wrapping up the past few routes we used, I think that Future I-369, I-30, I-40, I-55 and I-155 could work as a temporary I-69 corridor as I see no chance that I-69 will get finished in Arkansas, and very little in Tennessee south of Dyersburg. Crossed into KY on the Purchase Pkwy (why is I-69 not signed on the Purchase Pkwy south of Mayfield), and followed I-69 almost the entire way through the state. Almost because of the Evansville Ohio River crossing (which I used to enter IN), which is still US 41. I’ve never realized how desperate a new bridge is needed until seeing a lot of rust on both existing bridges. My initial plan was to follow I-69 to Indianapolis, using the west loop of I-465 to I-865, then that to I-65 to Lafayette. This would allow me to get my missing section of I-465 between I-865 and I-74, clinching it. The GPS came up with a different routing: existing I-69 at IN 58, then IN 57 to US 231 to Lafayette. As seen on the “Lowest number you haven’t been on thread” , I haven’t been on a highway numbered 58 yet, so this was a good chance for me to do so, sacrificing a I-465 clinch (which I could do later). Arrived at Lafayette, IN a few hours later, which marks the end of my spring break trip. My parents headed back to Cincinnati after dropping me off.

New routes on day 9: I-155 MO-TN (new number), IN 58 (new number)
« Last Edit: March 21, 2022, 01:35:52 PM by SkyPesos »
Logged

hbelkins

  • *
  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 19264
  • It is well, it is well, with my soul.

  • Age: 62
  • Location: Kentucky
  • Last Login: March 02, 2024, 12:38:02 AM
    • Millennium Highway
Re: Spring break in Texas (3/12-3/20)
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2022, 11:23:33 AM »

To answer a couple of your Kentucky-related questions, I-69's designation ends where it does on the Purchase Parkway because of the old toll booth cloverleaf exit at Wingo (and yes, I know the interstate designation has been applied to other former parkways despite them still having those interchanges) and because of the setup at the US 45/45E/45W/51 interchange just south of the state line in Tennessee. Once the Wingo exit is converted into a diamond, I suspect I-69 will be signed to at least the US 51 exit at Fulton, if not to the state line.

The US 41 twin bridges were painted not all that terribly long ago, but there ended up being issues with the paint job. It's been a few years since I've crossed them, but structurally, they're in better shape than what they look like.
Logged


Government would be tolerable if not for politicians and bureaucrats.

webny99

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 13297
  • Age: 24
  • Location: Monroe County, NY
  • Last Login: February 29, 2024, 02:31:58 PM
Re: Spring break in Texas (3/12-3/20)
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2022, 11:53:27 AM »

Thanks for sharing!

It was raining for the rest of the afternoon and evening, so we just spent a couple of hours in the Galleria (probably one of the largest malls I’ve visited, alongside the Mall of America in MN) ...

Interesting, there's also a Galleria in Buffalo, NY that's pretty big too. Probably not as big as the one in Houston, but it's among the largest malls in upstate NY.
Logged

abefroman329

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 4871
  • Age: 44
  • Location: Chicago
  • Last Login: October 17, 2023, 11:38:46 AM
Re: Spring break in Texas (3/12-3/20)
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2022, 12:59:59 PM »

If you're ever in Hot Springs again, I highly recommend getting a thermal bath.  It will take years off of you.
Logged

SkyPesos

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 5086
  • I-80E to NYC, not Clarion, Dubois, Bloomsburg, etc

  • Age: 20
  • Location: Cincinnati
  • Last Login: March 02, 2024, 11:10:03 PM
Re: Spring break in Texas (3/12-3/20)
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2022, 02:00:37 PM »

Thanks for sharing!

It was raining for the rest of the afternoon and evening, so we just spent a couple of hours in the Galleria (probably one of the largest malls I’ve visited, alongside the Mall of America in MN) ...

Interesting, there's also a Galleria in Buffalo, NY that's pretty big too. Probably not as big as the one in Houston, but it's among the largest malls in upstate NY.
I think the "Galleria" name for large malls is somewhat common. There's also a Galleria in St Louis and Dallas.

If you're ever in Hot Springs again, I highly recommend getting a thermal bath.  It will take years off of you.
Didn't have the chance to do that as the line was super long at the one bathhouse and we were trying to get to Dallas before a certain time. But there was a drinking fountain with the hot springs water near the park's gift shop, which I took a drink from. The water taste was unusual at first, but pretty refreshing too.

abefroman329

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 4871
  • Age: 44
  • Location: Chicago
  • Last Login: October 17, 2023, 11:38:46 AM
Re: Spring break in Texas (3/12-3/20)
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2022, 10:23:25 AM »

If you're ever in Hot Springs again, I highly recommend getting a thermal bath.  It will take years off of you.
Didn't have the chance to do that as the line was super long at the one bathhouse and we were trying to get to Dallas before a certain time. But there was a drinking fountain with the hot springs water near the park's gift shop, which I took a drink from. The water taste was unusual at first, but pretty refreshing too.
Oh that's weird, the thermal baths were by-appointment-only in January.
Logged

MikieTimT

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1525
  • Age: 50
  • Location: Wedington Woods, Arkansas
  • Last Login: February 29, 2024, 04:20:26 PM
Re: Spring break in Texas (3/12-3/20)
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2022, 12:48:30 PM »

There's some hiking trails up in the mountains surrounding the Hot Springs National Park that are great if you have the time.  Last time I stayed down there, we parked the camper at Gulpha Gorge and just walked over the mountain to the National Park using the Goat Rock Trail, and it's a pretty view late fall through early spring before the trees leaf out.  I've done horse racing and just walking through town, but I've never taken the opportunity to actually bathe there either.

I-69 in Arkansas will get certain segments of at least Super-2 bypasses completed around the larger towns, but I'd be shocked if anything additional ever happens in Mississippi, other than the remote possibly of some US-61 bypassing in the Tunica area.  When I-69 gets done in Texas in a couple of decades, I-30 should hopefully be 6 laned completely by then, and hopefully I-57 will be done as well to take the load off I-40 east of Little Rock.  But you've got to remember that your dealing with the 2 states that are at the bottom of GDP/capita, so it'd take extra federal resources to ever complete I-69 in either Arkansas or Mississippi.  And the routing is along the lowest GDP portions of both states as well.
Logged

MikieTimT

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1525
  • Age: 50
  • Location: Wedington Woods, Arkansas
  • Last Login: February 29, 2024, 04:20:26 PM
Re: Spring break in Texas (3/12-3/20)
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2022, 12:50:12 PM »

Sounds like a fun Spring Break!  Thanks for sharing!
Logged

 


Opinions expressed here on belong solely to the poster and do not represent or reflect the opinions or beliefs of AARoads, its creators and/or associates.