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User Content => Road Trips => Topic started by: Roadgeekteen on May 17, 2017, 10:18:30 AM

Title: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: Roadgeekteen on May 17, 2017, 10:18:30 AM
What is it?
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: hbelkins on May 17, 2017, 11:06:05 AM
None of mine have been "least favorite" in terms of things I've seen or places I've been.

However, there have been two instances where I had car trouble on the road, and a few trips I've had to cut short because of family emergencies, pets that were dying or very ill/injured (and at least twice when a pet died while I was traveling), and the like.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: Max Rockatansky on May 17, 2017, 08:53:58 PM
There was one that I took to a timeshare on the Colorado Plateau when I had a timeshare in Lakeside, AZ.  I ended up getting the flu and had to stay inside the duration of the trip.  I was so sick that I even slept in the car which was likely the first time I've ever done that in my adult life.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: 7/8 on May 17, 2017, 09:23:53 PM
On one of my family trips to Hilton Head Island, SC, we had solid rain the whole week! I remember watching a lot of Nickelodeon, which was exciting for us since we couldn't get that channel in Canada. Other than that, it was pretty depressing to see so much rain on our holiday.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: Roadgeekteen on May 17, 2017, 09:29:15 PM
There was one that I took to a timeshare on the Colorado Plateau when I had a timeshare in Lakeside, AZ.  I ended up getting the flu and had to stay inside the duration of the trip.  I was so sick that I even slept in the car which was likely the first time I've ever done that in my adult life.
I had a cold going home from D. C. this April. Not quite a flu, but it was bad enough that I, too, slept in the car.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: Max Rockatansky on May 17, 2017, 09:35:01 PM
There was one that I took to a timeshare on the Colorado Plateau when I had a timeshare in Lakeside, AZ.  I ended up getting the flu and had to stay inside the duration of the trip.  I was so sick that I even slept in the car which was likely the first time I've ever done that in my adult life.
I had a cold going home from D. C. this April. Not quite a flu, but it was bad enough that I, too, slept in the car.

The big difference is that you weren't the one who was driving everyone up to the timeshare.  I pulled over somewhere near Heber and told the passengers that the car wasn't moving unless one of them took the wheel.  This was all before GPS units were a really big deal, so it was extra fun trying explain to a freaked out designee to just stay on AZ 260 and look for a specific mile marker.

When I was your age I had my fair share sudden illness on a road trip.  I ended up with an ear infection on a family house hunting trip we drove from Detroit to go do out in New York.  That one even required a stop at the Urgent Care which wasn't a walk in the park in those days since it was on a weekend and the place had to be found in the Yellowpages. 
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: jp the roadgeek on May 17, 2017, 10:35:46 PM
1982 coming back from Florida.  Beginning and end of the trip were fun (only time I ever set foot in the states of North and South Carolina, and passed through Georgia outside of Hartsfield-Jackson).  Flew down, and I enjoyed my time in the Keys.  We  started the drive back, and stopped in Orlando, where I was stricken with a horrible case of the flu.  I had to lay low in a hotel room with my mother taking care of me while my dad and cousin got to go to Disney World (traumatic for a 6 year old, but at least I got to go back 4 years later).  After that, it was a 2 day trip back to CT, including a stop at South of the Border and crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel.  I use that incident as a sort of reference point: I have only thrown up 5 times since then.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: Roadgeekteen on May 17, 2017, 10:38:52 PM
There was one that I took to a timeshare on the Colorado Plateau when I had a timeshare in Lakeside, AZ.  I ended up getting the flu and had to stay inside the duration of the trip.  I was so sick that I even slept in the car which was likely the first time I've ever done that in my adult life.
I had a cold going home from D. C. this April. Not quite a flu, but it was bad enough that I, too, slept in the car.


The big difference is that you weren't the one who was driving everyone up to the timeshare.  I pulled over somewhere near Heber and told the passengers that the car wasn't moving unless one of them took the wheel.  This was all before GPS units were a really big deal, so it was extra fun trying explain to a freaked out designee to just stay on AZ 260 and look for a specific mile marker.

When I was your age I had my fair share sudden illness on a road trip.  I ended up with an ear infection on a family house hunting trip we drove from Detroit to go do out in New York.  That one even required a stop at the Urgent Care which wasn't a walk in the park in those days since it was on a weekend and the place had to be found in the Yellowpages.
This is the second time I have gotten sick on a trip, first time was another cold in Vermont. It was very short-lived though, and I was feeling better at the end of the day.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: hbelkins on May 17, 2017, 11:06:55 PM
I forgot -- I became ill during the New Hampshire meet a few years ago. I think the heat got to me. I stayed in the car (I was riding with PHLBOS) for most of the stops. I think it was a reaction to a new medication I had started the day before, combined with unseasonable warmth in the northeast.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: slorydn1 on May 18, 2017, 02:36:07 AM
December, 1998. First time my wife and I took a trip together (we weren't married yet). New Bern NC to Hallandale Beach, FL.

I had not known about all the I-95 construction in Georgia. Said construction was causing I-95 southbound to be backed up all the way to just south of the US-17 exit near Ridgeland SC (Exit 22). This was also my first road trip as a driver in a vehicle with a manual transmission.

At first the traffic just became slower than normal (below 50 mph) and then we would all have to stop for 10-15 seconds and then back up to 45-50. Ok, no problem, I grew up in a big city, this wasn't that bad. Things got progressively slower, and just after I passed Exit 18 it was a dead stop. Creep forward, hit neutral, creep until it stopped, hold brakes, clutch in, first gear, creep forward, hit neutral, creep until it stopped hold brakes. Repeat the cycle for the next 35 miles or so.

I had a planned meal/gas stop coming up at the Mcdonald's and Shell on GA-204 just south of Savannah (now Exit 94 not sure what the exit #was back then in the sequential numbering days) and I was beginning to worry about the gas situation. My 94 S-10 didn't have a low fuel light, and the gas guage was in that little red sliver just above E. Finally, just as I crossed over the I-16 exit traffic started to flow again-heavy at first, but at least we were moving. It took over 2 hours to cover a distance that usually takes about 30 minutes to cover!

The return trip was just as interesting, but for a differnt reason. We left Hallandale Beach at about 2AM. As we were driving north on I-95 we could see a constant wall of lightning off to our left, up and down the line for as far as the eye could see. Sky just as clear as it could be over head, we could even see the stars. Well, between West  Palm Beach and Fort Pierce that solid wall of thunderstorms made it to I-95 and it rained just as hard as I had ever seen it rain. My windshield wipers picked that exact moment to quit. Slow down, hazards on, cycle the switch, nothing. I went to pull over onto the shoulder and almost wiped out an abandoned vehicle that was sitting there. I saw it just in the nick of time, swerved around it and parked somewhere ahead of it.

I kept cycling that damn wiper switch and nothing. No matter what I did nothing worked. I finally got mad and smacked the steering column with my Maglight in disgust and guess what? The wipers, still in high speed mode kicked in and all of a sudden I could see. The rest of the trip home, every time it rained and I turned on the wipers they would work for about 2-3 minutes and then quit. I smacked the column with the maglight and they came back on, every single time.

By far this was my all time least favorite road trip ever. I have been lucky ever since to not have any mechanical issues or really serious time killing back ups (knock on wood).
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: vdeane on May 18, 2017, 07:52:04 PM
I would guess any trip that involves staying in a hotel for NYSDOT business.  For some reason, rather than go smoothly, they're always full of last minute crises and whatnot.  The last time my coworker and I didn't even find out we were going to a conference until the last day to register.  Since we didn't have travel cards, this involved multiple phone calls to the travel department to figure out how to handle it.  We ended up having to get reimbursed for part of the trip.  The trip itself involved getting up way early, having luggage in the car both days because hotel check-in time was after the conference began and check-out time was before it ended, and having to switch the cards on the reservation and verify they got it right and charged the travel cards and not our personal cards.  The current trip is now involving multiple phone calls because the hotel is being difficult about things like honoring the state rate or even the group conference rate, possibly having to pay $14 to NYSDOT because of that, changing credit cards because my supervisor had to do my booking since I was out in the field, etc.  For someone who likes to plan everything else in advance and then stick to the plan/procedure and can't stand uncertainty (and doesn't like having to make a zillion phone calls), it's a nightmare.  My coworker who prefers to fly by the seat of her pants, however, is in her element.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: Max Rockatansky on May 18, 2017, 08:25:03 PM
Has anyone ever been snowbound on a place they traveled to?  It used to happen to me once or twice a year when I was on the road 120-150 nights out of the year.  Probably the worst was when I-10 shut down entirely in New Mexico and back west into Arizona at US 191.  I spent the night in Willcox which has to be one of the most boring "old west" towns out there until well into the next day.  For some reason NMDOT wasn't handling reopening the pass on US 70 through the Organ Mountains but rather it was Army.  I had to detour through El Paso to get up US 54 and Ruidoso for the night.  The road was so icy climbing the Sierra Blancas on US 70 that it was actually reflecting in the moonlight.  I had forgotten to switch to windshield wiper fluid with anti-freeze which made a much more difficult morning chipping ice off the windshield at -9F.

On the flip side I was also stuck in Show Low, Arizona for three days during a work trip at a Sleep Inn after 20 something inches of snow got dumped on the Mogollon Rim.  The city reopened US 60/AZ 260 relatively quickly but the highways were still shut down towards Payson and Globe.  I had access to a grocery store and a couple really nice places to eat, it was actually really relaxing since I had the whole town basically to myself and there was no point in anyone from work bothering me with phone calls.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: Rothman on May 18, 2017, 11:24:24 PM
I would guess any trip that involves staying in a hotel for NYSDOT business.  For some reason, rather than go smoothly, they're always full of last minute crises and whatnot.  The last time my coworker and I didn't even find out we were going to a conference until the last day to register.  Since we didn't have travel cards, this involved multiple phone calls to the travel department to figure out how to handle it.  We ended up having to get reimbursed for part of the trip.  The trip itself involved getting up way early, having luggage in the car both days because hotel check-in time was after the conference began and check-out time was before it ended, and having to switch the cards on the reservation and verify they got it right and charged the travel cards and not our personal cards.  The current trip is now involving multiple phone calls because the hotel is being difficult about things like honoring the state rate or even the group conference rate, possibly having to pay $14 to NYSDOT because of that, changing credit cards because my supervisor had to do my booking since I was out in the field, etc.  For someone who likes to plan everything else in advance and then stick to the plan/procedure and can't stand uncertainty (and doesn't like having to make a zillion phone calls), it's a nightmare.  My coworker who prefers to fly by the seat of her pants, however, is in her element.

I used to prefer getting reimbursed since I could easily live under the per diem.  But, I think the rules have changed about that and a travel card makes things a whole lot easier. 

Isn't travel expected in your position every now and then?  I have a travel card from the years where I had to head out to Buffalo once a month to meet with NITTEC, but they've let me keep it even though since those days I've traveled less than once a year on average for NYSDOT (for the last decade or so).

Have to say I've never had a problem with traveling for NYSDOT, either when I was getting reimbursed or using the travel card.

*  *  *

Regarding the OP: My worst road trip was actually a sad one.  It was just a leisurely weekend group trip out to Jamestown, NY and environs.  One of my travelling companions had just had her medication for her depression adjusted just prior to the trip.  Add to that the following:  Prior to this trip, she had always been just a passenger on other trips she had taken; she just accepted other people's plans.  This time, she decided to have a hand in the planning and she wanted to go to the Lucy-Desi Museum in Jamestown and we all were fine with that and even looked forward to how hokey the place could be.  Unfortunately, she expected more from the museum and thought she had let us all down.

So, she had a meltdown and we had to take her back to her hotel room and see her through it.

I've been on trips where things don't go as planned (e.g., not being able to see lava flows in Hawaii because the wind's blowing the volcanic fumes the wrong way; getting stuck in Dulles Airport overnight; visiting Yosemite when it happened to be on fire...), but that one just sucked, not just because the plans were thrown out of whack, but because it involved a friend hitting a hard time.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: jwolfer on May 18, 2017, 11:52:10 PM
Least favorite roadtrip was driving home from Tampa to Jacksonville... We had to drop a friend off in Cocoa Beach... I was up for a total of 36 hours... It was in college days and it was a crazy weekend to say the least

LGMS428

Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: hbelkins on May 19, 2017, 11:48:31 AM
Re: Valerie and Rothman's work-related travel...

We have to pay out of our pockets and then file for reimbursement. Sometimes the wait is so long that a credit card billing cycle rolls over, and interest is accrued on the business travel payment. The good thing is, whenever the travel involves a meal that is not part of the event being attended, per-diem reimbursement rates are $8, $10 and $18 for the three meals. I can generally eat much cheaper than that so I end up making money on the deal.

Be thankful that you are allowed to use state-issued credit cards for your travel expenses. Food and lodging are expressly prohibited on Kentucky procurement cards, one of which I do not have.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: corco on May 19, 2017, 03:30:38 PM
I go on a trip that's a total dud once every couple years. I think the worst was a four day clinching weekend in southeast Montana in January 2015.

I drove to Billings after work on Friday to get a headstart. On Saturday morning, I woke up with the idea of clinching a bunch of highways and ending up in Spearfish, SD that night, then up to Glasgow on Sunday, than back to Helena on Monday.

An hour into my drive, on Secondary 313, I saw a pheasant on the side of the road  and swerved out of its way. The dumb pheasant was startled,  jumped up like pheasants do, and took out my passenger side mirror. Annoying but not the end of the world. I was in a 2001 Honda Accord and the mirrors on those are very easy to replace - a $40 fix for a matching junkyard mirror on eBay and about 30 minutes of my own labor.

I drive for a couple more hours. Fast forward to Secondary 484. I clinch this partially unpaved highway and just before I get back on the paved part, I blow a tire.

The Honda only has a donut so I put the donut on and drive back up to Ashland where there is cell service to try to find a tire place open on weekends - not easy to find. Turns out I was pretty much equidistant from Billings, Spearfish, and Gillette.  It's a little closer to Miles City, but Miles City doesn't have a tire place open on Saturdays. So I'm a three hour drive at donut speeds from a Walmart tire place, which is the only place that would be open at 5  PM on a Saturday.

So I decide to limp back to Billings, because that's the biggest city and seemed to have the best options (and the most consistent cell service along the way if the donut gave out). I drive three hours back on the donut, never exceeding 45 MPH or so, even on the freeway. At least the roads were good.

I limp into the Billings Walmart at 5:30 PM or so and spend four hours waiting for a new tire, but they get it done for me.

At this point I'm exhausted (and irrecoverably off schedule) so abort the rest of the trip and drive home. So I lost a mirror and a tire within a couple hundred miles of each other and had to spend​four hours in a Walmart. That's pretty much my personal hell.



Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: Hot Rod Hootenanny on May 19, 2017, 09:26:10 PM
My 2002 "I-73 roadtrip" would be my least favorite. Only because I developed car trouble in South Carolina (between Charleston & Savannah).
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: Rothman on May 20, 2017, 06:36:10 AM


Sometimes the wait is so long that a credit card billing cycle rolls over, and interest is accrued on the business travel payment.

Hm.  That would only be a problem if you accrue more expenses than you can afford to pay off in a month (i.e., pay off the card with the bill the expenses are accrued).

Have to say that there was a lack of understanding amongst my superiors at NYSDOT of the burden of waiting for reimbursement, though, when I was just starting out.  The spend-less-than-per diem-game helped, though, but I think you are kept to what you actually spend now per your receipts (is that true, vdeane?).

Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: hbelkins on May 20, 2017, 03:58:52 PM
Kentucky gives a flat per-diem (with regular and high-rate areas spelled out) instead of requiring receipts, as long as you are in travel status for an entire period as defined in policy -- which is handy if you drive through and get something and forget to ask for a receipt, if they don't automatically give you one. Lodging does require a receipt, however.


Sometimes the wait is so long that a credit card billing cycle rolls over, and interest is accrued on the business travel payment.

Hm.  That would only be a problem if you accrue more expenses than you can afford to pay off in a month (i.e., pay off the card with the bill the expenses are accrued).

A two-day stay at the Galt House in Louisville for a conference will easily run in excess of $250. I don't have that much spare money sitting around in my checking account to make an immediate payment to stave off interest charges. I have to wait until I'm reimbursed before I can pay the full amount.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: 1995hoo on May 20, 2017, 04:29:40 PM
Least favorite road trip would have to be in January or February 2001, I think. Might have been 2002, but I don't think so. I had to go to some depositions in Carteret, New Jersey (Exit 12 on the Turnpike), and given the location it made more sense to drive than to fly and rent a car (much less take Amtrak to Metropark). The drive up was fine, and driving around there was fine if somewhat depressing since the deposition location was back in the heavy industrial area near the Superfund site that was the reason for the depositions. Driving home.....that took seven or eight hours because it began to snow. The southern end of the Turnpike was closed, so I went through Pennsylvania and hit massive Philadelphia snow-day traffic. In the rear view I saw a car spin out across four lanes of traffic (somehow he didn't hit anything). At one point it took two hours to go five miles. Later, after I broke free of the traffic, I wound up stopping the car in the right lane under an overpass to use the ice scraper to clean off the windshield wipers because they had become useless. I-95 in Delaware and Maryland wasn't cleared very well at all....EXCEPT near the toll plazas, where it was immaculate. Shows you where their priorities were! It was pretty much 40 mph on rutted or packed snow all the way home from Delaware on down to Virginia. I thought about stopping somewhere for the night but was too stubborn and I wasn't sure I'd get reimbursed for it.

Also, to make it worse, my boss's wife was pregnant and two weeks from her due date, and when I stopped at the Delaware service plaza to hit the head, I checked my voicemails and found a message from a colleague telling me my boss's wife had lost the baby—it choked on the umbilical cord.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: Roadgeekteen on May 20, 2017, 06:20:46 PM
Least favorite road trip would have to be in January or February 2001, I think. Might have been 2002, but I don't think so. I had to go to some depositions in Carteret, New Jersey (Exit 12 on the Turnpike), and given the location it made more sense to drive than to fly and rent a car (much less take Amtrak to Metropark). The drive up was fine, and driving around there was fine if somewhat depressing since the deposition location was back in the heavy industrial area near the Superfund site that was the reason for the depositions. Driving home.....that took seven or eight hours because it began to snow. The southern end of the Turnpike was closed, so I went through Pennsylvania and hit massive Philadelphia snow-day traffic. In the rear view I saw a car spin out across four lanes of traffic (somehow he didn't hit anything). At one point it took two hours to go five miles. Later, after I broke free of the traffic, I wound up stopping the car in the right lane under an overpass to use the ice scraper to clean off the windshield wipers because they had become useless. I-95 in Delaware and Maryland wasn't cleared very well at all....EXCEPT near the toll plazas, where it was immaculate. Shows you where their priorities were! It was pretty much 40 mph on rutted or packed snow all the way home from Delaware on down to Virginia. I thought about stopping somewhere for the night but was too stubborn and I wasn't sure I'd get reimbursed for it.

Also, to make it worse, my boss's wife was pregnant and two weeks from her due date, and when I stopped at the Delaware service plaza to hit the head, I checked my voicemails and found a message from a colleague telling me my boss's wife had lost the baby—it choked on the umbilical cord.
And I whine during light traffic...
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: vdeane on May 20, 2017, 11:24:18 PM
I would guess any trip that involves staying in a hotel for NYSDOT business.  For some reason, rather than go smoothly, they're always full of last minute crises and whatnot.  The last time my coworker and I didn't even find out we were going to a conference until the last day to register.  Since we didn't have travel cards, this involved multiple phone calls to the travel department to figure out how to handle it.  We ended up having to get reimbursed for part of the trip.  The trip itself involved getting up way early, having luggage in the car both days because hotel check-in time was after the conference began and check-out time was before it ended, and having to switch the cards on the reservation and verify they got it right and charged the travel cards and not our personal cards.  The current trip is now involving multiple phone calls because the hotel is being difficult about things like honoring the state rate or even the group conference rate, possibly having to pay $14 to NYSDOT because of that, changing credit cards because my supervisor had to do my booking since I was out in the field, etc.  For someone who likes to plan everything else in advance and then stick to the plan/procedure and can't stand uncertainty (and doesn't like having to make a zillion phone calls), it's a nightmare.  My coworker who prefers to fly by the seat of her pants, however, is in her element.

I used to prefer getting reimbursed since I could easily live under the per diem.  But, I think the rules have changed about that and a travel card makes things a whole lot easier. 

Isn't travel expected in your position every now and then?  I have a travel card from the years where I had to head out to Buffalo once a month to meet with NITTEC, but they've let me keep it even though since those days I've traveled less than once a year on average for NYSDOT (for the last decade or so).

Have to say I've never had a problem with traveling for NYSDOT, either when I was getting reimbursed or using the travel card.
It's the hotels that always complicate things.  I've only had a couple times with them.  The one time was because management didn't decide to tell us we could go until literally the last day to sign up, and since we had never gone to a multi-day conference before (Highway Data Services doesn't count because we're Region 1), we didn't have travel cards, which managment implied as being required (honestly, reimbursement seems easier, and I only use the card about once per year).  The current one is because apparently not all of a hotel's rooms are available at the state rate, and those (as well as the group rate ones for the conference) were all booked.  Clearly NYSAMPO needs to raise their registration fees!

Otherwise my travel is almost always meetings that are less than two hours away and field surveys for data services stuff and ADA.  Things are much simpler when booking a car is all that's required (or just eating the mileage, like I did for my most recent meeting since it meant significantly less driving to stop on the way back from Rochester than to come back to Albany just to drive to Binghamton the next day).

The spend-less-than-per diem-game helped, though, but I think you are kept to what you actually spend now per your receipts (is that true, vdeane?).
That's how my coworker and I did it for our last conference, though whether that's required, I'm not sure.  For what it's worth, Expense Anywhere still doesn't allow one to attach a receipt for meals.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: Rothman on May 20, 2017, 11:46:07 PM




A two-day stay at the Galt House in Louisville for a conference will easily run in excess of $250. I don't have that much spare money sitting around in my checking account to make an immediate payment to stave off interest charges. I have to wait until I'm reimbursed before I can pay the full amount.

Stay at a cheaper hotel.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: hbelkins on May 21, 2017, 03:31:46 PM




A two-day stay at the Galt House in Louisville for a conference will easily run in excess of $250. I don't have that much spare money sitting around in my checking account to make an immediate payment to stave off interest charges. I have to wait until I'm reimbursed before I can pay the full amount.

Stay at a cheaper hotel.

In downtown Louisville at a reasonable distance from the Galt House? Ha!
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: Rothman on May 21, 2017, 09:28:00 PM




A two-day stay at the Galt House in Louisville for a conference will easily run in excess of $250. I don't have that much spare money sitting around in my checking account to make an immediate payment to stave off interest charges. I have to wait until I'm reimbursed before I can pay the full amount.

Stay at a cheaper hotel.

In downtown Louisville at a reasonable distance from the Galt House? Ha!
What do you think is a reasonable distance?

I dunno.  In my experience, conferences provide plenty of time for people to get to and from their locations.

I suppose parking would be a factor, though.  Adding on $20 a day may hurt.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: OracleUsr on May 22, 2017, 12:06:08 AM
My 2009 lighthouse trip.  Drove all the way from Newark Airport to Lubec, ME, and couldn't photograph the West Quoddy Head Lighthouse because of the fog, then got stuck in Maine trying to get wifi access because of a problem at work and returning to New Jersey fifteen minutes too late to eat dinner at a nearby IHOP.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: hbelkins on May 22, 2017, 01:36:56 PM

In downtown Louisville at a reasonable distance from the Galt House? Ha!
What do you think is a reasonable distance?

I dunno.  In my experience, conferences provide plenty of time for people to get to and from their locations.

I suppose parking would be a factor, though.  Adding on $20 a day may hurt.

Parking is reimbursable. Nearest non-fancy hotel/motel to the Galt House is an EconoLodge at 2nd and Liberty.

https://goo.gl/maps/44DNAog6jH62

Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: Rothman on May 22, 2017, 03:10:59 PM
...and staying on the Indiana side is out of the question, I take it.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: hbelkins on May 22, 2017, 03:44:02 PM
...and staying on the Indiana side is out of the question, I take it.

It would require an out-of-state travel request, which they wouldn't be likely to approve for a conference on the Kentucky side of the river.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: inkyatari on May 22, 2017, 05:18:13 PM
Well, went on a trip to the black hills when I was a teen.  My dad and mom were fighting the whole way out.  The first night out, my mom and sister slept in the van.  They eventually got along for the rest of the long weekend, but it all culminated in divorce several years later.

Yeah, it sucked.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: Roadgeekteen on May 22, 2017, 11:02:54 PM
Well, went on a trip to the black hills when I was a teen.  My dad and mom were fighting the whole way out.  The first night out, my mom and sister slept in the van.  They eventually got along for the rest of the long weekend, but it all culminated in divorce several years later.

Yeah, it sucked.
Wow, that was such a long time ago! What were the roads like back then?
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: inkyatari on May 23, 2017, 08:59:44 AM
Well, went on a trip to the black hills when I was a teen.  My dad and mom were fighting the whole way out.  The first night out, my mom and sister slept in the van.  They eventually got along for the rest of the long weekend, but it all culminated in divorce several years later.

Yeah, it sucked.
Wow, that was such a long time ago! What were the roads like back then?

Probably not much different through South Dakota than they are now, but I don't know, because that was the last time I was through there.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: leroys73 on May 27, 2017, 09:34:05 PM
I have been really thinking on this one.  Any road trip is better than no road trip except when it is mandatory and you have little to no control over it.  I don't do those. 

Even the road trip last summer when I broke my leg 3000 miles from home was still a good road trip everything considered.

I guess if there is a worst (other than for a funeral) for me it was a trip to Florida with my wife, 3 daughters, best friend=my dog, to have Christmas with relatives.  All was good until we stopped @ Disney World to camp and visit the parks.  I got so sick the first day I had to go back to our pop up trailer by noon to pass out.  I would have been glad to let someone shoot me.  It was almost 5 days later before I felt half human.  However, by then everyone else, including the relatives we went to see, were sick.

The only good parts of the trip I remember was the day before I got sick we went to St. Augustine.  I also remember the Disney campground was nice.     
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: Roadgeekteen on May 28, 2017, 07:57:31 PM
I have been really thinking on this one.  Any road trip is better than no road trip except when it is mandatory and you have little to no control over it.  I don't do those. 

Even the road trip last summer when I broke my leg 3000 miles from home was still a good road trip everything considered.

I guess if there is a worst (other than for a funeral) for me it was a trip to Florida with my wife, 3 daughters, best friend=my dog, to have Christmas with relatives.  All was good until we stopped @ Disney World to camp and visit the parks.  I got so sick the first day I had to go back to our pop up trailer by noon to pass out.  I would have been glad to let someone shoot me.  It was almost 5 days later before I felt half human.  However, by then everyone else, including the relatives we went to see, were sick.

The only good parts of the trip I remember was the day before I got sick we went to St. Augustine.  I also remember the Disney campground was nice.     
Wow, did you see a doctor or something?
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: leroys73 on May 29, 2017, 12:00:51 AM
I have been really thinking on this one.  Any road trip is better than no road trip except when it is mandatory and you have little to no control over it.  I don't do those. 

Even the road trip last summer when I broke my leg 3000 miles from home was still a good road trip everything considered.

I guess if there is a worst (other than for a funeral) for me it was a trip to Florida with my wife, 3 daughters, best friend=my dog, to have Christmas with relatives.  All was good until we stopped @ Disney World to camp and visit the parks.  I got so sick the first day I had to go back to our pop up trailer by noon to pass out.  I would have been glad to let someone shoot me.  It was almost 5 days later before I felt half human.  However, by then everyone else, including the relatives we went to see, were sick.

The only good parts of the trip I remember was the day before I got sick we went to St. Augustine.  I also remember the Disney campground was nice.     
Wow, did you see a doctor or something?

Yep, some doc near Disney, he did not know what it was but gave me some meds.  I don't know if they helped or it just ran its course.   I don't remember feeling that bad in all my life.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: kennyshark on May 29, 2017, 03:47:44 PM
It took me a few minutes to come up with one, since most of my road trips are at least generally pleasant.

However, my trip to a weeklong "Guitar School" for music ministers (I've played in church for 28 years) in the summer of 1995 might qualify as my least favorite road trip to date.  This took place in Belleville, IL (across the river from St. Louis).

The school itself was great (learning new techniques, bonding with other musicians from around the country, etc.) and something that left its mark on me.  I also got to see my uncle's family at the beginning and end of the week.

However, I spent the week plagued by what I thought at the time was just a bad cold (but was, in retrospect, a severe sinus infection).  And the scenery (or lack thereof) on I-55 and I-70, especially in Illinois...need I say more? 

On top of that, I had planned on spending the night in South Bend on my way home...except that the Brickyard 400 at Indy, which I had never heard of, was that day, so no hotel rooms in South Bend or Elkhart were available.  Long story short, I drove all the way through to Plymouth, MI, arriving at 3 AM.

The final coup de grace...After having visited a few places on that trip that someone I had been dating had recommended (she had lived in metro St. Louis for a few years), and presenting her with a few souvenirs, she unceremoniously "Dear Johned" me less than 48 hours after I got back.   
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: kkt on May 29, 2017, 04:58:32 PM
Most of them have been really good.  I did have one troubled trip when I was maybe 9 years old.  I was stuck in the back seat of a VW bug.  For anyone who doesn't remember or never knew, the engine of the bug was in the back and vented fumes into the back seat.  It was also noisy and bouncy and the windows were too high for little me to look out and see anything.  Anyway, we headed out from the S.F. Bay Area, south to Bakersfield and then east on 58 and I-40.  All went well until we were in Oklahoma and trying to make time driving at night when the engine threw a rod.  Tow to a town.  Engine repairs on that scale were not easy for us to afford at that point.  My mom and I went on by Greyhound to our destination, visiting a friend in SE Missouri.  Our friend was a biologist they knew from college, who bought a piece of property with a cave on it.  His career became exploring the large cave system, studying many previously unknown organisms that lived there, learning about water flows from the surface and various places in the state into the subterranean water of the cave, etc.  My parents took turns going into the cave to be shown around, but I was considered too little so I had to twiddle my thumbs on the surface while the adults had fun.  My dad joined us with the car when the repairs were done.  I don't remember our exact route home.  But the whole trip was a lot of sitting in the back seeing nothing and feeling vaguely nauseous, a lot of stress about being stranded, and very little fun.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: J N Winkler on May 29, 2017, 10:52:35 PM
Let me run down a few of my travel fiascoes:

*  In 1984, I went with my parents to a convention in Vegas, neither they nor I realizing how little the city then had to offer to someone who was too young to gamble.  A rental car excursion to the Hoover Dam was the high point of a very understimulating trip.  I also had a bad reaction to the time zone change and at one point had nausea so bad I had to vomit.

*  One autumn in the early noughties, I booked a plane ticket to Madrid several weeks in advance and then caught a cold just as it was time to fly there.  It was a bad one, made worse by ambient tobacco smoke (smoking was then still legal in indoors spaces in Spain), so I spent a lot of time resting and very little sightseeing.

*  In 2003 I did a long roadtrip in my 1986 Nissan Maxima, covering large chunks of the Rockies and the Pacific Northwest in both the US and Canada.  Around Edmonton, the brakes started feeling funny, though the car still stopped responsively.  I kept pushing on for at least another two thousand miles until Berkeley, where I was staying with a friend for a few days and thus was in one place long enough to deal with an apparent non-emergency.  It turned out that the rear pads had worn down so far the calipers were biting into the rotors, ruining them.  That was a $400+ repair.

*  In Amsterdam in 2007, I was headed to a conference when I caught bad norovirus, with urgency at both ends:  I would vomit and then ten minutes later I would have diarrhea.  I was in bed for over 24 hours, much of it with my head clenched to the pillow because I also had vertigo and the world seemed to be spinning.  I ended up missing the conference altogether.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: leroys73 on June 01, 2017, 09:16:44 PM
It took me a few minutes to come up with one, since most of my road trips are at least generally pleasant.

However, my trip to a weeklong "Guitar School" for music ministers (I've played in church for 28 years) in the summer of 1995 might qualify as my least favorite road trip to date.  This took place in St. Clair, IL (across the river from St. Louis).

The school itself was great (learning new techniques, bonding with other musicians from around the country, etc.) and something that left its mark on me.  I also got to see my uncle's family at the beginning and end of the week.

However, I spent the week plagued by what I thought at the time was just a bad cold (but was, in retrospect, a severe sinus infection).  And the scenery (or lack thereof) on I-55 and I-70, especially in Illinois...need I say more? 

On top of that, I had planned on spending the night in South Bend on my way home...except that the Brickyard 400 at Indy, which I had never heard of, was that day, so no hotel rooms in South Bend or Elkhart were available.  Long story short, I drove all the way through to Plymouth, MI, arriving at 3 AM.

The final coup de grace...After having visited a few places on that trip that someone I had been dating had recommended (she had lived in metro St. Louis for a few years), and presenting her with a few souvenirs, she unceremoniously "Dear Johned" me less than 48 hours after I got back.   

Yep, that would rank as a bad road trip.  I'm not sure what is worse the Dear John or I-55 & I-70. :hmmm:  Sorry to hear of the break up but just look at it this way:  A marriage saved as she may have been the one to ruin your life.  Been there done that.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: JMoses24 on June 13, 2017, 02:01:25 AM
I have three.

--June 2002 east coast swing. The first week was a blast as a 16 year old, going to Daytona Beach with a church group (because what 16 year old doesn't like looking at cute girls on the beach?). The second week was the family vacation, going to D.C., stopping in NYC and then the last weekend in Niagara Falls. I liked seeing the Smithsonian museums and the monuments in D.C.. New Jersey is where the trip took the bad turn. First I got a pitcher of ice water dumped on me (total accident) at a Friendly's restaurant somewhere near Trenton. The next day I caught a cold and got us lost in New York City (because we wanted to see the WTC site -- remember this was 9 months post-9/11) before the long trip along the Thruway. I spent most of the Niagara portion of the trip in the hotel room because I couldn't talk and the family was going to go on the Maid of the Mist...something that would almost surely have made my cold worse by going under the falls. The trip home took forever and I hated that part because by that point I was in full blown misery both from the cold and my bad back.

--A few years later, I think 2011, our family vacation to Branson, MO was marred by trouble between my sister's boyfriend and one of my brothers who opted not to make the trip. They had a major fight and it led to the trip being cut short and the boyfriend of my sister being kicked out for a period of time.

-- Finally, a short distance trip to Dayton, OH makes this list. Not only did the girl I went there to meet suddenly turn into Ice B----, but a snowstorm delayed my Greyhound home by 4-5 hours AND they forgot about my accessibility request to use my wheelchair on the trip back, leading to me having to be carried on and off.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: jcn on July 26, 2017, 11:17:07 PM
OMG, my worst road trip was back in 2014 when we were driving back to Philly from South Carolina.  After noticing that I-95 was backed up between Fredericksburg and DC, (which is no surprise) we decided to detour onto 301.  But, a car broke down on the Nice Bridge into Maryland, out of all places.  This caused traffic to be so severe to the point where we decided to turn back onto 95 which was fortunately clear by that time.  What's worse was that we were probably in front of the car that eventually broke down, until we decided to stop in a convenience store on 301.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: roadman on July 27, 2017, 03:49:00 PM
Worst road trip I can recall was with my parents and siblings in 1972.  We were traveling from Massachusetts to Williamsburg - to visit my sister at William and Mary, when we got a flat tire on I-86/Route 15 outside of Sturbridge.  After changing the flat, my father stopped at a couple of gas stations between Sturbridge and Hartford to get a replacement.  Neither station had the right sized tire, but the second station referred us to a tire shop in East Hartford.  While waiting for the replacement tire to be mounted, my sister and I decided to walk over to a nearby bakery.  Following the aroma from the bakery, and not watching where I was going, I suddenly found myself enveloped in files - I had just stepped on a dead cat.

After all that, we got back on the road and the remainder of the trip was uneventful - except that a normally 12 to 14 hour trip had extended to almost 18 hours.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: hbelkins on July 28, 2017, 02:29:24 PM
Seeing the news about the I-86/NY 17 closure because of a flood-damaged bridge reminds me that my trip to the Watertown meet a few years ago was cursed.

https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/horseheads-to-binghamton-via-detours--2

https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/binghamton-to-watertown-via-i-88-detours--2

I had driven from home to Horseheads, NY, the previous day without incident. The next morning, I discovered that significant flooding had taken place between Horseheads and Binghamton. Practically every detour route I attempted to use was flooded out. I finally found a way to get to Binghamton, only to discover a couple of I-88 closures. It was late and dark when I finally made it to Watertown, and I was disappointed to have to drive through the Adirondacks in the dark.

Then, on top of that, I had to cut the trip short by a day to get home. One of our cats had taken a serious turn for the worst health-wise, and I needed to come home so we could make that final trip to the vet's office.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: Nanis on July 29, 2017, 03:18:43 AM
When I was 3, my family took a trip to DC. That was the only time I have ever gone to New Hampshire.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: CapeCodder on July 31, 2017, 03:11:44 PM
The day I officially clinched the Missouri portion of I-70. Rained like a son of a bitch the whole time. I left the PSB (it entered MO on the PSB at the time) and saw flashes of lightning in the distance. Got hit by a Mesoscale Convective System. That stretch of 70 in Callaway County had standing water on it. Folks were hydroplaning and getting run off the road. Stopped at a gas station near Boonville. Clerk told me "good luck" in a thick drawl.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: US 89 on July 31, 2017, 03:17:21 PM
My family and I went down to Southern Utah to see the 2012 Annular solar eclipse. While seeing the eclipse was quite fun, I got sick on the 4 hour drive back to Salt Lake and tried to sleep but couldn't because my stomach hurt. There was also a major traffic jam on that drive. Normally I would have been happy since it was late, longer time in car, wouldn't get home till midnight, etc... but I wanted to get home as fast as possible. I threw up right when I got home.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: CapeCodder on July 31, 2017, 05:59:20 PM
The infamous "Illinois Circuit" of 2010. I have never posted about it here before.

The itinerary: From St. Louis head north on I-55 to Springfield, then get on I-72 west towards Jacksonville. Exit 72 at Jacksonville and head north on 67. Stop for lunch in Macomb at IIRC the Family diner on Main street. From Macomb, head N on 67 to the Quad Cities. Hop on 80 east. Stay overnight in Joliet. The following morning head on 80 east to 57 south. Take 57 south to Cairo/MO line. From there head s on 57 to 55 N.

What actually happened: From the get go the weather was shitty. Since it was spring, there were showers every afternoon. Severe weather  had formed early in the morning of the first day. There was a SPECTACULAR light show on 55 headed towards Springfield. Right at the I-72/55 partial cloverleaf thing is when I entered the core. Let me tell you, when the rain comes down in sheets, it is safe to pull over. My wipers couldn't keep up. So here I was on 72 barely west of Springfield waiting for the thunderstorm to clear. The storm seemed to take forever to clear the area; when it finally did, I was behind schedule. Come to find out, just down the road there was IIRC a confirmed tornado touchdown. Can't remember if there was a TOR that day. I exited onto 67 and headed north. Flash floods galore. Thought for sure I wouldn't make it to Macomb. I finally made it and had lunch at the diner. Just when I had thought the weather would hold, we went right back into the severe thunderstorms. Sky got pitch black just south of Rock Island. 280 was a mess, as was 80.

I made slow progress to Joliet. Stayed overnight at this really, really run down motel that I swear had an infestation of spiders. They were everywhere: in the shower, in the closet, in the bed etc... We're not talking about wolf spiders here, but brown recluses.  I ended up sleeping in the truck in the parking lot. The following morning, I checked out and headed east to the 57 interchange. I guess on this day the ISP were in full force on 57.

I didn't get the memo.

I was pulled over just north of where 70 heads off to St. Louis. They searched the truck and found nothing of course, but the whole time the officer was just being a plain asshole. I get that 57 is a big drug route and they have to be on their toes and their heads on a swivel. Got a ticket for going 5 over. There was an accident near 24 that had everything backed up for miles.

That's when I noticed it.

My thermostat shit the bed. The needle climbed up into the red zone. I turned on the heater full blast and the needle went down. By this time it was about 5 in the afternoon and finally passed 24 and made it to Cairo. I toured Cairo, which was really cool.

The rest of the trip was uneventful.

So there is my ultimate worst.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: Rothman on August 01, 2017, 08:38:05 AM
To CapeCodder:  One for the history books, indeed. :D
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: J N Winkler on August 01, 2017, 11:37:13 AM
Yes indeed--one for the history books.

The near-overheating episode sounds to me more like a problem with the engine fan, possibly a failed fan switch.  Older cars that don't have stepless operation or soft start for the engine fan usually wait until the coolant temperature (as reported to the PCM by a thermistor screwed into the engine somewhere) reaches a point just below overheating, at which point the PCM commands the fan to turn on.  If the fan is properly designed and in good mechanical health, the coolant temperature will then drop rapidly.

In my 1994 Saturn, which has this type of hard-start control logic for the fan, the engine temperature normally reaches fan-on point only if I encounter many miles of stop-and-go traffic, which hardly ever happens around here.  In fact, the last time the fan actuated more than once in a single day due to high coolant temperature was in 2014 when I was doing a loop on the San Francisco peninsula that began with a crossing of the Golden Gate and ended with a crossing of the Bay Bridge.

Newer cars have the ability to run the fan at varying speeds, with the goal of controlling engine temperature to within a very narrow range regardless of operating conditions.  One benefit is more consistent oil temperature management, which helps prevent sludging.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: bandit957 on August 05, 2017, 02:59:14 PM
I can't think of any road trips (at least not overnight) that were truly horrendous, but I was very disappointed that it rained throughout pretty much all of my Virginia Beach trip in 2000. On the plus side, that was the trip where we discovered that the bun of an Arby's roast beef sandwich is chewy enough that you can blow bubbles with it, so we didn't need to buy gum. I do remember when I was 10, we visited a state park in Ohio with a Native American burial ground, and I came down with the Plague of '83. But that wasn't an overnight trip.

As for trips in general, imagine being the youngest in the family (grade school age or younger) and having to do what the rest of the family said. You just don't have the energy to keep up with older sibs or parents.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: Jardine on September 18, 2017, 03:03:54 PM
Helped a friend move from the Midwest to the east coast in a U-Haul van.

His tiny bladder was the worst aspect.

We are still on speaking terms, but I don't know that I'd do it again.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: Roadgeekteen on September 19, 2017, 05:40:32 PM
Helped a friend move from the Midwest to the east coast in a U-Haul van.

His tiny bladder was the worst aspect.

We are still on speaking terms, but I don't know that I'd do it again.
You would hate me.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: Sanctimoniously on September 20, 2017, 06:59:46 PM
Either that time I drove from Jacksonville, NC to Boston with less than 150 dollars in the bank and ended up violently vomiting in a McDonald's in Connecticut...

...Or moving from Norfolk back to my hometown in Louisiana, again with almost no money, and having my then year-old car break down about a third of the way in, getting it running to take it to a dealer where I found out the entire engine computer needed replacing, then having to beg my mother to use her credit card on a rental to drive me and everything I owned the rest of the way home.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: Roadgeekteen on September 20, 2017, 10:26:29 PM
Either that time I drove from Jacksonville, NC to Boston with less than 150 dollars in the bank and ended up violently vomiting in a McDonald's in Connecticut...

...Or moving from Norfolk back to my hometown in Louisiana, again with almost no money, and having my then year-old car break down about a third of the way in, getting it running to take it to a dealer where I found out the entire engine computer needed replacing, then having to beg my mother to use her credit card on a rental to drive me and everything I owned the rest of the way home.
How did the people in mcdonolds react to the vomiting?
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on September 24, 2017, 05:52:56 PM
Helped a friend move from the Midwest to the east coast in a U-Haul van.

His tiny bladder was the worst aspect.

We are still on speaking terms, but I don't know that I'd do it again.

On this note my buddy asked me a few years ago to go to his hometown north of Green Bay with him to pick up a dresser he and his brother had built. So we drove out there the five hours. We get there and now I find out the dresser isnt’t actually finished and he and his brother were still going to work on it more, leaving me to on a whim plan how to kill time in an area in the middle of nowhere.

Far from the “worst” trip I’ve had but certainly annoying.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: 21stCenturyRoad on September 24, 2017, 07:40:14 PM
My least favorite trip was within a trip  :sombrero:
It was a trip to Avon, NC while visiting family in Eastern North Carolina. Man, NC 12 and US 64 were so boring . Apparently the best of the Outer Banks is by turning north on US-158, not South.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: akotchi on November 15, 2017, 01:50:00 PM
I consider all ground travel to be a road trip of some sort, as I always find something transportation-related to see or photograph . . . This one had a specific purpose, though.

May of 2014, Philadelphia area to Parris Island, SC -- our son graduated from USMC Boot Camp.  Planned for two days down with stop in Lumberton, NC.  Heavy rains most of the way down, prompting many stops -- went through a tornado warning area in central NC, and discovering the town of Micro in the process.  A small portion of I-95 was open but flooded as stream-like flows crossed the highway -- north of Fayetteville, if I recall -- creating severe backups.  Ducked off on parallel U.S. 301, but it, too, was flooded in one spot -- luckily the access back to I-95 was south of that highway's flooding area . . .

Finally got to Beaufort SC safely the next day, but our first trip onto Parris Island was interrupted by another torrential downpour.  The briefing presentation we were to have the day before Family Day was cancelled because that storm caused a power outage on the island . . .

Family Day and Graduation went off with much better weather as well as the trip home, but the way down, which was more time-sensitive, was by far the more nerve-wracking.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: kphoger on November 15, 2017, 02:11:27 PM
Overnight drives are bad.  The only two times I've done them, I was in miserable shape by the end of the drive—mainly because I was the one who knew the route so, even if someone else was driving, I couldn't make myself fall asleep for fear of missing a turn.  The first was in 2002, leaving Chicago at around midnight and arriving in Ouray (CO) at 11 PM; I could do almost none of the driving on the way back, because I was just wasted.  The second was in 2010, leaving Wichita at 7 PM and arriving in Parras (Coah, Mexico) at around 4 PM; I was so exhausted upon arrival than I had to make my wife do all the unpacking while I just sat there like a bump on a log.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: cabiness42 on November 15, 2017, 04:29:24 PM
March 1993 - Freshman year of college Spring Break trip from Indiana to Florida.  My best friend and I, plus an acquaintance of his who was hitching a ride home to Florida for the week.  Left Southern Florida early morning of Friday, March 12.  As we approached Atlanta, is was raining very hard.  After stopping to eat on the north side of Atlanta and heading north, the rain turned to snow.  I knew this was not good because March snowstorms were not common this far south.  Somewhere in or near Chattanooga, the weight of the snow snapped of the drivers' side windshield wiper--not just the blade but the entire arm.  We found a service station that was still open and they didn't have a replacement in stock but were able to switch the passenger's side wiper over to the driver's side.  We briefly debated whether we wanted to keep going or stop for the night.  (If we had stopped, we likely would have been stuck in Chattanooga for days.  After returning home, we found out that police stopped letting traffic out of Chattanooga on I-24 not long after we left).  We pressed on, and for most of the trip from Chattanooga to Nashville, we followed behind semi trucks that were more or less plowing out paths in the road.  At one point the one we were following exited and we ended up going about 20 mph in the right lane until another one passed us that we could follow.  After Nashville things lightened up and we made it home, but that was by far the most stressful road trip I've ever made.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: kkt on November 15, 2017, 04:39:59 PM
In the early 1980s, driving from Seattle to the San Francisco Bay Area at the beginning of winter break.  I was catching a ride with my mom.  All through the Willamette Valley from Wilsonville all the way to Roseburg was thick fog.  We kept going, taking turns driving, just hoping everyone was driving cautiously and not rearending us.  Then at Roseburg we got snow.  Snow, snow, snow all the way to Grant's Pass where we stopped for the night.  In the morning snow was still falling, but at least it was freshly plowed.  Took about 16 hours for what's usually an 8 hour trip.  Plenty of time to contemplate the virtues of US 97, or airlines.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: sparker on November 16, 2017, 05:14:55 PM
I would say definitely the one where my father passed away (congestive heart failure caught up with him) at a rest stop -- the first one on WB I-10 in AZ, near San Simon.  He got out of the car, used the rest room, and sat down on a bench and keeled over.  There was cell service there (late '90's), so I was able to contact emergency services -- and one of the other travelers stopping there was a retired nurse, so we attempted to revive my dad, but to no avail.  It took the EMT's about 75 minutes to get to the place from their base in Willcox; when they got there, the on-call MD was on the line, and pronounced my dad deceased about 10 minutes after their arrival.  The whole thing was numbing -- although he was 91 years old, he hadn't displayed any signs of acute problems aside from early-stage Alzheimer's; he had been staying with his sister in Oklahoma for the previous two months (she managed a care facility there, and was on the lookout for problems with my dad, given his age and condition). I was bringing him back to his home in SoCal after the Oklahoma visit (he hadn't seen his sister in a few years, and she was still living in his original home town, so he wanted an extended visit); ironically, he had an appointment with his principal physician two days after we were expected to return to the L.A. area.

The ambulance took my dad to a mortuary in Willcox that served as the "branch" coroner's office in that county; I followed, and after an hour or so of phone calls, we arranged to have the embalming done in Willcox, after which his body would go to Tucson and be flown to Dallas, where it would be driven to Broken Bow for the services and burial.  I drove back to L.A., spent 3 days getting his financial affairs in order (we were lucky he had a living trust), and then flew to Dallas, rented a car and drove to Broken Bow to arrange the memorial service and burial in the local cemetery next to his father & mother (what he had always wanted).  The whole ordeal took about 9 days -- arguably the most grueling 9 days of my life starting with what was to be a 5-day road trip (2 CA-OK, one in OK, and 2 back, stopping in El Paso each way).  I'd rightfully call it the road trip from hell!   
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: kphoger on November 17, 2017, 12:56:01 PM
   

I don't even know why any of the rest of us should bother posting stories, after that one which obviously beats them all. 

It's a good thing you had cell phone reception, though! (small consolation)
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: bandit957 on November 17, 2017, 04:17:52 PM
March 1993 - Freshman year of college Spring Break trip from Indiana to Florida.  My best friend and I, plus an acquaintance of his who was hitching a ride home to Florida for the week.  Left Southern Florida early morning of Friday, March 12.  As we approached Atlanta, is was raining very hard.  After stopping to eat on the north side of Atlanta and heading north, the rain turned to snow.  I knew this was not good because March snowstorms were not common this far south.  Somewhere in or near Chattanooga, the weight of the snow snapped of the drivers' side windshield wiper--not just the blade but the entire arm.  We found a service station that was still open and they didn't have a replacement in stock but were able to switch the passenger's side wiper over to the driver's side.  We briefly debated whether we wanted to keep going or stop for the night.  (If we had stopped, we likely would have been stuck in Chattanooga for days.  After returning home, we found out that police stopped letting traffic out of Chattanooga on I-24 not long after we left).  We pressed on, and for most of the trip from Chattanooga to Nashville, we followed behind semi trucks that were more or less plowing out paths in the road.  At one point the one we were following exited and we ended up going about 20 mph in the right lane until another one passed us that we could follow.  After Nashville things lightened up and we made it home, but that was by far the most stressful road trip I've ever made.

March 1993 was when Panama City FL got a huge snowstorm, even though it almost never snows there. I remember this because I had some friends in college who went on spring break there that week. Their spring break was utterly, completely, totally ruined. (But I didn't go with them.)
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: bandit957 on November 17, 2017, 04:19:48 PM
In the early 1980s, driving from Seattle to the San Francisco Bay Area at the beginning of winter break.  I was catching a ride with my mom.  All through the Willamette Valley from Wilsonville all the way to Roseburg was thick fog.  We kept going, taking turns driving, just hoping everyone was driving cautiously and not rearending us.  Then at Roseburg we got snow.  Snow, snow, snow all the way to Grant's Pass where we stopped for the night.  In the morning snow was still falling, but at least it was freshly plowed.  Took about 16 hours for what's usually an 8 hour trip.  Plenty of time to contemplate the virtues of US 97, or airlines.

Once back in 1992, me and my brother drove to Michigan and back, and there was thick fog THE WHOLE DAY. We couldn't see a thing. We drove through downtown Flint and couldn't even see any buildings. This was the thickest, longest fog I've ever seen anywhere.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: Brandon on November 17, 2017, 05:27:38 PM
In the early 1980s, driving from Seattle to the San Francisco Bay Area at the beginning of winter break.  I was catching a ride with my mom.  All through the Willamette Valley from Wilsonville all the way to Roseburg was thick fog.  We kept going, taking turns driving, just hoping everyone was driving cautiously and not rearending us.  Then at Roseburg we got snow.  Snow, snow, snow all the way to Grant's Pass where we stopped for the night.  In the morning snow was still falling, but at least it was freshly plowed.  Took about 16 hours for what's usually an 8 hour trip.  Plenty of time to contemplate the virtues of US 97, or airlines.

Once back in 1992, me and my brother drove to Michigan and back, and there was thick fog THE WHOLE DAY. We couldn't see a thing. We drove through downtown Flint and couldn't even see any buildings. This was the thickest, longest fog I've ever seen anywhere.

It was Flint.  You didn't miss much.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: Brandon on November 17, 2017, 05:27:58 PM
Helped a friend move from the Midwest to the east coast in a U-Haul van.

His tiny bladder was the worst aspect.

We are still on speaking terms, but I don't know that I'd do it again.

Quite the pisser of a trip then.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: jakeroot on November 18, 2017, 01:32:24 AM
Helped a friend move from the Midwest to the east coast in a U-Haul van.

His tiny bladder was the worst aspect.

We are still on speaking terms, but I don't know that I'd do it again.

Quite the pisser of a trip then.

I've always thought bathroom jokes were a bit shit.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: Roadgeekteen on November 18, 2017, 03:25:18 PM
Helped a friend move from the Midwest to the east coast in a U-Haul van.

His tiny bladder was the worst aspect.

We are still on speaking terms, but I don't know that I'd do it again.

Quite the pisser of a trip then.

I've always thought bathroom jokes were a bit shit.
The bathroom joke you made was crap.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: ftballfan on November 19, 2017, 11:13:22 PM
In January 2014, I was scheduled to drive to Indianapolis to visit one of my best friends from high school (she played college basketball at a school there). However, about a half hour after I started off, my engine started to make funny noises, so I ended up having to turn around and go back home.

More recently, this past June I was coming back from Kings Island. I suffered from heat exhaustion as I had been riding coasters all day without eating or really drinking anything in 100 degree heat. I tried to make the 3.5 hour drive back home, but I had to pull over a few times to puke before deciding to get a hotel north of Dayton. That night was not a fun one, as I puked a couple more times in the room. However, I felt well enough to complete the drive home the next day.

Both of these were solo trips. However, when I was with my family in 2009, the family car's alternator blew just south of Tifton, GA on our way back from Florida. Thankfully, it was early enough on a Friday afternoon that we were able to get a new alternator put in, but we didn't reach our planned night stop (north of Nashville) until about 2am Saturday.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: US71 on December 30, 2017, 11:33:55 PM
Around 2005, traveling with my parents from Missouri to Chicago for Aunt Phyllis' funeral. My dad was grumbly the whole trip, my mom was in a funk having just lost her sister. We got the last motel room for 100 miles (big golf tournament in town) so I would up having to share a room with my folks. Not a fun time.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: Eth on January 01, 2018, 10:47:19 PM
In early 2011, I took an overnight trip from my then-home in DC's Maryland suburbs to the east side of metro Atlanta for a job interview. Left around 7 PM and made my way through Virginia and the Carolinas on I-95 and I-20. Late in the trip I got low on gas; unluckily for me this was on the ~100-mile stretch of I-20 between Augusta and Covington, GA that has pretty much nothing but a bunch of trees. I finally came upon an exit with a gas station only to find it was closed (it was around 4 AM or so), leaving me with little choice but to press on. By the time I managed to find a gas station that was actually open (at GA 142, I want to say?) my car estimated I had just 8 miles to spare. Disaster averted, but still not a great experience.

There was also the time in college (~2007ish) when I was traveling from one family member's house to another and blew a tire at 75 MPH in the middle of nowhere on I-10 about 25 miles east of Tallahassee. Lacking a spare tire and several miles away from the next exit (and pretty inexperienced in these matters in general, having only had my own car for about a year at this point), I ended up calling my aunt (the destination family member) for assistance. She was a solid two hours away, but eventually got there and helped me get to the nearest tire place, which was at the US 19/27 split.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: Hurricane Rex on January 02, 2018, 03:47:55 AM
Is none an answer? I try to find the joy in all road trips.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: Thing 342 on January 05, 2018, 07:51:38 PM
Haven't had any truly terrible trips (no breakdowns or illnesses of note), but easily the most aggravating drive I've ever done was heading back to Hampton Roads from Columbia, SC after the eclipse this summer. We had expected traffic, so we decided to avoid I-95 entirely by taking US-1 out of Columbia, then following US-64 from Raleigh to NC-11 and US-13 back home. What we didn't expect was the number of other people who also had this idea; US-1 was bumper-to-bumper all the way until Camden, and then nearly a parking lot until we gave up and bailed onto SC-341 at Bethune. Eventually, we used SC-341, S-13-23, and SC-151 to get over to US-15, which we followed back to US-1 at Aberdeen NC. By the time we left SC, it was nearly 6pm, about 4.5 hours after the eclipse. We made it to Rocky Mount without much additional trouble, but by this point it was nearly 9pm and most of the I-95 traffic had cleared up, so we decided to cut our losses and take the interstate. This worked out well, except for yet another accident on I-95 near Jarratt that stopped us for nearly an hour. We eventually made it home at around 1:30 a.m., for a grand total of 12.5 hours spent on a drive that normally takes us 7.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: oscar on January 05, 2018, 09:36:36 PM
My worst road trip has to be last summer's mega-cross-country road trip, about two and a half months (with breaks to fly up to southeast Alaska from Seattle, and fly back home for a week from Sacramento), and about 25,000 miles. I got a lot done, but my pickup truck had three breakdowns along the way, each of which threw me a day or two off schedule and caused a lot of aggravation in addition to the cost of repairs. This wasn't my first mega-road trip in the truck (my summer 2012 "Bad Roads of the Arctic" 23,000-mile road trip was almost as long), but until 2017 my travels in the truck were mostly breakdown-free.

The first and most "interesting" breakdown was in El Paso, on my way from home to southern California. I took a short side trip across the border into Ciudad Juarez, in order to complete my border-to-border clinch of US 85 and also snag the west end of US 62. Both routes end at the border, which for me (not everybody agrees) meant crossing the border. Having crossed into Mexico, I crossed back into the U.S. as soon as I could. Only it was a hot summer afternoon, and the stop-and-go traffic surrounding me on the four-lane one-way bridge back to the U.S. pushed the air temps over 130F (per my truck's outside thermometer), so my truck overheated. I managed to drive to the crest of the bridge with the coolant temp at redline, then turned my engine off to coast down the other side. Only once the bridge leveled out, just short of the U.S. customs booths, my engine wouldn't restart, and there was no way to get a tow truck out to me in all that traffic. U.S. customs staff pushed my truck to the customs booth, and after a mercifully short interrogation, pushed it out of the customs area, by which time my engine had cooled down enough to restart. The local repair facility seemed to think my problem was not unusual given El Paso's hot summers, and didn't cause permanent engine damage. But I did need to hang around overnight before they could give my truck a complete check-up, replaced the thermostat as a precaution, and sent me on my way.

In early August, the lug nuts on one of my wheels worked loose, late on a Saturday afternoon. I knew something was wrong but couldn't figure out what, and hoped to limp to the motel I'd reserved west of Sacramento before getting the repair the following Monday. Just a few miles east of the motel, my left front wheel came off (shearing off the wheel studs), and was pushed up into the fender so I didn't lose the wheel but also couldn't drive on it. The towing and repairs were aggravating and put quite a dent in my wallet, but I was able to resume my trip that Tuesday.

Finally, in early September on my way back home, on what started as a pleasant day in central Montana finishing off US 89 and US 191, my fuel pump went bad, able to deliver some fuel to the engine but not enough for highway speeds. I was able to limp to the hotel I'd reserved (nothing closer in that part of Montana), but it sucked having to drive at 35 mph on that last stretch on an Interstate with an 80mph speed limit. To make things worse, the Nissan dealer in Bozeman had to order a new fuel pump from out of state, there being none available locally. Then that overnight delivery was a day late. I was able to do some low-speed local driving while waiting for the new fuel pump, but otherwise it was two days wasted, when I was starting to run out of time to complete my drive back home in time for scheduled cataract surgery. I did get back home just in time to scurry around the day before surgery (mainly for chores like grocery shopping and partially unloading my truck, which couldn't wait until the usual "no heavy lifting" post-op restriction was lifted), but I had to rush things more than I had planned.

After recovering from surgery, I finished emptying out the truck, then pulled the plug on it after only 182,000 miles, since I no longer trusted it for cross-country travel, and it needed repairs to keep it going that would've cost more than it was worth. I still have my Prius (now over 286,000 miles, but more dependable for at least east-of-the-Rockies travel), but I'm starting to shop around for a new car to replace the truck.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: CapeCodder on January 14, 2018, 09:14:47 PM
When I clinched I-72.

I was smack dab in between Jacksonville and Springfield when I was overtaken by a squall line. When I had left Hannibal I saw the cumulonimbi off in the western horizon and thought nothing of it. There was a truck fire just east of Pittsfield and that tied us up a bit. In that time I guess the individual cells had congealed into a solid line. I looked off to the west in my mirror and saw that it was getting dark...fast. I had broken free of the traffic and we got up to cruise speed. I think I may have been speeding, but in my storm chasing experience you end up getting chased by the line. I was in between the two cities when I pulled over and just let it overtake me. Hail and blinding rain commenced for a good twenty minutes. Vivid lightning too. After stratiform rain commenced I continued on. On the way back to STL later that night I was hit again by another line. Damn. most vivid lightning I've ever seen. I think there was a tornado warning with it too, because I was listening to a local station and they were doing their public service advising of a tornado somewhere in their listening area. Will never forget it.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: Flint1979 on January 26, 2018, 03:27:09 PM
Probably both my trips to Iowa in 2008. I got sick the first time I was there for some reason and the second time I was there I got sick on the way there and was sicker than the first time. These trips were about a month apart too.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: milbfan on January 26, 2018, 10:55:44 PM
Two immediately come to mind for me.

Traveling I-81 from Wise County, VA to Harrisonburg, VA.  I'd never made that trip before, and managed to mess it up by trying to get up there at night, which turned into late night.  And having to deal with the traffic on I-81 on a Friday night.  Hated it.  I've traveled 81 at other times, en route to the RDU area, and can't say I've ever had a decent go.  The last two times I went up to Charlottesville, I took 460 over to 29.  Don't care if it took longer, but it was an infinitely easier drive.

The other one - I had spent the night in Ruston, LA, on my way back to Tuscaloosa.  Had my first (and last) encounter with Raising Cane's.  I got food poisoning, so I was up almost all night.  Had little energy to get going that day, and in hindsight, should've tried to stay put.  I drove I-20, not feeling well, then managed to get caught in a back-up just east of Vicksburg, where traffic didn't move for an hour.  Fortunately, I had my 3DS on me, complete with car charger, so I just put my car in park until things started moving an hour later.  Went from feeling dog-tired from Brandon to Meridian, to somehow getting a second wind for the last 90 miles that evening.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: ZLoth on March 04, 2018, 06:07:04 PM
Traveling along Kooteney Lake as part of a day trip while staying in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho. Though, not for the reasons you expected.

In 2016, I thought I would something different. For my September birthday, I thought I would take a personal road trip that included a short stay up in Idaho. Why not? I haven't been to Idaho. One of the things on my changeable agenda was to take a day trip up to Canada. It was going to be the scenic route, so I was taking US-95 to Canada 95, then head west to Creston, then north to Katooney Bay ferry, then back south again home.

The morning started out right. Had an early start. But, then, I hit the border at Eastport, Idaho/Kingsgate, BC. Due to a 2016 New Jersey/New York bombings (http://markholtz.info/1na) that had occurred the previous weekend, the border guards were on high alert. And, I am a super-suspicious character in that I am traveling alone, in the shoulder season, no suitcases, with a laptop. They had dogs sniffing through my car, searched my laptop, and could not believe that I was taking the scenic route to Creston. (I swear, Canada border guards are hired on the basis on how Canada nice they aren't). Sigh.

Anyways, after doing the mandatory Tim Horton's stop, I'm driving along Katooney Bay (nice, scenic route worth taping) when I get a call about the Lowe's card that I had applied for the previous Thursday. My response: What Lowe's card that I applied for? Since they were originating the call, I'm not about to provide any personal information. And, the side of the road of Highway 3A is not the best place to take care of serious business. I get over to the Kuskanook Harbour and Boat Launch (http://markholtz.info/kushanookharbour), and call back asap, as this is suspicious. Sure enough, someone had applied for a credit card in my name, and it was promptly cancelled. I was also given the Fraud division so that I could followup when I am able to.

Of course, what does this PEBCAK do? During the call, he had the car door open, which meant the lights were on, which meant the battery was drained. Thus a call to CAA. They had to send a truck from Creston which is 45 minutes away just to start my car. The drivers gets there, and says, "You know, if you were here last month, you wouldn't have had a problem getting a jump start." By the time I got to the ferry, it was early evening. So much for a pleasant day trip.

The next morning, instead of driving to Montana, I was in my hotel room dealing with a fraud issue and setting up a credit card freeze. I did make it to Montana in the late afternoon... but only as far as the 50,000 Silver Dollar Inn (http://markholtz.info/50000silverdollar).
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: kwellada on March 06, 2018, 11:27:33 PM
Hmm...mostly my road trips are pretty excellent, so I had to do a little thinking about some of the bad ones:

March 2016 - I had just gotten a brand new Nissan Versa Note and took it on a week long roadtrip through Oregon/Idaho/Nevada/Utah/Colorado/New Mexico/Arizona and back to Seattle trip.   To be honest, it was an absolutely great trip up to a point.  I had taken many two lane roads, seen fantastic scenery in the desert states, found a bunch of abandoned buildings to photograph (which is often what I like to do on my trips), and so on.  So towards the end of the trip, I had a great day starting out in Page, AZ, drove 89A across Marble Canyon and the beautiful land north of the Grand Canyon.  Eventually I made my way to US50 across Nevada.  It had snowed a couple days beforehand, so the landscape still had a ton of snow on it, but the roads were perfectly dry.  I stopped in Fallon, NV, for the night, grabbed Sonic for something to eat...and woke up at 3 am having food poisoning exiting my body via both escape routes.  I puked for about 3 hours, then crashed for maybe 3 more.  Eventually I was able to keep some water down so I made the decision to start making my way on home.  I drove for about six hours, stopped in Bend, OR, for the night and slept 12 hours for my body to recover.  So one of my best road trips turned into a really bad one at the end.

Sept 1995 - I was living in Colorado, but wanted to visit friends in Flagstaff AZ.  The plan was to go there, then off to Vegas to have a little fun for my friend's birthday.  I was waiting tables at the time, so I had collected a lot of change for the slot machines.  I had an old Nissan Stanza and somewhere in the reservation in Arizona it was making weird grinding noises in the front left tire area.  I managed to get to Flagstaff, but upon taking it to a mechanic, they said something bad was going on and it was going to cost $300 to fix...on labor day weekend...meaning I had no car for continuing to Vegas.  I stayed in Flagstaff, managed to have what fun I could, but it was basically an aborted trip. 

I'm currently on another roadtrip so here's hoping it will not make this list!
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: HTM Duke on March 09, 2018, 08:25:27 PM
I've got a few that I remember well...

Back in 2013, I took a "shoulder season" trip to the Outer Banks.  After taking NC-12 south and the ferry back to US-70 (I also planned to spend some time in Durham), the overdrive light began flashing.  So here I am, a few hundred miles from home, with a transmission that went into safety mode.  To make the story short, I did complete my trip, though I was nursing the car at no more than 50 mph, while staying off freeways as much as possible.  As a bit of a coda, I was also rear-ended just south of Fredericksburg, when the driver behind me jumped the gun on the light turning green.  There was no visible damage, and with a car with 16 years/160,000+ miles and no plans to repair the transmission, I told the other driver not to worry about it.  (Another coda: this whole affair led me to unintentionally clinch US-1 in Virginia, so there was that.)

But perhaps the biggest misadventure I had was back in 2009, when I headed down to Durham to see my alma mater (JMU) play Duke.  (Cameron Indoor had been on my bucket list of basketball arenas to visit.)  Problem was, this coincided with the first "Snowpocalypse" storm.  Post game, conditions were obviously bad and getting worse.  Surmising that Interstate travel would be ill-advised (especially I-81), the plan was to to take US-501 to US-29 to US-250 to US-11 back to Harrisonburg.  It was slow-going, particularly when I got stuck behind a plow (and its never-ending, blinking, yellow rear strobe) for ~25 miles, but I did manage to make it to the Lynchburg Bypass.

The bypass itself was slow-going, with snowdrifts galore.  One of these drifts was rather high, and then the battery light on the instrument panel turned on.  A bit further up the road, around Amherst, I got stuck in a traffic jam, and the battery died out while waiting for traffic to clear.  After getting a tow up to the nearest gas station / convenience store, I spent the day there, and prepared to spend a very cold night in the car when the store closed.  I was spotted by a couple of locals, who called in an officer.  He then proceeded to take me down to the station to spend the night, when he was contacted that a friend of the owner of the local B&B had opened it up due to the storm, and was subsequently driven there.

I learned the next morning that US-29 was closed between Amherst and Charlottesville, and so spent the next two days at the B&B.  When conditions had improved enough, the friend mentioned above drove me back to my car, jumped it, and led me to a service station down the road.  After having a serpentine belt replaced, the car was back to normal, and it was back to Harrisonburg for me. 
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: Nanis on March 12, 2018, 03:48:46 PM
Somewhere around 2013/2014:
I had went on a trip to the Dunkirk area.  It was not very fun going TO Dunkirk, but it was not the worst. Three days at a lakeside resort and one religious conference I did not care for (please don't ask what religion), and a trip to Niagara falls later, I had to go back home. Unfortunately, it decided to rain. When i say this next part, remember that I am telling the truth with this.


The rain was so bad everything turned white

My dad had to drive through this for 7 hours before we got there. It took 14 to get back home.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on March 13, 2018, 01:39:16 AM
Two that stand out that involve the same place, a music festival in Hillsdale, New York.

2006. My mom and my brother also went on this trip. The weather was brutally hot all week with a car that had no air conditioning. My mom's friend from Chicago and her stepdaughter drove along with us. They had planned part of the trip which included a number of boring attractions in Ohio and Pennsylvania. I slept in a cheap tent that wasn't waterproof enough to prevent me from ending up with a ruined phone and was like waking up in an oven. Many of our belongings ended up soaked due to heavy rain and eventually a group of three irritated and smelly people headed back west. Mom's friend from earlier and her husband (who traveled separately and met them at camp) bickered endlessly all weekend and it overwhelmed me listening to them fighting. They also brought an ungodly amount of gear to camp. So much unnecessary shit. We had to both help bring it to camp and then help bring it back to their home in Chicago (while they and the daughter had continued from camp to Delaware or something to visit relatives). So we stopped at their house and set off their alarm system trying to drop their shit.

2008. By this time the daughter from the previous story and I had become pretty close friends. To be honest this time period was also about the lowest point of my battle with depression over the years. My friend and I were excited about hanging out during the trip. The day before our families were going to leave she accidentally fractured her wrist in a fall and had to drop out of the trip, which sent me into a pit of misery the entire week. On the final night of camp a severe thunderstorm struck the area, which included some kind of downburst event that decimated the campsite. This was also the first trip where I was ever pulled over, by the Wisconsin state patrol (it wasn't my fault; our taillights were obscured because my mom didn't tie down the tarp over the back of the truck tightly enough).
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: bandit957 on March 20, 2018, 11:17:21 PM
I think I know of a serious contender for the least favorite. There was one in which - upon arrival - I was forced to listen to a bunch of hate speech from someone ranting against the demographic groups he hated. He said he heard it on cable, so it must be true.

For many minutes on end - possibly longer - he ranted about this topic, and how a certain celebrity didn't share his views on it. It was a celebrity nobody had thought about in 5 years, so why the hell was I supposed to care?
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: Mike_OH on March 28, 2018, 01:55:20 PM
My least favorite is one that I have planned to take several times in the past year plus, but have been unable to.  I've been wanting to take a trip back to where I went to college at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, OH.  The first time I was going to go, I had car trouble just a few days before and couldn't go.  The second time I had already pretty much changed my mind about going when again I had car trouble.  I am once again planning on taking that trip.  Right now, it's really not in my April budget, so maybe sometime this summer.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: hbelkins on March 28, 2018, 09:13:04 PM
My least favorite is one that I have planned to take several times in the past year plus, but have been unable to.  I've been wanting to take a trip back to where I went to college at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, OH.  The first time I was going to go, I had car trouble just a few days before and couldn't go.  The second time I had already pretty much changed my mind about going when again I had car trouble.  I am once again planning on taking that trip.  Right now, it's really not in my April budget, so maybe sometime this summer.

I want to host a road meet that would focus on the Portsmouth bypass project. Details will be posted on the meets board once I get a date selected. Probably late May or early to mid June.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: ce929wax on November 11, 2018, 11:34:41 PM
My least favorite trip was in January of 2012 when I decided to go to Michigan from Tennessee.  My grandmother had called and suggested that I come in April or May because they were expecting a bad lake effect snowstorm.  I had already booked the time off from work, so for better or worse I went.  The drive up was glorious and I managed to clinch several counties in Ohio and Michigan.  I got to my grandparents house around 7 that night with no mishaps.  I made it through the snow storm and left Michigan that Monday morning to head back to Tennessee, and that is where my problems began. 

I had stopped to get gas in some town in Ohio (I forget where, I believe it was on OH 66, and I know for sure it was a Sunoco station) and unbeknownst to me, the station had authorized my card for $125 for what was a roughly $20 tank of gas (this will come into play later), I make it to my cousins house in Cincinnati while clinching some counties on US 68 and going through Xenia.  The next morning I started out intending to take US 42/127 and clinch several counties in Kentucky and I made it just outside of Florence when I ran over a pebble and my tire blew out in the pouring rain.  Luckily there was a nice lady who let me come in out of the rain and call for help.  Help came a couple of hours later and got my tired changed, and when I went to pay the guy, my card declined.  I thought it was odd and asked him to try again, but it was still declined.  I then called my bank to find out what was going on and that is when I found out that the Sunoco station in Ohio had ran my card for $125, leaving me with about $10 or so dollars in that account (the tire repair was $35 or so).  I used my main bank card to pay the tire repairman and then requested that my bank transfer money onto the card I was using.  The bank refused to do so, because it was against their policy to do a transfer over the phone.  The lady whose house I was in was nice enough to give me $20 to get the rest of the way home.  I didn't use my main bank card, because there was only $50 or so on it ($15 after I paid the tire guy) and my trip money had been on this secondary card.

I managed to find a place to get a new tire off Exit 57 on I-71 and my stepdad was nice enough to put it on his credit card until I could get home and pay him back.  I still managed to clinch many counties on US 127 and a few in Tennessee as well.  I made it home about 9 that night.  I sent the lady back her 20 dollars with a note that if she was ever in the Knoxville area that I would happily take her and her husband out to dinner. 
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: hbelkins on November 12, 2018, 02:02:46 PM
^^^

Never, ever, use your debit card to pay at the pump at a gas station. Either use a credit card at the pump, or prepay inside with the debit card.

I've noticed that many (most) gas stations tend to overauthorize debit cards at the pump, but will underauthorize credit cards.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: kphoger on November 12, 2018, 02:25:21 PM
^^^

Never, ever, use your debit card to pay at the pump at a gas station. Either use a credit card at the pump, or prepay inside with the debit card.

I've noticed that many (most) gas stations tend to overauthorize debit cards at the pump, but will underauthorize credit cards.

The pump always asks me if my card is debit or credit.  I always just hit the button for credit.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: jakeroot on November 12, 2018, 02:34:38 PM
Never, ever, use your debit card to pay at the pump at a gas station. Either use a credit card at the pump, or prepay inside with the debit card.

I've never personally had an issue, and I pretty-much universally use my debit card at the pump. After filling up, the only thing on my statement is what I paid, no sign of an authorization or (god-forbid) over-draft. I would have guessed that ce929wax's story was a bit unusual, unless you've had a similar experience?
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on November 12, 2018, 03:57:48 PM
MN and WI are two of the last places where paying inside after fueling is a widespread option, which I always opt for when possible. It irks me that I can’t do that in most of the country.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: 1995hoo on November 12, 2018, 04:05:28 PM
A lot of gas stations will place a “hold” on your card for some amount and then release the hold after the final charge posts. For example, if I go to the Liberty station near my house and use American Express, a $100 pending charge will show up for a few hours until the final gas purchase (typically $35 to $40, depending on the price of 93 octane) shows up, at which time that charge posts and the $100 charge is removed. This is pretty standard. Unfortunately, when gas prices spiked after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 a lot of stations increased the hold amounts, which causes problems with debit cards. (I don’t use debit cards at all except at the ATM to get cash or deposit checks.)
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: Flint1979 on November 12, 2018, 10:29:25 PM
I can think of another one in addition to my post made in January. Probably about 20-25 years ago we were taking a trip up the east coast of Lake Huron and ended up in this little resort town called Grand Bend and without looking at a map I can remember going through another town called Forest. It's just that other than the beach there really wasn't much else to do. I remember walking down a street towards the lake and getting to the lake then thinking oh this is interesting and then turning around and walking back down the street. We decided to go to Niagara Falls instead and had a little bit better time there, re-entered the U.S. through New York and went down to Buffalo for awhile which was a bore. I believe we ended up in Toronto at some point as well so the trip got better as it went along. I don't know if it's my least favorite trip of all time but some of my trips to Canada other than Toronto have been extremely boring and I've had to make my own fun. The drive from Sarnia to London has to be up there as one of the most boring stretches of highway anywhere. Talk about scenery that just repeats itself for 60 miles and that scenery is pretty boring to be honest. The drive gets a little more interesting after you get to London and approaching Toronto.

I think maybe a boring trip would be my least favorite. I remember back in 2003 I went to Kentucky and ended up going through Mammoth Cave, then not realizing how far of a drive it was from Louisville to St. Louis decided to head to St. Louis to go to a Cardinals baseball game since the Cardinals were playing the Marlins that night. I thought the drive along I-64 especially through Indiana and most of Illinois was very boring, it just went through a forest and there wasn't much else around and low traffic counts.

Regardless of the boring times I make fun out of it somehow and get by. I just don't like the same scenery over and over and over for miles. The Seney Stretch in the U.P. of Michigan is one of my least favorite stretches of highway anywhere, I try to avoid it if I can when I'm up in that area.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: ce929wax on November 12, 2018, 10:42:40 PM
Yeah, I learned that after this experience.  Now I go into the gas station and tell them how much I want to put in my tank.  If I don't quite fill up, that is ok.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: Flint1979 on November 12, 2018, 10:49:57 PM
MN and WI are two of the last places where paying inside after fueling is a widespread option, which I always opt for when possible. It irks me that I can’t do that in most of the country.
There's a BP station about a mile from my house and the two pumps closest to the doors you can pay inside after fueling, only place in Michigan I know of that you can do that at.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: cabiness42 on November 13, 2018, 09:47:16 AM
^^^

Never, ever, use your debit card to pay at the pump at a gas station. Either use a credit card at the pump, or prepay inside with the debit card.

I've noticed that many (most) gas stations tend to overauthorize debit cards at the pump, but will underauthorize credit cards.

I have a Shell credit card that is only good at Shell stations that I use for gas.  Eliminates that problem.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: webny99 on November 13, 2018, 10:43:49 AM
Never, ever, use your debit card to pay at the pump at a gas station. Either use a credit card at the pump, or prepay inside with the debit card.
I've never personally had an issue, and I pretty-much universally use my debit card at the pump. After filling up, the only thing on my statement is what I paid, no sign of an authorization or (god-forbid) over-draft. I would have guessed that ce929wax's story was a bit unusual, unless you've had a similar experience?

Yeah, I'm with jakeroot. I use my debit card all the time - almost always - and have never had any problems.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: Flint1979 on November 13, 2018, 11:47:10 AM
I've never had any problem using my debit card at a gas pump. I mainly try to frequent the gas stations like Speedway, Kroger, Meijer. Kroger has a fuel center at about 80% of their Michigan locations and I never have had a problem with them.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: kphoger on November 13, 2018, 01:48:24 PM
For those who report not having had any issues using a debit card at the gas pump:  Have you ever tried using your debit card just shortly after having spent almost all your money on gas with it?  Say, for example, you have $120 in your bank account, spend $45 in gas, and then try to spend another $30 shortly after that at the grocery store.  Because, unless you've dropped your card balance low enough to actually make this come into play, then of course you won't have an issue.

I'll also point out that not all gas stations over-authorize debit cards, just some of them.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: inkyatari on November 13, 2018, 01:57:42 PM
After having the stupid "hold" thing on my debit card after paying at the pump, combined with the uptick on skimming devices found at pumps, I just go inside these days.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: jakeroot on November 13, 2018, 06:28:47 PM
For those who report not having had any issues using a debit card at the gas pump:  Have you ever tried using your debit card just shortly after having spent almost all your money on gas with it?  Say, for example, you have $120 in your bank account, spend $45 in gas, and then try to spend another $30 shortly after that at the grocery store.  Because, unless you've dropped your card balance low enough to actually make this come into play, then of course you won't have an issue.

I know that I've been authorized for $125 at Safeway when I've had less than that on my account. But that was a very unusual circumstance and I don't usually get that low. I've checked my bank statement within a few minutes after filling up and I don't see anything besides what I paid. Maybe my bank is just quicker.

That said, I may start paying with the attendent from now on, to avoid future issues. Possible that I've just gotten lucky.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: webny99 on November 13, 2018, 08:08:04 PM
For those who report not having had any issues using a debit card at the gas pump:  Have you ever tried using your debit card just shortly after having spent almost all your money on gas with it?  Say, for example, you have $120 in your bank account, spend $45 in gas, and then try to spend another $30 shortly after that at the grocery store.  Because, unless you've dropped your card balance low enough to actually make this come into play, then of course you won't have an issue.

I know that I've been authorized for $125 at Safeway when I've had less than that on my account. But that was a very unusual circumstance and I don't usually get that low. I've checked my bank statement within a few minutes after filling up and I don't see anything besides what I paid. Maybe my bank is just quicker.

Yeah, I'm pretty sure my balance has never gotten low enough for an authorization fee to come into play. Of course, that may change if/when I have dependents and/or start incurring household expenses.  :-P

Fundamentally, however, I vastly prefer debit to credit. As such, I don't plan on switching to credit or pre-paying, at least for the foreseeable future. Debit just isn't that risky for me personally.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: J N Winkler on November 13, 2018, 10:58:48 PM
Yeah, I'm with jakeroot. I use my debit card all the time - almost always - and have never had any problems.

I've never had any problem using my debit card at a gas pump. I mainly try to frequent the gas stations like Speedway, Kroger, Meijer. Kroger has a fuel center at about 80% of their Michigan locations and I never have had a problem with them.

Fundamentally, however, I vastly prefer debit to credit. As such, I don't plan on switching to credit or pre-paying, at least for the foreseeable future. Debit just isn't that risky for me personally.

I'd turn the question around:  why use a debit card at all?  You don't get Fair Credit Billing Act fraud protections and don't build a credit history.  There are just three situations where it makes sense to use debit rather than credit (https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/17/when-to-use-a-debit-card-instead-of-a-credit-card.html)--avoiding credit-card transaction fees, dealing with small merchants, and managing credit-card debt.

It's been years since I carried a debit card and I don't actually have one on any current account.  I use a credit card for the float only, feeling the higher rates I pay at some merchants with differential cash/credit rates is more or less counterbalanced by the increased convenience of not having to worry about whether a debit card will be accepted.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: jakeroot on November 14, 2018, 01:24:10 AM
I'd turn the question around:  why use a debit card at all?  You don't get Fair Credit Billing Act fraud protections and don't build a credit history.  There are just three situations where it makes sense to use debit rather than credit (https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/17/when-to-use-a-debit-card-instead-of-a-credit-card.html)--avoiding credit-card transaction fees, dealing with small merchants, and managing credit-card debt.

I have several month-to-month debt payments already: my car, my car insurance, and my phone. You could say my reasoning is #3...I have no reason to bring on additional debt, as I have enough as it is to build credit (obviously important at my age). My parents gave me two credit cards starting at 15 ("authorized user"). As they were very responsible debt-payers, my credit was already good enough at 19 to buy a car. It has only improved since then.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: J N Winkler on November 14, 2018, 12:20:10 PM
I have several month-to-month debt payments already: my car, my car insurance, and my phone. You could say my reasoning is #3...I have no reason to bring on additional debt, as I have enough as it is to build credit (obviously important at my age). My parents gave me two credit cards starting at 15 ("authorized user"). As they were very responsible debt-payers, my credit was already good enough at 19 to buy a car. It has only improved since then.

But by using a debit card you are sacrificing fraud protection and dispute resolution benefits; I would feel very exposed in that situation.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: vdeane on November 14, 2018, 12:47:01 PM
I have several month-to-month debt payments already: my car, my car insurance, and my phone. You could say my reasoning is #3...I have no reason to bring on additional debt, as I have enough as it is to build credit (obviously important at my age). My parents gave me two credit cards starting at 15 ("authorized user"). As they were very responsible debt-payers, my credit was already good enough at 19 to buy a car. It has only improved since then.

But by using a debit card you are sacrificing fraud protection and dispute resolution benefits; I would feel very exposed in that situation.
Same.  Especially since paying by credit card isn't really extra debt as long as you don't spend more than you would have if you didn't have the card and pay in full during the grace period before interest is applied.  If one used a debit card somewhere and then the store was hit with something like the Target data breach, they could easily lose all their money in the bank... if not permanently, certainly long enough to cause problems.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: kphoger on November 14, 2018, 01:43:32 PM
why use a debit card at all? 

Because, with a debit card, you can only spend money you actually have.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: jemacedo9 on November 14, 2018, 02:24:33 PM
I have several month-to-month debt payments already: my car, my car insurance, and my phone. You could say my reasoning is #3...I have no reason to bring on additional debt, as I have enough as it is to build credit (obviously important at my age). My parents gave me two credit cards starting at 15 ("authorized user"). As they were very responsible debt-payers, my credit was already good enough at 19 to buy a car. It has only improved since then.

But by using a debit card you are sacrificing fraud protection and dispute resolution benefits; I would feel very exposed in that situation.

It's this reason why I've just recently started to switch to using a credit cards at gas stations instead of a debit card, especially with the increase of skimming devices. The trick, of course, is to only use the credit card where you know you can pay off the amount of your purchases every month.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: kphoger on November 14, 2018, 02:30:52 PM
I'll say it again:

The pump always asks me if my card is debit or credit.  I always just hit the button for credit.

Even though my card is not actually a credit card, it has a Visa logo and can be run either as debit or as credit.  For in-store purchases, I choose the debit option because this is generally advantageous to the store's bottom line.  For gasoline, however, I always choose the credit option in order to avoid being over-authorized.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: J N Winkler on November 14, 2018, 02:52:04 PM
Even though my card is not actually a credit card, it has a Visa logo and can be run either as debit or as credit.  For in-store purchases, I choose the debit option because this is generally advantageous to the store's bottom line.  For gasoline, however, I always choose the credit option in order to avoid being over-authorized.

As others have noted, the standard personal-finance advice is to use a credit card for the float only, i.e., to pay the balance off in full every month.  Another common element of personal-finance advice is to navigate to a situation where the current month's bills (including any for credit cards) are paid with money earned the previous month or earlier.

If a person is banked but cannot get a credit card, or has had to cut up his or her credit cards as part of a strategy for eventually paying off an outstanding credit card balance, that is one thing.  But using a debit card for general purchases opens the door to fraud losses (debit cards have no loss ceiling and no dispute rights) or to one's account being drained by someone else who has gotten the number through a skimmer or by unauthorized copying during unobserved swiping.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: kphoger on November 14, 2018, 02:59:10 PM
Even though my card is not actually a credit card, it has a Visa logo and can be run either as debit or as credit.  For in-store purchases, I choose the debit option because this is generally advantageous to the store's bottom line.  For gasoline, however, I always choose the credit option in order to avoid being over-authorized.

As others have noted, the standard personal-finance advice is to use a credit card for the float only, i.e., to pay the balance off in full every month.  Another common element of personal-finance advice is to navigate to a situation where the current month's bills (including any for credit cards) are paid with money earned the previous month or earlier.

If a person is banked but cannot get a credit card, or has had to cut up his or her credit cards as part of a strategy for eventually paying off an outstanding credit card balance, that is one thing.  But using a debit card for general purchases opens the door to fraud losses (debit cards have no loss ceiling and no dispute rights) or to one's account being drained by someone else who has gotten the number through a skimmer or by unauthorized copying during unobserved swiping.

That's all well and good.  But not having a credit card prohibits a person from spending money he doesn't actually have.  The ability to potentially overspend one's means too often leads to actually overspending one's means.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: J N Winkler on November 14, 2018, 03:55:58 PM
That's all well and good.  But not having a credit card prohibits a person from spending money he doesn't actually have.  The ability to potentially overspend one's means too often leads to actually overspending one's means.

By US banking norms, yes, that is generally the case.  But in other countries, e.g. the UK, the debit card actually gives access to an overdraft that is effectively a revolving line of credit.

There is no escaping the problem of self-control.  When it is an issue, I prefer cash rather than a debit card, because in more than 20 years of my own banking and observing family members' banking, I have found that compromise of card data has occurred much more frequently than pilferage of paper money.  And signals don't come clearer than opening your wallet and watching the moths fly out.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: kphoger on November 14, 2018, 04:21:26 PM
That's all well and good.  But not having a credit card prohibits a person from spending money he doesn't actually have.  The ability to potentially overspend one's means too often leads to actually overspending one's means.

By US banking norms, yes, that is generally the case.  But in other countries, e.g. the UK, the debit card actually gives access to an overdraft that is effectively a revolving line of credit.

There is no escaping the problem of self-control.  When it is an issue, I prefer cash rather than a debit card, because in more than 20 years of my own banking and observing family members' banking, I have found that compromise of card data has occurred much more frequently than pilferage of paper money.  And signals don't come clearer than opening your wallet and watching the moths fly out.

I once came very close to being mugged.  Having just cashed out my bank account because I was preparing for my wedding and was literally in the process of moving, I had about $3000 in cash on me at the time.

When travelling, I feel quite uncomfortable with a large amount of cash on hand for the trip and prefer to limit the potential bounty a thief could enjoy.  For day-to-day life, though, I agree that cash is good.

As for self-control:  limiting one's own spending options by refusing to have a credit card is a form of self-control.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: inkyatari on November 14, 2018, 04:39:27 PM

I'd turn the question around:  why use a debit card at all? 

Because my credit rating is so low that I can't get a credit card.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: webny99 on November 14, 2018, 09:41:07 PM
I'd turn the question around:  why use a debit card at all?  You don't get Fair Credit Billing Act fraud protections and don't build a credit history.  There are just three situations where it makes sense to use debit rather than credit (https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/17/when-to-use-a-debit-card-instead-of-a-credit-card.html)--avoiding credit-card transaction fees, dealing with small merchants, and managing credit-card debt.

In my case, it is a combination of all three, but particularly the last one, with the caveat that I really don't want any credit card debt. It is not that I fear overspending, so much as just not wanting the liability and additional follow-up required. I much prefer to settle transactions at the time as opposed to them following me around.

Regarding cash, I do agree with you; I prefer it to debit in most circumstances as well. Gas, specifically, is an obvious exception, as it is a major inconvenience to have to go inside to settle the transaction.

As for self-control:  limiting one's own spending options by refusing to have a credit card is a form of self-control.

Agree wholeheartedly.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: Rothman on November 14, 2018, 10:46:40 PM
Love my credit card.  Pay it off every month and use the points from its hotel loyalty program to facilitate my own travel.  Have an Excel workbook for budgeting.

Can see how some people would feel the need to not have one to get their finances under control, though.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: kphoger on November 15, 2018, 10:07:29 AM
Gas, specifically, is an obvious exception, as it is a major inconvenience to have to go inside to settle the transaction.

It's especially a nuisance to me because I don't put whole-dollar amounts of gas in my car.  Rather, I fill it up until the nozzle clicks off.  I don't even top it off after the click.  This is my S.O.P. because I log my fuel economy by the tankful, and it's simplest way of accomplishing a somewhat steady baseline.  This means that, if paying with cash, I have to do the following steps:

(1) Estimate how much my tank of gas will cost.
(2) Go inside, stand in line, and pre-pay knowingly more than that amount.
(3) Go outside to the car again, fill 'er up.
(4) Go inside again, stand in line again, get my change and receipt.
(5) Go outside to the car again, again.

Whereas, if paying with plastic, I have a lot fewer steps:

(1) Put the card in the pump, navigate a bunch of button-pushing stupidity.
(2) Fill 'er up.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: webny99 on November 15, 2018, 12:48:42 PM
Gas, specifically, is an obvious exception, as it is a major inconvenience to have to go inside to settle the transaction.
It's especially a nuisance to me because I don't put whole-dollar amounts of gas in my car.  Rather, I fill it up until the nozzle clicks off.  I don't even top it off after the click.  This is my S.O.P. because I log my fuel economy by the tankful, and it's simplest way of accomplishing a somewhat steady baseline.

I, on the other hand, like to do full-dollar amounts of gas, and therefore tend to top off. I have seen some gas stations - Costco, I think, and maybe others - with a sign explicitly telling you NOT to top off (whoops...).
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: kphoger on November 15, 2018, 01:07:39 PM
I have seen some gas stations - Costco, I think, and maybe others - with a sign explicitly telling you NOT to top off (whoops...).

Probably just to save them some Oil-Dri.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: J N Winkler on November 15, 2018, 01:57:46 PM
We could have a whole thread dedicated to arguments for and against various protocols for topping off.  The arguments against topping off:

*  It can lead to the charcoal canister ingesting liquid fuel through the evaporative emissions system, which permanently damages it.  Especially in newer vehicles, charcoal canister replacement is an expensive and technically complex operation.

*  Newer gas pumps are designed to backswallow fuel that won't fit in the tank.  Since the components responsible are downstream of the fuel meter, this leads to the customer paying for fuel that has not in fact been dispensed into his or her tank.

The arguments for topping off:

*  Owing to foaming in the tank, backpressure can develop that trips the shutoff before the tank is actually full.

*  Owing to unhandy geometry of the filler neck or other limitations in the design of the fuel tank, the shutoff can trip even when the tank is almost empty.

Personally, I don't want to risk damage to my evaporative emissions control system, but on the other hand, I don't want to close a dispensing operation until I am satisfied that the tank really is full, because I also track gas mileage on a per-tank basis and rely on filling to a consistent level to obtain figures I can trust.  Although none of my current vehicles has this particular problem, I used to have a 1986 Nissan Maxima that was capable of tripping pump shutoff when just two gallons had been pumped into a nearly-empty tank with nominal capacity of 15.5 gallons.

So, here is my fillup protocol:

*  Pump handle locked open (using a hold-open detent) for bulk fill at the slowest available setting until first shutoff.

*  Hand feeding of additional fuel (at a variable but generally slow rate) until second shutoff.

*  Further hand feeding of fuel until third and final shutoff.

If the feeding time to third shutoff is shorter than the feeding time to second shutoff and the amount of fuel dispensed between first and third shutoff is about 0.25 gallon, I conclude the tank is full and close the dispensing operation.  Since I typically pump more than 10 gallons to first shutoff, my maximum potential loss due to fuel reflux is 2.5%.  Since fuel tanks are designed with voids equal to 20%-25% of their total volume when full in order to accommodate expansion of the fuel, an extra 0.25 gallons in a tank designed to hold more than 10 gallons (my Saturn holds 12.5 gallons while the Toyota holds 17.5 gallons) will not put me at noticeably greater risk of flooding my evaporative emissions control system.  A slowest-as-possible dispensing rate for the bulk fill also minimizes the risk of premature pump shutoff.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: kphoger on November 15, 2018, 02:09:59 PM
*  Owing to foaming in the tank, backpressure can develop that trips the shutoff before the tank is actually full.

*  Owing to unhandy geometry of the filler neck or other limitations in the design of the fuel tank, the shutoff can trip even when the tank is almost empty.

In my experience, it's pretty easy to tell if this is happening long before the tank is anywhere close to full.  Unhandy geometry tends to make the nozzle click off almost right away, which is a dead giveaway.  Foaming is only an issue for pumps that dispense very fast, which should be apparent by just watching the readout as you pump.  I treat these as special scenarios and don't bother worrying about them in my normal routine.

*  Pump handle locked open (using a hold-open detent) for bulk fill at the slowest available setting until first shutoff.

A slowest-as-possible dispensing rate for the bulk fill also minimizes the risk of premature pump shutoff.

Slow filling is indeed useful, but I only employ it in two situations:
 1.  Filling a small canister for the lawn mower
 2.  The unhandy geometry or fast-fill foaming mentioned above.

Other than that, I don't want to wait any longer than I have to.  Part of that is because I don't often use the handle lock, instead keeping the lever depressed with my hand.  There have been enough times that I've seen a gas station island covered in gasoline because the shutoff didn't work, that I generally choose not to trust them.  I only use it when I need to wash the windshield and I'm confident I have enough time to finish the washing job and return to the handle before the pump shuts off.
Title: Re: Least favorite road trip you have been on?
Post by: J N Winkler on November 15, 2018, 02:21:39 PM
I have had my own experiences with shutoff failures, though I have managed to escape lasting paint damage from them.  I find they are more likely at high-flow settings, which is another reason I choose the slowest dispensing rate available.  I do continue to use the detents because they allow me to position myself where I can watch the pump nozzle without inhaling any of the fuel vapor.

If I can smell gas while the pump is running, I don't care what the EPA says--the vapor recovery is not good enough.  My understanding is that while the CARB continues to require vapor recovery collars in California, the EPA has declined to pursue a similar requirement for the US as a whole in the expectation that onboard evaporative emissions control systems will pick up the slack.  They do that very well now (to the extent that a pinhole air leak in the gas cap is enough to set a DTC), but not while gas is being pumped, and of course the evaporative emissions system in my daily driver is designed to the very loose regulatory parameters applying a quarter-century ago.