Texas Trip, Day 7

Walked out of the motel this morning and thought about jackets. How long has it been since I last thought about wearing a jacket outside? Then again, how long has it been since I was outside at 8:20 am? The hours I’ve been sleeping this week you’d think I had to get up and go to work in the morning. Is riding in the car work? I’ve been doing it for most days from about 9 to 5 for a week now. I wonder if I’ll stay on this sleep schedule when we get home. Wouldn’t it be odd for us for me to go to bed and get up before Dave?

We learned more about our GPS again. Last night Dave used the “trip planner” feature to plan today’s trip. It will now lets us list rest areas without actually stopping at them. Yay! Plus, using that feature adds items to the end of the list instead of the beginning so you don’t have to drag to sort. It also offers an optimize option so, if you add things out of order, it will resort them for you. This GPS ┬ájust keeps getting better and better.

False advertising? Only sort of. When you enter Iowa from the south on I-35 the first rest area is at mile marker 7. The state has it’s official welcome center at this rest area. But, as you approach exit 4, three miles before the rest area, you will see a blue & white information sign telling you there is a Welcome Center at exit 4. And there is. Run by the local Chamber of Commerce. Do they offer free information about the state? Yes. Do they have public restrooms? Yes. Do they have a cafe? Yes. Is their status ambiguous? Yes.

Des Moines exits are confusing. In this part of the country the exit numbers match the mileage markers on the highways. But Des Moines has too many highways passing through it. At one point I-80 and I-35 run together. So exit 125 and exit 72C are right next to each other. If the gas station and the restaurant are one each at those two exits would YOU expect them to be one right after another?

There used to be a Flying J station just north of Des Moines but we couldn’t find it this trip. So I went on-line to their website and discovered there’s now one in Williams, IA. That was in reach on the current tank of fuel so we headed on there.. Guess what? No station. A bulldozer and a pile of rubble under the Flying J sign. At least it was was easier for us to do a u-turn than it was for the semi ahead of us that planned to stop at that same station. Why do websites not keep their listings current? Especially those wanting semi-truck traffic. I sure am glad we were not in our former Class A RV towing a car. It’s a long way around the block out here in farm country.

Do you remember me telling you about the two car symbol on our GPS that changes color? I though it was telling us if we were in the right lane or not. I guessed wrong. It is a traffic density indicator. It is construction season here in the Midwest so we are having intermittent lane closures. There are no traffic cameras where the work is being done so our GPS assumes traffic is backing up in those reduce speed and reduced lanes areas. Fortunately, it has stopped trying to route us around them on roads that would actually take longer than the minor slowdowns we are experiencing. It’s not a perfect world, even in our GPS.

When we were full-time RVing I kept a pencil and small notebook by the passenger seat so I could make notes on things I wanted to remember to blog about when we reached camp. On this trip, I’ve kept my iPad handy and am writing as we go. It’s very challenging. Where will the bouncing finger land and what will the result be? Once it hit something that made an entire blog disappear. Fortunately, I was able to use my browser’s back button to find it still existed. Each evening I spend time correcting all the errors before posting that day’s blog. Dave reminded me I won’t be able to do either type of writing when snowbirding. Guess I’m going to have to learn to dictate into a recording device.

Boy, that comment took me a long way back. I studied shorthand in high school. I learned more about punctuation in that class than I did in any English class. But, if I’m dictating to myself do I have to include all the punctuation and everything?

I don’t usually talk about politics but this is more about my zany brain than it is politics so I decided to share it. I saw a clip on TV where Romney introduced Ryan as “the next President of the United States.” Which made me wonder what Romney is not telling us. Is he planning to win the election but die before inauguration? Just in case it happens that way, remember, you heard it here first.

HOME! Collapsing now.




3 thoughts on “Texas Trip, Day 7”

  1. I love that feature of add things out of order and resorting them for you. I could have used that a ton of times the last 3 years.

    Traffic density indicator…never heard of such a thing.

  2. I love a lot of things about the GPS. The traffic indicator is good but I still like the speed limit and lane changer best.

    I wondered about that Ryan announcement too. Hmmm. Was it a slip? Or, wasn’t it?

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