Today was the longest drive. I was in the car for over 11 hours. I left work around 2 pm, stopped quick to pick up Madison, and got on the road. My normal route is I-85 South to Atlanta, I-75 North to Chattanooga, and then I-24 West to Paducah. I decided to avoid Atlanta and take back roads due to the inevitable traffic. As I was getting ready to rejoin my normal route in Chattanooga, I heard on the radio about the hour long backups on all interstates. At this point I decided to avoid Chattanooga – probably the wrong move. At this point I was far off my mapquest directions and relying on my nav system. I wasn’t paying close enough attention – rain, cell phone, dark, etc – and ended up on I-75 North to Knoxville.
The key to my master plan was to arrive in Nashville in time to pick up Wade from his flight. I was actually going to arrive on time, amazing when you look at my route, when I get a call from Wade 20 minutes before he was supposed to land. His plane was diverted to Little Rock because of the storms. At this point he assumed he would be lucky to get to Memphis but would never catch is connecting flight to Nashville. He planned to get a cab to his parents’ house and borrow a car to drive to Paducah. I stopped at a mall in Nashville until I knew for sure Wade had taken off for Memphis. I was about an hour out of Nashville when Wade called and had me turn around. He was coming into Nashville after all. I picked him up and gladly turned the wheel over to Wade. Did I mention it rained and poured the entire drive? I was so glad to get to Paducah and my bed!
Below you see my normal route in blue and the actual route in red (the thick line is where I had to backtrack and drive the same part twice).