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Old 04-26-2016, 12:42 PM   #1
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San Diego to Indy 500

We've tickets for the 100th running of the Indy 500. We've been planning to leave San Diego in mid May, shoot up to I40 and over thru the Texas pan handle and then up to St Louis and then on to Indianapolis.

May/June is the normal peak tornado seasons for the Great Plains area, and sure looks like this weather season has been 'non typical'.

So, talked to the wife about a Plan B, to try and reduce risk of tornados and damaging hail

San Diego > Bozeman > Minneapolis > then down to Indy. This adds time, which we have, and miles, which is OK.

The counter to doing this, is that we could just end up in some later winter storms, and of course that area is also subject to thunderstorm activity, with the same comment about the 'non typical' weather pattern.

So, we have the shorter more direct route, with time in our schedule to sit and wait things out if needed. Or get up higher North and work our way back down to Indy, with still time in the schedule to allow for days of sitting things out if needed.

We do not travel either of these areas often this time of the year. And this will be our first time in our coach East of the Mississippi.

Ok, looking for thoughts on these two routes, and if any of you have traveled from the future and can confirm the proper course for us, many thanks!!!

Best to all,
Smitty
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Old 04-26-2016, 04:22 PM   #2
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Smitty77,

I was faced with a similar decision a month ago traveling nearly the same route (our S/B is in northern San Diego County). Our trip took us from San Diego, through Phoenix, Flagstaff, and up to Cortez, CO. This was the end of March, and it was snow/ice that I was concerned about. After leaving CO, we headed to Savannah, GA. I worked out two scenarios, like you. I decided to try the shorter, more direct route first, then watch the weather daily and make my choice in the fly.

As it turns out, the shorter route worked for us...that said...I go to the Internet on a daily basis to stay informed of severe weather. The benefit that we have as RV'ers is that we can avoid severe weather by hitting the road.

Enjoy your travels
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Old 04-27-2016, 02:24 PM   #3
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Thanks HavingABlast! And no question that we'll be monitoring forecast carefully! And with wheels, we can alter our course if needed.

I just was wondering what RV'ers of the Plains area do this time of year. Just not travel? Travel out of the region as fast as possible? Or just keep an eye on things and adjust routes and schedules as needed?

While we have a reservation at a State Park out side of St Louis the four days before we check into our park in Indy area. We sure don't mind eating the reservation cancelation fee if needed. If it is smarter for us to come in from the North, we'd do so. Could check the forecasts and still do St Louis, if all looks OK. Or, go a bit more east and go to Indy area.

I can tell fellow RV'ers about how to watch for forrest fires and earthquakes in the South West area. Even tell you how to dodge future bullet trains to nowhere too! But, as with driving in snow, we just have no experience with the Thunder Showers/Hail/Tornado of the Plains area.

(Though we did get our first siren and wind funnel while at Cheery Creek State Park South of Denver last year, and joined many inside of the brick shower/meeting area building.)

Best to all,
Smitty
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Old 05-10-2016, 01:49 PM   #4
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Well, we're a week away from leaving San Diego, and of course, the 19 touchdowns yesterday, and the Saturday picture of that huge one in East Colorado, does have the DW just a tad SPOOKED!

We've also added a "Plan C" route, with running up I15, and hanging East on I80. That gets up a bit higher running thru Nebraska, and then turing a bit South towards St Louis. We have reservations for four nights at a state park outside of St Louis, before we head the rest of the way to Indianapolis on the Friday before the Indy 500.

We'll look at the long range weather forecasts for all of the different routes on Monday AM, and make a decision which way we'll head out on Tuesday. And as mentioned here, monitor the situation daily. If we need to, we'll council the St Louis reservations, and just head into the Indy area earlier.

We have time for all three routes, though we'd probably be a day late to St Louis if we go the route up thru North Dakota. But that is OK...

And for sure, we have no worries needing to go different routes, and or even canceling the run to Indy if we don't feel it is safe. And we feel grateful to be able to 'move, or not move' our coach based upon the weather ahead. Our hearts and best wishes are with those that are in permanent locations in the heart of what is shaping up to be a rough tornado season for the region...

Best to all, be safe, have fun,
Smitty
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Old 05-10-2016, 02:05 PM   #5
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I read somewhere that during the 500, Indianapolis would the 2nd largest 'City' in Indiana. Man that's a lot of folks. Wish I had the Porta Potty contract!!!
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Old 05-10-2016, 02:29 PM   #6
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The Weather Channel, Underground Weather, and US Weather Bureau have gotten increasingly sophisticated in the past few years. Coupled with good internet service almost anywhere, it is possible to be aware of intensity and timing of storms as you travel.

Case in point: We were travelling from southwest Arizona to Western Nebraska about a month ago. We stayed overnight near Pueblo, CO. In the morning the TV and weather.com showed a monster storm would be rolling into Denver in mid-day. Our original route would have taken us through the Denver area. We used our travel software to select a route that took us northeast from Colorado Springs ... and then north to our destination. We encountered some wind and a few drops of rain ... but not snow ... until we reached our destination in western Nebraska

On a different occasion, we were hunkered down in Cheyenne, WY for 3 days because of dangerous travel conditions ...

The point of this discussion is to not be married to a predestined route ... you have tools that will let you modify your route and timetable to keep you safe.
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