I gotta fire off a quick post so I can get to bed soon… Becky, in her typical get-up-and-go travel mode, wants us out the door at 6:00 AM tomorrow. :)
We drove 646 miles today in 11 hours and 33 minutes total — 10 hours and 14 minutes of actual driving time, plus an hour and 19 minutes of stopped time. One major cause of that stopped time was our getting pulled over at Customs while coming back into the United States from Canada (we cut across Ontario to get from Buffalo to Michigan). The Customs agent who interviewed us apparently felt, for some reason, that we needed to have our birth certificates as well as our driver’s licenses. He wrote on his little referral paper that we had failed to show proof of citizenship, which was blatantly untrue — we both had our licenses, which are valid proof of citizenship. The other Customs officials seemed to recognize that this one guy was just basically on a power trip, and they let us go fairly quickly. The whole episode baffled me; did the U.S. government receive a tip about a blue-eyed blonde and a red-headed Irishman trying to smuggle an evil Islamic fundamentalist terrorist cat named Toby bin Laden into the country, or something? Oh, well, whatever.
Our average speed while actually driving was 63 miles per hour, which isn’t great; we were slowed a bit long lines at the bridges into and out of Canada, and by a traffic jam at rush hour in Indianapolis. But that sort of thing is pretty typical for the eastern part of the country, as our experience in May suggested. (On that road trip, we averaged 77 miles per hour on the first two days, out west, but only 66 miles per hour on the final two days, back east.) Tomorrow, as we drive through Illinois, Missouri, and especially Kansas, we will probably make better time — knock on wood. And, knock on wood again, the forecast calls for the weather to continue to be good.
Stay tuned for more cell-phone updates!