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Old 03-04-2013, 01:56 PM   #1
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Scary ride home- I65 north from FL to KY

Our return trip was horrible at times and scary at other times. Once in a while
it wasn't bad.....

Some of what happened was poor planning on my part.
We bugged out from St. Joseph Peninsula state park FL around 8:30 Friday
morning. It was a long but mostly uneventful drive up US231 to hit I65 just
south of Montgomery AL.
That part of the trip was OK just lots of stop lights.
Seemed like we'd just get up to the speed limit of 55 or 65 and we'd hit another
town or stop light.

I65 thru Montgomery was OK.
Rough but ok.

Our 1st problem was heavy traffic/some stop and go traffic in Birmingham mid afternoon. Lost probably 20 minutes going thru town but made it OK.

My plan was to stop just north of Nashville TN for the night.
BAD IDEA.
We hit Nashville right at rush hour AND it was raining, spitting snow.
It took 90 minutes of bumper to bumper stop and go to creep thru the
music city.
Of course I65 has about 4 mandatory lane changes just to stay on route.
I have a new little Garmin GPS which was very helpful giving me advance
notice of my needed lane changes.
For the most part people would stop and let us over when I signaled.
It was a long, dark, tiring drive but we made it to our planned stop at
Nashville Country RV park, Goodlettsville TN.
This was a good park, very clean and neat.
Bathhouse was one of the best we've seen in a long time.
Only problem was they are about 500 yards from I65.
We had a small heater fan running and my wife's sound machine set on
"waterfall" but could not drown out the drone of the all night truckers.
It's a 5 star place that I give 4 stars to due to the noise of the interstate.

My big mistake was trying to go that far. We should have stopped SOUTH
of Nashville for the nite. Then an early Saturday morning drive thru town
would have been MUCH easier.

Up and on the road Saturday morning about 8:30. Maybe closer to 8 am.
Easy drive up I65. Low traffic. Spitting snow but we didn't encounter
any slick spots.
We were lucky.
Long about mile 92 south of Elizabethtown KY there had been an earlier
accident. Someone southbound hit ice on an over pass and lost it.
Car and semi, I believe.
By the time we got there mid morning it had been cleaned up except for
the highway crews trying to untangle the wrecked anti-crossover cables.
Still had very slow stop and go for a mile south of the site due to folks
looking I guess. We got thru ok but an hour later an in-attentive semi
driver rear ended an SUV with 8 people in it at that location. The SUV
caught fire immediately and 6 people died. 2 were dragged out by
other motorists before the fire got too bad.

This closed I65 in both directions for several hours.

Also saw a 5th wheel trailer with NO axles being dragged up on a
flat bed truck somewhere south of there. Don't remember exact location.
Also saw an apparent median near cross over involving a travel trailer.
When we got there, the trailer was being dragged out of the deep
center median up onto the south bound shoulder.
The back end of the trailer was blown out and the median was strewn
with those poor folks possessions. It looked like the entire contents of
their trailer had spilled on the grass and mud.
The truck and any other vehicles were already gone so no idea what
was involved.

We felt like kissing the ground when we finally got in our driveway.

Last year same time, we found I65 North CLOSED in 2 places when we tried
to get home from Top Sail Hill Preserve SP.
One was a fatality and the other was a landslide that closed the
northbound lanes for at least a couple weeks.
At least the landslide had been far enough past that they had electronic
detour signs posted to guide us around the closure.
The fatality was just a trooper at an exit sitting in the middle of the interstate
making everyone exit. A good GPS is nice in times like that!

It's a scary road out there. This really took the edge off our otherwise
good 2 weeks in the sunshine state.
Be careful out there!
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Old 03-04-2013, 02:43 PM   #2
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Wow, hard drive. Kinda makes me want to stay longer in Florida.

We saw theat fiery crash on the news, Tough....

Bill
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Old 03-04-2013, 03:02 PM   #3
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Glad you made it back safe!
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Old 03-04-2013, 03:15 PM   #4
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Wow, that's one horrific ride.
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Old 03-04-2013, 03:15 PM   #5
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Ouch!
That's a tough drive home, Dan.

I am with Bill - kinda makes you want to stay in FL longer.
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Old 03-04-2013, 03:49 PM   #6
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Glad you made it back safe and sound. I don't think I'd ever try to do 540 miles in one day, especially in the winter months. You da man!
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Old 03-04-2013, 03:54 PM   #7
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That IS scary! Glad you made it home safely.
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Old 03-04-2013, 04:15 PM   #8
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Glad you made it home safely...... Even as careful as we can be something can happen.....

Seen too many accidents over the years several with travel trailers & motorhomes..... But the worst accident I watched happen in my rear view mirror was when a car behind me drifted or tried to pass me crossing over the center line..............and hit a tractor trailer head on...... not a good outcome....... We all need to be careful & take extra time and not be in a hurry to get there.......... Years ago I have gone over 800 miles in a day but those days are long gone......... Just commuting & some driving for work I put well over 30,ooo on our vehicles as it is...............
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:31 PM   #9
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Nashville rush hour is pretty awful regardless of the weather, but there aren't a lot of campgrounds before you get to town especially on I-65.

Kentucky has had several bad wrecks lately...not sure what is going on there. A couple of weeks ago on a Sunday afternoon, we were coming home from Missouri on I-24 East about 100 miles north of Nashville (mile marker 82 to be exact) and a semi came off the ramp going about 65-70mph...tipped over and slid into the median. This happened about two car lengths in front of us. Luckily, no one was hurt. I called 911 and it took about 20 minutes for them to get there. Some other truckers stopped and helped get the driver out. He was shaken and in shock, but appeared ok...no blood or broken bones.

I kept thinking how lucky we were. DH was playing with the eco settings on our new hybrid and had slowed down to about 60 a few minutes before we saw this happen. If he had not done that, it is very possible we would have been smushed by this truck. We weren't in the RV this time and were able to come to a very quick stop to avoid hitting the light pole he uprooted and slung out in the road.

It's a wild world on the roads these days. Travel safe and pay attention to your surroundings.
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Old 03-05-2013, 12:24 PM   #10
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Glad you made it ok! That is the reason that my parents went to southern FL on or around November 1st and didn't go north until May 1st.
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