We are back home from vacation. The trip consisted of driving through parts of the following states:
Idaho (where we spent our vacation)
From Texas we took a flight that took us through Philadelphia before returning home.
Our wife and kids remained in Texas, and in three weeks we will fly back and then drive with them back home. This will take us through:
In all, we have driven just under 4,000 miles so far, with roughly 1,400 remaining on the Texas back to North Carolina trip. $4 gas isn't so much fun for such a thing. But now, another problem for such a trip is beginning to ripple around the news. The idea of bringing back the federal 55 mph national speed limit.
American Thinker covers the issue today. One point made in that article goes thusly:
Take for example coastal industries. Turn a three hour drive each way into a four hour plus drive each way to get to the beach, and you'll see far fewer folks doing it for the weekend. Turn a 12 hour drive to the Florida or Carolinas beaches into a 16 hour trek, and the week long vacations won't happen.
We certainly admit that our vacation is extreme, one not one undertaken by very many people. But let's do the quick calculation on the difference between the trip we have made at current speed limits, and the trip if 55 mph again became the federally mandated speed limit.
Our trip from North Carolina to Idaho was nearly all interstate, and we averaged just under 74 mph while the car was in motion (our GPS records such things). The trip from Idaho to Texas was a little less interstate, and we averaged just over 68 mph. To simplify for our purposes here, we will round the overall average to 72 mph. And for our purposes we will assume our trip from Texas back to North Carolina will also average 72 mph.
By the time we make it back home in three weeks, we will have spent 75 hours traveling 5,400 miles.
Now, if the posted speed limit was 55 mph maximum -- and we assume our overall average would be 58 mph -- slightly over the maximum speed limit -- our same vacation would consume 93 hours of drive time.
14 more hours.
Or to put it in terms this blog favors, it would have made a 27,000 bottles-of-beer-on-the-wall drive into a 33,480 bottles-of-beer-on-the-wall drive.
That's nearly 6,500 extra bottles of beer.
Now, as much as we like beer (and we really love beer), one can only take so many down and pass so many around before one is driven from being a fun, family road trip dad to a menacing road rage threat to any and all other vehicles along a 20-state route.
It would be enough to drive a man to drink.
MORE MATH: Adding the states up, we will have visited 40% of these United States by the end of the summer vacation travels.
TO BE CLEAR: We are using the traditional count of states, and not the Obama new math, which would put us at a mere 33%.
*Thanks to Strawman in the comments for pointing out my oversight in forgetting Kentucky.