We've all seen the video of the evacuation of Galveston/Houston before Rita's arrival...
The slowly-moving parking lot...
It brought to mind memories of a trip we took some years ago to a family reunion in St. Petersburg, Florida.
We were traveling Southbound on Interstate 75, just South of the Florida State line. I checked the speedometer and it read 70, which I believe was 5 over the speed limit there.
And then a quick check of the rear-view mirror showed a big backwards "M" on the right side, a big reverse "K" on the left side, and a big backwards "CA" in the center!
Traffic was VERY heavy... when I tried to maintain the safe, "two second" rule... two seconds distance behind the car in front of us, someone would pass me and cut the spacing to one second or less.
A quick conversation with Sara Jean confirmed that she was as uncomfortable with the situation as was I.
It was just a matter of time until there was an accident, and then, if we were lucky enough to not be involved ourselves, we'd be prisoners on the Interstate... either motionless, or moving at 2 m.p.h. toward the next exit 10 miles away!
A quick check of our map indicated that Florida Highway 19 paralleled our course. It was just two lanes, and went through lots of little towns, but it had to be preferable to this I-75 lunacy!
We took the next exit and went West 2 miles to Hwy. 19.
NO TRAFFIC! The road was excellent, and we could actually take our eyes off the road and traffic and enjoy the scenery!
So here's my obvious question: Why didn't folks fleeing Galveston take the first farm road off the Interstate highway and get away from that congested situation on the Interstate? I've lived in Texas. I know what their farm roads are like. If you've never been there, Texas has frontage roads that are nicer than some Interstates I've driven on in Michigan, or Arkansas!
Run out of gas on one of these roads, and help is just a knock on a "neighbors" door away. Texans are friendly folk!
Encounter an accident? Drive around it!
I bet the traffic they encountered would have been less stressful than on the bigger highway too!