Tri-Corner Road Trip

I’m preparing to head out on a tri-cornered road trip.

Realize ALL statements about time and place are highly fluid. I’m “on call” for tech support so at any time can get the dreaded phone call, and be on an airplane back here for emergency response. There is also the chance that The Son will get a phone call about a spousal family member who is ill and likely to pass away at some unknown time, which would cancel one leg of the triangle.

At Present the plan is to arrive in Chicago about Sunday next. That has me leaving here tonight or tomorrow. Monday I then point the car at Knoxville ( I want to drive the Tennessee Valley again ;-) and on to Orlando. After a brief stay in Orlando (and depot of the car with Florida Friend), I fly home.

Spouse has “Dog Duty” during that time, so I figure with 2 dogs and a few guns she’ll be OK ;-) (Her accuracy is greater than mine, BTW).

Why am I doing this?

Well, we’ve had one offer on the house already (didn’t quite come up to a “just do it now!!!” level so going slower and maybe actually going to list it on the market…) and expect to be leaving California in about 2 months, one way or another. I’ll be keeping some kind of “fly in” presence here as I can’t leave a client in the lurch, but that’s TBD. Likely an RV of some sort (we want one for a “See the USA” tour anyway).

So the idea is to position one car in Florida, and that way the spouse (or me) can just “fly in” whenever we feel like it and go house hunting / check out residential hotels / whatever. This will eliminate any further “Hail Mary” cross country drives ( I hope )…

During this time on the road, I’ll be on the tablet using public WiFi. The tablet is a bit painful for typing anything more than a few sentences, so expect my participation / new postings to be terse and sporadic.

Route from here to Chicago is straight down I-80 and 32 drive hours. Likely 2 x 16 hour days. (I could do it as one 32 hour shot, but I’m trying to break that habit ;-) Then from Chicago to Knoxville and on to Orlando as the Google Map plots it.

I’m open for short stops along the way, if anyone is along those routes or near Orlando. Post suggestions in a comment. If it looks good, drop an email to pub 4 all ATSIGN aol DOT com with details and we’ll see what works.

The first segment of the drive is likely to be started at Oh-Dark-Thirty to avoid driving into the rising sun in the mountains. (So something like 2 AM, and then stop for breakfast and a nap at sunrise) with a push on to about Salt Lake City or perhaps a bit further before a longer stop. After that it gets more variable… Likely leaving Chicago Monday Morning also way early. IIRC it’s about 17 hours to Orlando, so either “one and done” or a “car camping in Tennessee” if something really interesting presents itself.

Suggestions for towns to visit places to go along the route are welcome.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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38 Responses to Tri-Corner Road Trip

  1. cdquarles says:

    Knoxville to Orlando will be I 75, except for traffic detours (cough, Atlanta, cough). I am not so sure about Chicago to Knoxville, though. I think you can pick up I 75 in Cincinnati; so I 65 to Indianapolis then whatever interstate over to Cincinnati, then stay on I 75 to Knoxville. The remnants of Elsa should be out of the way. Elsa did pass over parts of I 75 in southern Georgia, though.

  2. Ossqss says:

    A Lakeland Redux is always possible depending upon scheduling.

  3. H.R. says:

    @E.M. re Knoxville camping:

    We always stop for the night just outside Knoxville at a campground called Volunteer Park Family Campground. It is just 2 minutes off I-75 at the Heiskell, TN Exit.

    They have pull-throughs, which is why we stay there. And it is a nice place. The office staff is friendly, and there’s a gas station just 3 minutes away on the other side of I-75 to top off before starting the day.

    They have tent and car sites as well as RV sites. I don’t know how much the tent sites cost. Depending, there’s a Civil War reenactment nearby every year and during that time there are zero empty spaces unless you reserved a spot last year.

    It really is a super-EZ on/off and a nice place. You’d take more time to exit and find a Walmart parking lot than it it takes to get to a campsite from the I-75 exit. It’s that close.

    Here’s a link to the website. You can get their number and ask if they’re in that booked-up block of time and what their rates are. Oh, and they have after hours check-in, so you don’t have to worry about getting there before the office closes.

    Take a look at it on the mapping programs.
    Oops! I just checked their site and they are at $21 for a tent site with water and electric. I don’t see the primitive sites listed. They may have closed those off.

    But you can call and ask. The lady who answers the phone will have the best ever Tennessee accent and she might work something out for you if you explain your slightly different car camping style.

    If you tell her the guy Scottish terrier who stops every Spring and Fall going to Florida and always buys the lapel/hat pins recommended the campground, she might try a little extra to make something work for you. We’ve stayed there 8 times and I always buy a hat pin or two when we stop. It seems I’m the only one who buys them.

  4. Bill S says:

    My wife and I like to stay in Provo. The Fairfield Inn is across the street from the Ruby River Steakhouse – which is still what a steakhouse should be. Then the drive up 189 to catch I80 is pleasant and avoids Salt Lake City completely.

  5. jim2 says:

    Check ur email.

  6. E.M.Smith says:


    I’m mostly going to be near the Buena Vista entrance to Disneyworld. I could do Lakeland if that is where folks are located, but somewhere nearer to Clermont would be better for me.

    I expect to be in town from about the 15 th to the 18 th with not much to do for a lot of the time.


    I’ll check it out. I’m set up for tent camping (tent in car) or just using the passenger seat / bed. I have a “camping kitchen” kit in the car, and I’m really hoping that this trip I get to try some actual camping (i.e. not just sleeping in rest area and Walmarts… or Motel 6…) I’ve got longer time scheduled for each leg of the trip, so no time pressure this run. Cost of a space is not an issue at all. I’d pay full hotel rates for a nice camping spot. Why? I actually like camping, where hotels are usually an exercise in horrors for me. Sprays that set of my allergies. Chemicals that cause me to wake up at 2 AM eyes burning and having trouble breathing. LOUD A/C from some ass hole who thinks that “white noise” covers up the couple humping in the next room and doesn’t realize it makes my ears ring… So yeah, I’d go $80 for a quite camp space for a tent, or a car and sleeping bag. Strange, I know…

    @Bill S:

    Provo, eh? I’ll check it out. I usually get to Salt Lake about the time I need to take a break… IIRC, the Fairfield Inn folks tend not to spray a lot of “smell suppressant” in rooms and just keep them clean and nice. (Those of us sensitive to “fragrance” do not appreciate “masking scent”… )

    When planning to stay in hotels, I buy a “pool chlorine tablet” and a jar with lid. These are great things that emit chlorine (thus a lid to modulate is your friend) and in a few hours (especially if you lightly dampen it) they can destroy most “fragrances” and “scents” in a room. Took me about 20 years to figure that out. So IF I’m going to take on a hotel room, I first stop at a grocery store / Walmart and buy a jug each of vinegar and ammonia and a pool tablet. I do a “Holy Water Sprinkle” of the furniture and room with vinegar. Then wait 20 minutes. Then the same thing with ammonia water. This is derived from the US Army chemical decontamination procedures where they do an acid / base wash but with stronger stuff. Most things are neutralized by this. Then the tablet is lightly moistened and left open while I go to dinner or “whatever” for a couple of hours.

    When I get back to the room, there are NO “Offensive Odors”, or “Stupefying Scents”, or “Masking Chemicals” to numb your nose and yet leave you open to allergic reactions. Just a slightly energizing ion field like being near the ocean or a swimming pool. On goes the lid and I’m set for a good nights sleep.

    Really well done hotels who do NOT just spray “masking scents” or “nose neutralizers” don’t need all that, but they are very rare these days.

    Thus my preference for a camp grounds or a sleeping bag in the reclined passenger seat. It’s not good, but it isn’t the hell I have from chemical shit when trying to sleep in a sprayed Hotel Room… I’ve literally put $80 on the counter for a room I had to abandon at a (something else converted to a nominal) Motel 6 in Louisiana IIRC. I did find an open Walmart and stocked up on ammonia and vinegar and all and managed to get about 6 hours of usable sleep time after all the “repair” was done. But it just isn’t worth the risk most of the time.

    Oh Well.

    (And with that kind of OTT reactive immunity some folks want to inject me with crap that pokes the bear of the immune system (adjuvants) and fills me up with antigenic Spike Proteins? I’d likely swell up and die on the spot. If “Glade” almost kills me, what would Spike Protein do?…)

  7. Ossqss says:

    You have/see my email. Ping me if applicable. I think there was a Hooters close to where we met last time. BTW, we have a 2 week reprieve on tropical stuff for the moment here.

  8. Simon Derricutt says:

    EM – maybe consider getting an Ozone producing bit of kit for the hotels. You can get ionisers that work pretty well, producing negative ions and a little bit of Ozone, or there are also devices that have a plate with an array of spark-gaps that produces several grams per hour of Ozone. Most smelly stuffs become harmless when oxidised, after all, which is what that Chlorine-emitting tablet does too, except that Chlorine is maybe not that healthy itself. Ozone is also poisonous in too-high a concentration, though (pays yer money and takes yer choice). The Ozone might however do the job on the hotel scents faster and with less side-effects than Chlorine.

    I also have problems with the various smell-covering scents. Not so much in hotels (very rarely used), but mainly with those that people install in cars.

  9. philjourdan says:

    Are you seeking asylum status in FLA? :-)

  10. E.M.Smith says:



    I have a family there that has said they will sponsor me and the spouse as we escape Kalifornia.

    I’m setting up the “emigration path” with pre-placed assets (cache of supplies…) and such. We are hoping to sneak out sometime in August or early September (with the house sold, or not… We can be “bi-coastal” for a while if need be). PS: Don’t tell the Authorities in Kali…

    Expect to see me “on the road” about as much as not until the move is completed.


    There will be trip updates and we’ll see who’s near what when.

    FWIW, I’m going to the “other side” of Orlando this time. Out near the airport. So Lakeland is now a much longer ways away.


    I have a small ozone making filter that I bought for the “Vacation Cottage” we rented (when I was living there for almost 2 years on contract…). It was “heavily scented” as the owner thought that a feature…

    It did “OK I guess”, but also had a large load to deal with. Run at night, the ions eventually wake me up with a bit of nose-unhappy in the small bedroom area. Modulation required.

    The acid / base holy water treatment takes the bulk of it out of soft goods (furniture, carpets, drapes) and that takes forever otherwise. The Chlorine tablet catches the “left overs” and I suspect the Ozone filter works about as good. But the tablet is $3 and I can get them anywhere along with a glass jar, then just toss it when done. No need to fit an appliance into “check baggage” or fit “One More Thing” into the trunk… So it works better for longer duration things like a rental.

    Once the chlorine smell reaches about the same as “in the Jacuzzi” I cap it off and ventilate the room. Seems to work well (also clears out deposits in the AC heat exchanger…) so I don’t end up sleeping in a chlorine haze. Besides, I usually deploy it upon arrival, then go out for dinner or visits or “whatever” and come back some hours later. Gives it all time to work with me not being exposed to it all. But strangely, even when that wasn’t possible and it sat open all night (other side of room) I didn’t have issues with it like I do with the “stuff” sprayed in rooms (or worse, tobacco smell from folks not respecting the no-smoking room…)

    So at some point I’ll be transporting the ozone maker cross country, but for small car fast trips, smaller chlorine tablet is quick easy and cheap. (On one occasion I just opened the wrapper and let it sit, tossing it the next day. Arrived late, Walmart open at 11 PM, just needed a quick fix…)

  11. Compu Gator says:

    E.M.Smith posted on 8 July 2021 at 4:46 pm UTC:

    I then point the car at Knoxville ( I want to drive the Tennessee Valley again ;-)

    I take that as expressing a goal much too broad for specific comments. I haven’t even been in that vicinity since my avid caving days in the 1970s.

    Because day-yam!  The proper Tennessee Valley is much bigger than I knew!  It includes tributaries in Virginia and N. Carolina, its flow not receiving its familiar name until Knoxville; more tributaries in Georgia, and flow into & thro’ Alabama, back into Tenn., then thro’ Kentucky to empty into the Ohio River:

    Even so, the “Tennessee Valley” in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in Northern California cluttered roughly half my original search results!

    Loading the “Official website of the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development © 2021”, I see a link: “How to get to Tennessee”.  An optomist would suppose that they keep it updated for the latest highway construction in & approaching their state:

    My primary concern for driving there right now:
    Run-off from rains brought by tropical storms or even depressions can take days to flood, starting with the “cricks”,  and culminating with the rivers. Then more days to settle back to normal levels. The short-term result of such flooding can be that roads routed at or near (river &c.) bank level become silted-up, thus impassible for weeks (or more). Depends on how quickly the storm rains passed over, and the priorities of the state-highway-dept.

    A link from the official site claims it’s for East Tennessee as a region, but it seems to short-change that, in favor of a focus on ObKnoxiousVille:

    We grads of rival schools have little good to say about U.T.’s home-town, altho’ even we  ought to admit that the Tennessee Navy gatherings on the river next to U.T.’s General  Neyland Stadium [★] look like lots of fun. Can’t do that at Athens, Auburn, Gainesville, Lexington, Nashville, Tuscaloosa, &c.

    Note ★ : Relax, E.M.: Bob Neyland (1892–1962) was not a Confederate. He was a Texas native who rose from graduating from West Point, to the rank of Brig. General,  U.S. Army. Modern pronunciation “Nee-lən(d)”.  But I follow my dad in preferring the more literal and seemingly authentic 2Q-20th-C. pronunciation “Nay-lən(d)”.  Dunno whether either is really contemporaneous of a combination of far-N.E. Texan & East Tenn. pronunciations.  Alas!  This footnote was once somewhat brief!

  12. philjourdan says:

    @EMS – Good. My cousin just moved down there part time (from the People’s Republic of the land of Blackface). So I was going to et one of them to sponsor your asylum request if you had no family there. :-)

  13. H.R. says:

    Compu Gator: “Alas! This footnote was once somewhat brief!”

    Sometimes, you really crack me up, Gator. 🤣
    Here and there, you’ve mentioned some transportation difficulties. But if E.M. is actually settled in Florida this year, I am thinking that the Chiefio’s Blog Christmas Gala and Dodgy Proceedings could be a bit better attended than in times past. It’s just been Ossqss and me, but what we lack in numbers, we make up for it in enthusiasm!

    As it gets closer, and plans may develop. We should look into giving you some assistance to attend, should you require it. (#7 on the Agenda is ‘Hot Peppers’. We may require expert testimony before any motions are put forward.😜) You’ve got to be “on the way” of somebody. If you’re good to go and don’t need a lift… never mind, then.

  14. cdquarles says:

    Well, Gator, you could somewhat do a Tide Navy in Tuscaloosa; since there is a river near Bryant-Denny Stadium, though said river is a bit further from the stadium than UT’s stadium is located from the Tennessee River, and smaller. The Black Warrior River (named after Chief Tuskaloosa, the “Black Warrior”), whose name still lives in the city and county name, with the ‘k’ now a ‘c’. There was, and may still be barge traffic on the river going to and from Birmingport, near Birmingham.

  15. philjourdan says:

    @HR – Re: Chiefio’s get together. Here! Here! I need to make a trop to FLA, so if he decides to hold one and I can arrange the trip to coincide, more power to it!

  16. H.R. says:

    Well, we have to get E.M. moved and settled in. As near as I can gather, it will be lessee 2… 3.. maybe 5 months? Then there has to be enough notice in case someone (you, for instance) can travel and needs to make arrangements. I’ll be in Florida from November 1st, on through the Winter.

    So it’s looking like a Christmas Gala, immediately followed by Dodgy Proceedings. We’ll wait a few months and see where everyone is at, eh?

  17. E.M.Smith says:

    I expect to have a rental in Florida in September, October latest.

    Note that is just an expectation.

    Trip notes:

    Driving Utah, Wyoming, even into Nebraska, there are eroding mountains and hills of what look like sedimentary banded deposits, but grey. I’m pretty sure these are deposits of ash from Yellowstone. Makes a fellow appreciate the scale of things, driving for days…

    There were lots of Tesla cars in Silicon Valley to Sacramento. Even some made the mountain climb to Reno. Then nothing, as in NONE, all the way to Des Moines Iowa, where I saw two. They were on the freeway with a local plate red one in front, followed by a blue one with California plate. Then again none all the way to Chicago. In Chicago, I have seen 3. One on the freeway, one on local streets, and one parked.

    My conclusion is these are largely suited to dense urban areas without too much cold and snow. In rural high cold you see lots of 4×4 trucks and cars with 400 mile range and great heaters.

    Not sure how that one from California got here, but it will have taken a LOT longer than my 2 days… unless shipped.

    I think electric 4×4 trucks will not sell well…

    I wonder if the Corn Fuel Lobby has an opinion on All Electric vehicle sales mandates…

    From just past Reno Nevada to just outside Chicago, almost NO masks used or seen. A few on clerks in a Walmart in Iowa, a random 1 in dozens in truck stops. Flyover country is done with this. Crowds in restaurants, from Subway sandwich shop in Wyoming to sitdown in Cracker Barrel in Illinois, 95% plus, often 100% without masks. No “Karens or Chads” bothrring anyone either. But in Chicago and Silicon Valley, the paranoia prevails.

  18. Compu Gator says:

    I had been intending to suggest/recommend that our gracious host extend his Southward plunge from Chicago and Indy to take I-65, despite its de facto backtracking, to Nashville. Then metro Knoxville would then be a straight shot along I-40 from Nashville. The rationale would be to try Nashville Hot Chicken in its place of origin, because of the spread of its trendy inauthentic imitators. Notably KFC’s corporate distortion.

    Alas, he would’ve just missed the city’s 2021 “Hot Chicken Festival” [🔥︎], which is set for each year’s 4 July holiday.

    But upon further review, much more importantly, I concluded that eating the real stuff on a serious push-trip could be spectacularly imprudent. Even for some regular customers of the original (surviving) purveyors, eating a meal of the dish reportedly requires 24 hours of immediate unshared access to a near-by porcelain throne [⛓︎]; y.m.m.v. That potential requirement is completely at odds with the customary on-the-road conduct & goals of a push-trip.

    Sooo, never mind!

    Note 🔥︎ :  In 1 article that I’ve been unable to find again since 1st reading it, its spicing was claimed to be done solely with the Cajun spice blend “Slap Yo’ Mama”. But other early purveyors have given out enough info to show it ain’t necessarily so. See, e.g., numerous sources identified by Wkp.:

    Note ⛓︎ :  Even André Prince Jeffries, the great niece chosen by the founding Prince family as successor owner of Prince’s Hot Chicken, admitted its indelicate reputation in a 2006 interview by a Joe York:

  19. E.M.Smith says:

    I arrived in Orlando yesterday morning. Then we went to a bar for cajun dinner. Now it is suddenly tomorrow ;-)

    BBQ Shrimp in a just right sauce. It had some nite, but you could still taste the shrimp and lots of garlic. Andouille sausage on cheesy garlic bread… Oh My.


    I expect to make the trip to Chicago many times to see grandkids and their parents. I can get the chicken next time :-)

    I ought to get a trip report posting up today or tomorrow. For now, just the Tesla count;

    Didn’t see any between Chicago and Indiana untill about 70 miles from Indianapolis. One on the fr eeway trying to reach town I think. In Indianopolis, saw a Nissan Leaf. Next one was in Florida near Jacksonville. Today, in a 2 mile drive to the store, saw 2 in Orlando.

    My conclusion is that folks use these as city cars and not for road trips. Mostly seen in very Democrat run big cities. But even then, rare outside of California and more rare where frozen and snow are common.

  20. I saw two Teslas in my local area in England over the last couple of days. Probably tourists as not many locals could afford them.

    I must say they are very unremarkable looking cars and not one I would covet..

    incidentally why have you decided to move to Florida rather than any of the other States?.

  21. H.R. says:

    @E.M. – My area is loaded with Teslas. I usually see at least two or three on every trip out, and sometimes more.

    I once saw two in a row waiting at a light while another one was behind me. We get Winter here. I’m not here, so I don’t know if they are being driven in Winter here.

    I’m certain that these cars were bought for the fun factor and to be driving “something different.” Well, with so many people having the same idea, it’s about as unique as having a Volkswagen in the late ’60s.

    It used to be a rare thing to spot a Tesla. Now they’re quite common.

    OK, I did see an electric Mustang on a trip to the grocery store. I parked beside it to get a better look. I’m not seeing a lot of the other brands of electric cars. When I see one, I’m pretty sure it’s a greenie driving it.

  22. E.M.Smith says:


    Tennessee is still in the running too…


    Spouse does not like snow, so Northern States are out. Spouse does not do well in mountains, likes flat with straight not winding roads. Mountain States and areas off the list. We both have grass allergies, so Plains States a bad idea. I want zero State income tax. That leaves Florida and maybe parts of Tennessee. Possible of Texas.

    Now, spouse loves Disneyworld (Disney anything really) but kid lives in Chicago. Draw a line between them, it doesn’t go to Texas…. leaving Florida and Tennessee. Ive lived and worked in Florida about 4 or 5 years on and off, so have friends there. Spouse has a friend who moved to Tennessee. We will start by renting in Florida while we both compare the two States.

  23. Power Grab says:

    Speaking of ozone generators…many years ago, in the dead of winter, my ex brought home a newborn calf whose mom couldn’t take of it. He put the calf into a big cardboard box between the washing machine and dryer in the utility nook. I think the box was the bottom half of a refrigerator shipping box.

    He had one of those ozone generators from Sharp Image and ran it all the time the calf was with us. I never smelled anything from the calf. I was amazed!

  24. cdquarles says:

    Howdy neighbor. I’ll be between you, sort of, either way. If you go for TN, stay away from Memphis, Nashville, or much of Knoxville. I am not so sure of Chattanooga, other than that city is smaller than the others. You might like Oak Ridge. TN is somewhat mountainous in it eastern parts, though the valleys are nice. Also about TN, they *do* get snow on occasion, especially the eastern parts up in the ridge tops. So, if you want to avoid snow, you’ll likely be shooting for south of Orlando. Snow will be quite rare there, but also not unknown. It has snowed in Miami, in the relatively recent past.

  25. The True Nolan says:

    Let me second what cdquarles says about Tennessee, although you might like the south central part of the state, slightly northeast of Corinth, Mississippi. Also, check the panhandle of Florida, in the Marianna area and just west. Relatively cheap land, nice climate, lots of streams and water, farm and agriculture communities, and just far enough away from Tallahassee.

  26. cdquarles says:

    Let me second what TTN says about the Panhandle. I love the “Redneck” Riviera, from Apalachicola and west from there toward Pensacola. I will add Baldwin County, AL to that; just avoid Mobile, itself; other than maybe way south, close to Dauphin Island. AL does have sales and income taxes, though; offset by low property taxes and lower than average gasoline taxes; though those were raised recently. You will need to alter your preparations from earthquakes to tropical storms/hurricanes; but that’s a minor detail ;p, with more predictive ability, since you can expect those every year.

  27. Douglas Jones says:

    Cool, my wife and I (unencumbered by real estate in CA) are moving to Cape Canaveral in two weeks, shipping our car by truck because neither of us are road warriors any more. Our new apartment will have a great view of the Intracoastal waterway and launches. Maybe we can meet up some time to trade war stories.

  28. Compu Gator says:

    cdquarles commented on 15 July 2021 at 6:42 pm GMT:

    So, if you want to avoid snow, you’ll likely be shooting for south of Orlando. Snow will be quite rare there, but also not unknown.

    Technically true, but practically silly. I doubt that its rare episodes of snow have ever had any accumulation since 1960 [❄]. Flurries that don’t accumulate? Sure, I’ve seen them hereabouts.

    I favor places in Florida mostly west of a line between Clermont (Lake Co.), north to Lake City (Columbia Co.). But I’d want to avoid these:
    • In the Panhandle: Vicinity of Tallahassee.
    • In the Peninsula: Area between Orlando and Tampa, which seems especially likely to be targeted sooner or later for suburbanization into still more sprawl. If you haven’t already purchased USGS topos chosen for broad geographic coverage of the state instead of map detail, I recommend that you do so [🚘]. I have no idea how otherwise suitable areas would compare in terms of quality medical care.

    I, for one, would not want to finish my life among the incoming flood of the state’s foreign-born and stubbornly nonEnglish-speaking new residents moving mostly into the Eastern Peninsula, from Miami, up thro’ parts of Orlando. More of the Obama Administration’s legacy, presumably authorized among his “emergencyexecutive orders.

    It has snowed in Miami in the relatively recent past.

    Ummm, the trailing winter months of 1977 or 1978 in Miami?  Hah!  Almost certainly flurries with no accumulation. But it made news up at least up thro’ the Middle-Atlantic states.

    Note ❄ : I dated my doubt back to 1960 because there has been at least 1 immediate-family member living in metro Orlando since that year, and they’d make sure I was notified.

    Note 🚘 : The last time I saw the Florida whole-state topo, its date was 1948 or thereabouts. So neither the Fla. Turnpike nor interstate hwys. could be shown.

  29. Ossqss says:

    @CG, IIRC there was a 2″ accumulation of snow in Central Florida in 1977ish. FWIW, I have personally viewed snow a couple times here South of Tampa over the last 30 years+. 2010-11ish was dreadfully cold here (lows in the teens) for an extended period of time, and we had significant fish kills in our lakes from such. Most of those fish, however, were foreign entries into the lakes deposited by mislead people with fish tanks, saving them from their toilets. The sucker mouth catfish (Plecostomus) was taken out by the hundreds, in my lake alone, along with many Tilapia. Native species, not so much.

  30. Compu Gator says:

    Ossqss commented on 16 July 2021 at 3:26 pm GMT:

    IIRC there was a 2″ accumulation of snow in Central Florida in 1977ish.

    Is that according to the traditional definition of “Central Florida“,  whose northern boundary was someplace north of, but nonetheless still near, Sanford (Seminole Co.)?  Or the modern (a.k.a. imperialist) definition promoted by MSM reporting, which includes Ocala (Marion Co.), and sometimes even Gainesville (Alachua Co.)?  “2″ accumulation of snow” seems more Ocalaïsh to me. My doubts aside, metro Orlando has an abundance of natural lakes, so perhaps their combined surface areas would suffice for enhancement of the snowfall via lake effect.

    Here’s some of what Orlando’s surviving daily reported in a short modern retrospective [❄]:

    With Florida winters rarely making it below even the 40s, it’s hard to believe that it ever snowed in Central Florida — but it did 43 years ago. The last time real, build-a-snowman snow fell across this part of the Sunshine State was Jan. 19, 1977, according to the National Weather Service. Snow even blanketed parts of South Florida, the first time in recorded history.

    I’d dismissed the vaguely reported laments from the citrus industry about subfreezing nights, as “the usual” and no big deal (I was then living outta-state), but my dad clarified by phone: No, this really was unusual, and really did cause serious damage. I’m fairly sure that this was the event that caused the exodus of those citrus growers willing to replant, down to inland South Florida. So gosh, what does a citrus magnate do with many acres of dead citrus trees in an area that’s a retirement magnet?  Why, become a real-estate magnate, of course! So it’s now been many years since the aroma of citrus peels being burned by citrus processing plants has wafted over Central Florida.

    Wikipedia offers a multicentury compilation, ordered by date [❄❄].

    Beware that many internet searches for “snow in Miami” will snag the original place-name “Miami” and its Miami University, both in Ohio.

  31. Compu Gator says:

    I Forgot my already drafted footnotes:

    Note ❄ :  “Central Florida remembers that time it actually snowed”.  By Daniella Medina [·] Orlando Sentinel, Jan 20, 2020 at 1:08 PM:

    Note ❄❄ :

  32. cdquarles says:

    Yeah, I wouldn’t call Gainesville, FL, central FL. I remember a trip that I made in 1979 to visit a potential post-grad site. After passing through Gainesville, I saw miles of dead citrus trees, still in place, after that 1977 event; on my way to Orlando. I had made a similar trip to Baltimore, MD, for the same reason, missing a nor’easter with freezing rain in it by a few hours.

  33. Ossqss says:

    The snow I referenced was in Plant City, and Lakeland (Polk County). I just check to make sure and there is currently no snow there :-)

  34. H.R. says:

    @Ossqss – Hmmm… lemme see.

    Florida… check

    Central region… check

    Plant City and Lakeland… (My sister lived in Plant City and moved to Lakeland about 15 years ago)… check

    July… check

    After careful consideration and weighing all of the facts, I think I can safely declare that there has been no snow in either Plant City or Lakeland in July of 2021.
    😜… 🤣🤣🤣

    P.S. How many sets of snow chains are sold in Florida on average each year? Inquiring minds want to know. I’m thinking somehow that it’s a fairly straightforward stat to come up with.

    Wait up! Do the 4×4 beach runners add snow chains to their rigs so as not to get stuck in the sand? I dunno. Maybe big knobby tyres are good enough.

  35. Terry Jackson says:

    @ H.R,
    About 8lbs air in the tires solves a lot of sand issues. There is also the wisdom of don’t go where you don’t belong. Saw a fellow in an Oregon seaside sand by creek area buried a pickup to the axles in the soft sand , tide coming in. Heavily salted used truck. A man has to know his limitations.

  36. H.R. says:

    @Terry J. – Hahahahaha!

    A set of 40″ balloon tires usually solves the sand issues. Then there are those people who love to do the mud runs. Those balloon tire have treads like paddles on them. They try to cross a bog of… well, like they say of the Pecos River, too thick to drink and too thin to plow.

    I forgot about those sand and mud runners until your comment reminded me of them.

    Oh, and you don’t want to go through the self-serve, pressure wash carwash bay on a Sunday evening after one of them washes off their 4 x 4, eh? Oh, no-no-no-no-no…

  37. H.R. says:

    @E.M. – BTW, good to have you landing in Florida, safe and sound.

    You’ve done cross-country a bazillion times and are none the worse for wear. But Friday before the 4th, my neighbor was taking her daughter to an eye appointment and got T-boned. Nothing she could do about it.

    The light was long, long green for her and absolutely long red for the guy that hit them. I don’t know what the distraction was (texting, eh?) , but he just never stopped. Full speed ahead through the intersection. Note: side airbags worked, or her daughter wouldn’t be around to tell the tale. Hit the passenger side. He was cut free and hospitalized for a week. Bad impact.

    The point being that no matter how careful you are or how good of a defensive driver you are, some yahoo can come out of nowhere and get you. You can deal with the Ice-Capades (last trip?) or floods or winds or whatnot, but you can’t avoid idiots who have you in their sights. More miles = more odds of an idiot.

    So… glad you landed safe and sound.

  38. cdquarles says:

    I was in a T-bone wreck once. Guy came flying down a cross street to a major highway. His road had stop sign on it that he blew through. Hit me on the driver’s side passenger door. Back in the dark ages, I had a rear-ender. I was stopped at a light at an interstate offramp. Bam! One of the scariest wrecks for me, though, was hydroplaning on the interstate. Never was sure why I spun out; but ended up with a vertebral compression fracture from it. I have a good million miles of driving over some 45 years. I rarely drive more than 100 miles at a time now, typically 10 or so round trip. The wrecks I mention all happened before cell phones were a big thing and texting wasn’t a thing yet.

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