I usually visit my dad once a month in Southern California (he lives in Monterey Park, about 10 miles east of downtown LA). Since I usually do the early morning shift, I typically get out of the office at 3 pm. So the plan was to have everything packed, before leaving work, so that when I get out, I drop by home, pick everything up, load the car, and on the road. This way, I would be on the road by 3:30 pm en route via I-280 and Hwy 101 to LA.
However, I had Mongolian BBQ for lunch, and that didn’t sit well with me. I ended up with light headedness (perhaps due to MSG???), and it just did not feel good driving for ~ 6 hours, and some with traffic. Those plans were dashed. So I figure I’d sleep on it, then get up before dawn, and get going on the road really early.
Got on the road at 5 am, and as expected, not many cars on the road. It was actually a very pleasant drive. I always get a kick out of driving when it goes from dark to light, and vice versa. I made it to Gilroy in about 50 minutes, and at the speed limit. Now who in the world drives at the speed limit? Well, I figured since it is a big national 3 day weekend, CHP would be out in force. That would warrant a more conservative style of driving.
So next time there is a long holiday weekend, if you are considering driving to Southern Cal from the Bay Area, get up really early, and get on the road by 5 AM. It’s a lot less stressful than fighting getaway traffic. Not sure what it would have been like if I left at a normal hour, like 7 or 8, but being on the road before the roosters crow is a nice alternative.