It looks like Jon, our younger son, is going to graduate from Army basic training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma on April 4, 2014. Josie, my wife, and I will taking a road trip from Phoenix to Lawton (next to Fort Sill) on the 2nd so that we can be there for family day on the 3rd. I’ll be doing all the driving (which I wish I could avoid) because while Josie can drive for hours in the city, she gets sleepy right away when driving on interstate highways. We’re avoiding any last-minute problems, like the last time we went there, because we’re getting ready for the trip well ahead of time.
Our Previous Road Trip to Fort Sill
We took this road trip once before and it was back in 2002, when my older son (Joseph) graduated from Army basic training. I had difficulty getting the necessary time off from work until the last minute and after searching for last-minute travel deals, I couldn’t find a faster or cheaper way to get there. We ended up leaving the day before graduation.
Josie, Jon and my future daughter-in-law (Diann) were with me. Except for the Lawton area, where Diann drove, I did all the driving. I was tired and cranky after more than 13 hours and I settled on the first motel I found in the city. We checked in and then headed for the base.
We missed out on family day, arriving late in the day, and we weren’t properly dressed for the weather there. It was much cooler than we anticipated, especially since it was windy. The rest of the trip was uneventful. We didn’t spend a lot on gas for that trip – it was a lot cheaper back then and I was driving a new Mazda Protege (a four-door sedan).
This Road Trip to Fort Sill
We’re not going to miss family day this time. We’ll be arriving the night before. I’m making reservations (today) for a motel. I’m making sure we have a room for three nights and that we get a discount for reserving the room more than a week in advance. It’s just me and Josie this time around.
We’ll be using our 2004 Jeep Liberty this time, so we’re going to be spending more on gas. I’m guessing it’ll take three tanks to get there, or around $150, but I’m ready if it ends up costing us more. I’m taking the Jeep in to be serviced this weekend, even though it’s in good shape. It’s a necessary precaution.
The temperature in Lawton and at Fort Sill is usually around 20 degrees cooler than Phoenix and when it’s windy, it feels like a lot more than 20 degrees. Josie and I will be dressed properly this time – I’m taking a leather jacket and a couple of long-sleeve shirts. Josie’s taking sweaters. We’ll both be wearing blue and black jeans (because of the thicker material).
I wish we didn’t have to take a road trip at all, but flying is far too expensive and I’m not even taking other things into consideration, like a rental car. A road trip, as much as I dislike driving, is the best and most affordable way for us to get there. I can take my time getting there and I can take as many breaks as I need. Because, you know, I’m not getting younger.
[Image Attribution: By Crimsonedge34 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]