I like to call this the 2X4 Rule. I’ve heard it referred to as the Dr Pepper Rule and even a couple of other names that have slipped my mind. For those of you too young to remember, Dr Pepper used to have 10, 2, and 4 on its bottle (this is before cans and plastic). It was a reminder to drink a Dr Pepper at each of those times for a refreshing day and as a quick pick-me-up.
Anyway, I think of the 2X4 Rule as this: I try to make a point of traveling not more than 200 miles during the day. Always stop by 4:00. And, never leave before 10:00 in the morning. I don’t always adhere rigidly to that schedule, but I come mighty close. I find I enjoy the drive more, have plenty of time to enjoy a nice quiet evening (usually a leisurely lunch along the way, as well), and have the opportunity to visit the area I find myself stopped in; whether it be the desert, a large city, a small town, or anywhere in between. It may take me a long time to reach my destination, but isn’t it all about the journey anyway?
From time to time I have put a few more miles under me, but, more often than not, I come real close to 200 miles; if not fewer. I’ve discovered that leaving my stopping place much earlier than 10:00 is a real effort. Why hurry? The morning rush hour is winding down (if I am in an area with a rush hour, that is) and the noon traffic has not yet begun. By ending my day’s journey by 4:00 I usually beat any evening rush hour traffic and have plenty of time to enjoy a nice beverage, a good meal, and watch the sunset.
I’ve run into couples that put a bit different spin on things. One couple I met do things an hour earlier than I do. They like to leave around 9:00 and end the day’s travel around 3:00. That’s not bad, either. They tend to put a few more miles under them than I do, but they have a system that works for them. That’s what counts.
The folks I don’t understand are the ones that leave before daylight and travel until sunset or after. The only thing I can rationalize is that they prefer the adage of it’s all about where you end the day and not the road between starting and stopping. These folks usually travel the main highways and have a destination in mind. They prefer to get there in as few days as possible. It works for them. I just wish they wouldn’t be the people parked next to me. I guess I can’t always have my way, can I?
What it all boils down to is you need to find something that works for you. Unless there is an emergency (which happens occasionally) stick to your guns. Travel the way you enjoy traveling. For me it’s all about the journey, and a good 2X4 works wonders.