2015 Summer Road Trip – Statistics

We made it home on Tuesday, June 2.  We drove 7,766.4 miles since we left home on Friday April 24! Here is a rough map of our trip. Google Maps only allows ten locations on a route plan so I couldn’t do an accurate representation. For example, I couldn’t map the true Route 66 route nor could I show our side trips to Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico, The Grand Canyon, or Cottonwood, Arizona. But it gives an idea of the breadth of our trip.

Summer 2015 Road Trip Overview
Summer 2015 Road Trip Overview

We kept a log of our start and end times each day (with a few lapses) and logged our gas stops (again, with a few lapses). Carla and I don’t drive the miles like we used to; we only had four days where we drove more than 400 miles – those were the days leaving and returning home. Living in the northwest corner of Oregon means it takes a while to get to or return from a trip. Though we may not have logged a lot of miles each day, we did spend some serious time between our start and end points: we had nine days of over eight hours in the car and five days of over 10 hours. Most of these were long days on Route 66 where we travelled last than 300 miles but did a lot of sightseeing.

Even when driving with purpose to get somewhere we couldn’t trust Google Maps time estimates. Our average speed on the freeway was 53.4 MPH. Our absolute best was 59.9 MPH on our getaway day when we had packed a lunch. I’m not sure how Google calculates its numbers though I suspect it assumes you are driving the maximum speed limit with no stops for gas or food.

When we are driving long distances and want to figure how far we can go we estimate a speed of 50 MPH and around eight hours a day. That’s only 400 miles. Back in the day my friends and I drove 800 miles, stopping only for gas when driving from our college in Idaho to our homes in Southern California. Even when our kids were young we’d easily crank off 600+ miles to get to Northern California to visit Carla’s family.

I was disappointed in the mileage we got in our 2013 Subaru Outback; over overall mileage was 25.3 MPG. I bought the bigger 3.6 engine thinking it would be nice to have when trying to move up the Blues, Cascades, and Rockies, but I don’t think the extra gas cost overall is worth it. We love our Subaru and will likely get another when this one wears out; however, we’ll get the smaller engine with the Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT). Our best mileage day was May 31 / June 1 when we achieved 29.7. That was a lot of downhill driving out of the Rockies into Idaho’s Treasure Valley.

You know what they say about averages: you put your feet in a block of ice and your head in a fire and on average you are comfortable. With that caveat in mind, I’ll document some of the interesting numbers. (I can’t get spreadsheet tables to show up as I’d like in my blog so we’ll have to settle for a list.)

  • Total miles: 7,766.4
  • Average daily time from start to end: 7:34
  • Average distance traveled in a day: 235
    • Minimum miles in a day:     13
    • Maximum miles in a day: 584
  • Average speed: 34.3 MPH
    • Average speed on straight travel days: 53.4
  • Gallons of gas purchased: 307.3
  • Average cost: $2.91/gal
  • Total fuel cost: $885.91
  • Overall mileage 25.3 MPG

If you do the arithmetic on the my mileage numbers you’ll find they don’t balance exactly. That’s because the gas pumps register to a thousandth of a gallon (Really!?) and the price goes to the tenth of a penny. I rounded those numbers up in my calculations.

So that’s the numbers summary of our trip. I’ll have one more post with the banner photos from each post with a link to that entry.

If you have any questions (or comments) about our trip; please drop me a line in the comments section and I’ll do my best to provide a useful response. We had a blast.

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