View Full Version : Competetion Travel Safety

06-11-2006, 09:25 PM
Forgive me a bit--but this got me to thinking.

Over on the Basso forum they are talking about the situation with Eric Miltz of CowboyUp BBQ.
As I understand it, he was en route home from a competition, dozed off, crossed into on-coming traffic and suffered an accident with major personal injuries. Others were injured also.

I have no crystal ball into what happened there and do not claim one!!!!

But, Dave and I have trapped ourselves into extensive travel after a long event and it turned really scary for us, to say the least :twisted:
Won't bore you with details, but we were damn lucky to get home alive with only minor damage to his trailer, no injuries, and no tickets :redface:

We have since enforced a rule that we just stay on-site overnight if we can not travel home safely at the end of the event!
That makes it more complicated for us. But, the "Sebring Going Home" debacle got our attention.
This is more of a problem for us than most of you. We deal with HUGE distances for any event we do. We start with 301 miles just between our homes :redface:

Anyway--and not drawing speculation from Eric's situation--"up all night", lots of good times, some libations, lots of caffine, lots of sun and fun. = "rest up" if needed!!!!!!
We have all been there!

Anyway--STAY SAFE!!!!!


ps--I am going to help out the CowboyUp family shortly--but that is a personal matter. A fellow competitor in need is enough for me.

06-11-2006, 09:47 PM

After this weekend I understand totally. If my brother had lost the axel on our cooker when he was tired I shutter to think of what may have happened.

06-12-2006, 12:42 PM
We cooked Mt Vernon this weekend. BTW Great cook we will be back. Anyway I had to drive back to STL and back and then back to STL with the gear. 1.5 hours each way. Two much driving. I normally make it a routine to only go about 300 miles in one day. Can always find another driver to help. You still have to take inconsideration the long event weather and activities as was stated. Keep safe

06-12-2006, 12:57 PM
This is REALLY important.. and your are so right.

Last year I made a stupid mistake and I put my family at risk becase of stupididty and cloudy thinking. After a competition I had a 6 hour drive home. We left at 6pm, still daylight, i was still "ok", but 3 hours into the drive, I find myself at that "how did I get here".. seems a lot of mileage was traveled and I was not aware of. Highway Hypnosis.

After the second, unplanned lane change i should have piulled over. Sharon was with me, she likely could have drove but she is "afraid" pulling the trailer. Well... her "afraid" is alot safer than me sleeping. i was fighting to stay awake. Stupid move in hindsight, but at the time it was the only option.. NOT!..

Now, either the family stays home, and i sleep onsite or other arrangments have to be made. The first is to let sharon drive with the trailer so she gets comfortable with it.

06-12-2006, 01:11 PM
Rest is critical.

Our "Sebring" episode could have easily been avoided - I had NO valid reason for not staying over. Anne was out of town, I had the travel trailer, and we weren't doing anything on Sunday anyway!! Oh yeah, I was coming down with the flu - but that's an even bigger reason that we should have stayed put.

The closest events Tim and I do - at least one of us has about a 6 hour drive. We've become real fans of events that open the grounds on Thursday or give us a place to park (the backlot at the Key Largo Chamber is pretty nice!) overnight. Staying over until Sunday is just about a given.

Of course, we're cheap and probably wouldn't take a motel room anyway...but we've certainly discussed it a couple of times. My travel trailer and/or his motorcoach have been worth the gas at Mobile, Dillard, Key Largo, Sebring, etc.

My wife has learned to pull the travel trailer and the cooker. She will not back one up - but that's OK. It gives me some time from behind the wheel.

Rushing to or from an event just doesn't make sense - and we've all done it...be careful out there!

06-12-2006, 01:37 PM
Great thread Kapn. At the last competition I attended I talked to some of the people as to where they were from and how long was their drive back. They told me that they had to be out that evening. No overnighting! That sucked.

I had this very thought of concern. Up all night, tired, slight buzz on, and got to drive away pulling a trailer. Be safe - get a room.

06-12-2006, 01:43 PM
There are tricks to staying awake. I learned almost all of them in the army. We called it the drone zone. I can do it when I have to.

The truth of the matter is that if you find yourself needing those tricks, you/I have made a bad decision. I'm not in combat, and lives don't depend on my performing a task. If I need the sleep then I need to pull over somewhere.

Several years ago I made a trip with a buddy that is a horse trainer to Kentucky to pick up a colt he bought. We pulled a trailer both ways, and were planning on a 48 hour trip. We probably would have been fine, if there hadn't been a problem with some of the paperwork. We weren't leaving until that was resolved. We pulled over in Texarkana on the way back and slept in the trailer, after we both went to sleep and nearly drifted into the median! We took a 6 horse gooseneck, instead of borrowing a smaller trailer which made it even more exciting when we woke up.

We just didn't plan right. We'd both had long weeks leading up to that trip and should have thought about that. A couple weeks later we might have been able to do it with no problem.

Getting that horse home a little later made no difference. Not getting home would have. Sometimes we have to spend time, to gain time.

Big lesson learned.

06-12-2006, 02:01 PM
Bookmarked this thread!

06-12-2006, 04:48 PM
From the other side of this ... Last year, we went home right after cleanup at comps, only to drag ourselves into the house, unable to unload everything until morning. Last month, we stayed in a hotel near the comp were were in. I got to relax, as I didn't feel as much need to tear down as quickly, and then I got a good night's sleep. The drive home the next day was very easy, and I was back to normal by evening. It proved to me that it's worth the stay.

06-12-2006, 08:26 PM
I have only competed once and that was close to home. It was a big event with 70 teams and the organizers did a poor job of enforcing quiet time so no one on site got any sleep Friday night.

You were allowed to spend the night Saturday, but if it was as noisy Friday night, you still were not going to get any sleep.

The organizers got several complaints and swear that will not happen again.

06-13-2006, 09:15 AM
Been there, done that. We have travelled down to Salisbury MD from MA the last three years. Two years ago, I drove all the way home after the contest (7+ hrs) in blinding rain. It was not a good idea.

This year, with my 8yr old son in tow, we hit a hotel 2hrs from the competition. Well rested, we finished the ride Sunday AM and were home for lunch. Definitely the way to go...