After complaining to the Holiday Inn DIA's parent company, IHG, I was refunded the $80 I spent staying at the Ramada in Wheat Ridge. IHG's policy is to arrange a stay at another hotel free of charge if they for any reason are not able to honor a reservation, and I'm glad IHG did that - even if it was done retroactively. It still would have been nice if the hotel made the alternate arrangements that night though, as it would have saved me a lot of driving around that night. As for why the Holiday Inn DIA was not able to honor my reservation, they have not given a clear answer about that yet. The Holiday Inn DIA claimed that I made the reservation with someone else's credit card. When my credit card statement came in the mail a month later, we found out that was not the case, as they charged my credit card $94 on Feb 22....four days after my scheduled reservation....and four days after I was told that there was no reservation under my name. IHG couldn't understand why that happened - as they did have a record of my reservation and confirmation number for the nights of Feb 18 and 19. Whatever the case, it appears the Holiday Inn DIA has some trouble running their hotel. If the National Storm Chaser Convention is ever held here again, I will definitely be making my reservation somewhere else. No way are they going to get a second chance from me with how disorganized things seem to be there.
Getting pulled over for my license plate not matching my car was also strange. I am not sure why a record wouldn't have come up, as the plate had a valid registration sticker on it that did not expire until April 2005. What was also strange is when I was pulled over in Texas, the dispatcher read out the letters to my personalized plate after the officer read out the digits of my drivers license - which proves my license plate is legit.
The tornadoes in Sacramento were a bit of surprise - I had written off the southern Sacramento Valley because winds were out of the north and showers were moving into the area that I thought might help stabilize the air. What I overlooked was a wind shift line separating north winds from east-southeast winds that appeared to have provided a focus for the thunderstorms in the Sacramento area.
Numbered highway exits finally seems to be catching on in California - up until a couple of years ago they were one of the few states who didn't have mile markers or numbered exits on their freeways.
California Highway 58 is looking more and more like it will one day become I-40 between Barstow and Bakersfield. The highway no longer goes through the town of Mojave, as the freeway now passes several miles east and north of the town.
Total mileage for the trip was 4219 miles.