A light, airy, effervescent, blog of grave consequence. (NOT!) Dedicated to those of us who must respond to negative stimuli by Chernobyling (entombing in concrete) our innermost thoughts.

Location: Slaughter, Louisiana, United States

A semi-gruntled corporate reliability engineer trying to make ends meet while keeping my wife happy, and myself out of the asylum.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

First impressions: Drive from Torrington, CT to Zachary, LA

Not a bad drive overall. Only two significant road construction zones. One in Virginia and one in Alabama for a total of less than 20 miles. Right around 1520 miles. 51.439 gallons of 93 octane. 29.6 MPG for the whole trip. With an average speed, not including the 1.5 hours lost in Bessemer, AL that I'll explain shortly, of 69.09 MPH.

The Motel 6 I stopped at in Athens, TN was great. Less than $50 for a clean, quiet room right across the street from a Hardees. I finally had the chance to eat the "Monster Thickburger". OH. MY. GOD. I linked to this burger when it first was introduced. For this exercise, I had the Monster combo with a chocolate shake. I totaled it up on the Hardees site and just this meal had 2310 calories, 153 grams of fat, 334 mg of cholesterol, and 159g of Carbs.

I thought I felt a little full after that.

It was interesting heading through VA and TN as NASCAR was at Bristol Speedway last weekend. The traffic was just starting to get heavy as I went screaming past.

Anyway. I got started bright and early on Day 2 of the drive. Drove for a couple hours and stopped for breakfast at a CrackerBarrel in Gadsden, AL. Nice restaurant with good service. There were a bunch of hotrods in the parking lot. Steel 32 Ford with matching trailer, chopped and slammed 67 Chevy short-wide, 63 Chevy II, that kind of stuff. I watched the owners leave while I was eating. They were all in the seventies at least. These people were OLD. It was kinda cute.

So I got back on my way after breakfast and right around exit 125 on I-20 through Birmingham, I hit something with the left tires on my car. I didn't see it but Jesus did I hear it. Nothing happened immediately so I thought I escaped unscathed. But about five miles later the car started to feel squishy on the left rear so I pulled over and stopped just outside of Bessemer. Sure enough, the left rear was down. So I started changing it. An Alabama DOT safety truck stopped shortly and helped me change the tire. He actually had the equipment to plug it but the chunk missing from the tread was large enough that even two plugs wouldn't stop the leak. So I got the spare on and proceeded to the local WalMart in hopes that they would have a tire. They don't carry 17's. Luckily, right next to the WalMart, in the same parking lot was a "Big 10 Tire Center". They did have a Bridgestone Fuzion HRI in the correct size in stock. So, $123 and 90 minutes later I was on my way. Learning here is; all you ricers out there with 18+ inch wheels? Better hope you don't have a flat and need a tire in a hurry. You don't have a shot in hell.

So after getting back on the road, my paranoia kicked in and I thought I was feeling the same thing on the right rear, so, I found a Walmart in Meridian, MS and stopped to check the tire pressure. I figured that if there was a slow leak that lasted this long, I could buy a plug kit and a small compressor at the store to get going again if I had to. Anyway, the tires were actually overinflated because of the heat. It was in the upper 90's compared to the 60's when I left. So I dropped the pressures down to 33 from 38 and got back on the road. Much better.

From there, I made it the rest of the way without stopping. The only other odd thing was, as I was heading south on I-55, I heard on the radio that at 4pm the state was going to convert the road to all lanes going Northbound to help evacuate New Orleans. I think there must be some weather coming, or something.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merci, I really am glad to hear that you made it safely. I was thinking about you a lot!

9:21 AM  

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