US Road Trip Epilog: 18th June 2005

The drive west from Athens is uneventful, if a little slow. There's some sort of incident at a gas station along the way, with police and fire trucks in attendance, which doesn't help.

Interstate 85
Interstate 85.

Uneventful, that is, until joining the Interstates to skirt Atlanta. 5+ lanes of complete mayhem in either direction, with traffic swerving all over the road in an effort to be the fastest. At one point I see one car - it's a BMW, naturally - move over 4 lanes in one go (without signaling) to avoid missing his exit. With more aggression than skill there are naturally accidents, one of which looks particularly unpleasant, which bring the traffic down to just a few lanes. If you're planning to be a paramedic I strongly recommend Atlanta as a place to do your training - you'll get plenty of experience.

If you were paying attention reading the previous road trip pages (yes, I know it's highly unlikely) you'll probably guess what's happening when I say I'm booked into a Drury Inn for the night. It's the non-stop excitement of laundry day. I'd bought some more clothes earlier in the week to postpone the inevitable, which is a great idea until you realise that it'll make things take even longer when you have to get the whole trunk-full clean.

The tedium of laundry day is broken when John Foft, who's the regional guy from the Riviera Owners Association, stops by for a chat. John was a great supporter of the original road trip, via email, and I somehow managed to miss him during my previous visit to the area. As with all the Riviera people I've met he's interesting to talk to and also very helpful.

When I arrived at the motel and checked-in I'd left some things in the car. When I went back out to get them there was a steady stream of coolant emerging from under the car. Opening the hood showed it was coming from one of the hoses - which looks decidedly secondhand - at the back of the engine where I think the heater matrix is located. It isn't a serious leak, but it'll obviously need sorting sooner rather than later. John gets on the phone to his favoured mechanic and arranges for me to take the car there on Monday morning. Sterling work, and much appreciated.

Unfortunately I can't go for a bite to eat with John as the clothes drier at the Drury Inn appears to think it can do its job without providing any real heat, so the laundry is taken longer than expected. Later in the evening things improve with the Drury Inn's free drinks and nibbles and then the NASCAR Busch Series Kentucky 300 on TV. It could be worse, especially as the room includes a microwave and a free bag of popcorn to add to that genuine race feel.

US Road Trip Epilog: 19th June 2005 >