US Road Trip Epilog: 19th June 2005

You may have been wondering why I've been hanging around Georgia for a while. The answer is that I'm here to pick up a passenger. Alex is an old friend of mine from the UK - we've worked together for years and always got on well. Having read about the previous road trip he's decided to leave his job as well and join Loretta the Riviera and me for a bit of traveling. Alex was coming to Atlanta this June anyway, for a friend's wedding, so it all kind of fitted together.

This will also, of course, change the nature of the road trip somewhat - instead of just having one f-wit Englishman traveling the US in an old car, there will now be two. In addition, Alex and I haven't even been on holiday together, let alone been stuck in a car for some miles. He'll have his own slant on things and, hell, I may even let him add his thoughts to these pages. 'May' being the operative word there.

I flew over two weeks ago thinking I'd need at least a week to get the car back on the road and healthy before heading down to collect Alex. As it was, the car was surprisingly easy to get running again and I had enough time to revisit Savannah and also see Charleston and Athens as well. It does seem somehow fitting, however, that the first place I'm visiting with Alex will be a mechanic to fix that coolant leak.

The drive down to Decatur, west of Atlanta, is as about much fun as the Atlanta Interstates will allow (even on a Sunday lunchtime they're all as mad a box of frogs). As I turn up at the motel Alex wanders out of his motel room - by chance I've parked outside it - with a can of beer in his hand. I hope it's for me.

After a brief chat Alex has to get prepared for heading off to the wedding, and I can get into my usual Sunday slob mode. I was planning to watch the NASCAR race but the Super 8 has decided that they can give you sound but no pictures on the Fox channel and the management couldn't care less when I complain. Ok, I'll watch the Formula One US Grand Prix then. Except, of course, that this is even more of a farce than the cable TV connection at this motel. The Michelin runners actually don't and only six cars, on Bridgestones, actually race. That should kill Formula One in the US indefinitely, not only for the 150,000 spectators in Indianapolis but for all those hoping to watch on TV. Nice one, Bernie. Your days are surely numbered now.

Nothing for it then but to give the car another wash. Well, it is a traditional Sunday activity all over the world isn't it? The bug count on the screen isn't too bad but there's a layer of road grime over the old girl and she certainly looks better for a clean afterwards. Then there's the Champ Car racing on TV, which is ok but I'd rather have been watching the NASCAR or a proper Formula One race.

In the evening is game 5 of 7 in the basketball final. A thrilling game which is exactly equal on points at half time and the same at the end of full time. At the end of extra time San Antonio somehow end up a point ahead and win the game. The wrong result, but a great game.

US Road Trip Epilog: 20th June 2005 >