US Road Trip Epilog: 4th July 2005

The route today is a gentle run south down Interstate 75 and then Highway 31. The plan was to head for Traverse City, but along the way the car begins making a bit of a strange noise under acceleration. The car doesn't seem too sick but it definitely doesn't sound right. At first I thought it was just my imagination then Alex comments on it and I know it isn't.

On the 4th of July our chances of finding an open repair shop are approximately nil. Just as we're discussing what to do next, in the traffic on the way into Petoskey a Comfort Inn appears on the left. I pull in and have a quick look under the hood and it all looks (to my inexpert eyes) ok, but I don't want to take any chances today.

The Comfort Inn is a bit expensive, though maybe not too much given the day it is, but the staff are really friendly and helpful. An old guy who works here - he reminds me a bit of Frasier's dad - recommends a place just around the corner where they know about old cars. Not open today, obviously, but nearby for the morning. Decision made - we'll be staying here for the night. After dumping the bags in the rooms it's time to see if we can walk into the centre of town.

The Batmobile at McDonalds
Batman waits for his order at McDonalds. I hadn't realised we were so close to Gotham City.

The walk into town is fairly typical as there are no sidewalks and plenty of traffic to dodge. Nearer town, however, a sidewalk appears. Petoskey looks really nice, with lots of big wooden houses - many of which have mini turrets and large verandahs - and a really nice feel to it. After a bit of aimless zigzagging (not on purpose, we have no map) we find the centre of town and the only open bar, the City Park Grill.

Petoskey town centre
Petoskey town centre.

The City Park Grill is a great place and we get some - overdue - food and a few beers. The plan for the rest of the day is to walk back to the motel then get a cab back in later to see the festivities (it's quite a long walk, and not one you want to attempt in the dark).

Plan scuppered. None of the cab firms are working on Independence Day. As it is we have to settle for a steak in the place over the road and then listening to the fireworks in the distance for the rest of the evening. Disappointing, as it would've been nice to have seen how smalltown America celebrates, but that's the way it goes sometimes.

US Road Trip Epilog: 5th July 2005 >