US Road Trip Travelog: 12th April 2005

In the morning the first mission is to head to one of the out-of-town shopping districts and buy another suitcase. Even though I'll be leaving most of the clothes I've bought in the trunk of the car, I seem to have accumulated enough books and CD's that there's no way I could fit it all in my original one. At a JCPenny I find a bargain leather one with wheels, on sale 'as is'. I can't see anything wrong with it and as long as it survives one trip to England that'll do.

The car is running smooth again and, strangely, isn't leaking coolant anymore. The temperatures have dropped a bit since I arrived in Springfield, which may have something to do with it. I'm not fooled - I know that it'll need seeing-to at some point - but it doesn't appear to be an immediate problem.

One of the long-term parking garages I found yesterday is within walking distance of the Amtrak station. When I phoned the number on the outside I was directed to the branch of the Illinois National Bank over the road. It seems that they own it and issue the passes. An odd business for a bank to be in, but I like the idea as I'd trust them a lot more than the usual shady characters who run parking garages. It costs $60 per month so I pay in advance for two and collect my pass.

I really tried to get the car cleaned before leaving it, but couldn't find anywhere non-automatic (I can't use normal car washes as the antenna - aerial - won't go down). That's a shame, but I have no doubt it'll collect plenty of dust in the garage anyway.

Riviera in the parking garage
Riviera in the parking garage. So long, Loretta, and thanks for an unforgettable journey.

I park the car up with 83,262 miles on the clock, meaning we've covered about 9600 miles in the last two months. I'll write more about the car itself later and I'd be lying if I pretended it was easy to leave the old girl there.

With belongings packed into suitcases and the laptop in a rucksack on my back it's a slow trundle up to the Amtrak station. The train to Chicago only costs $16, leaves on time and arrives early - just over 3 hours in total. Another slow trundle down to the Holiday Inn, which isn't in the best part of town but does have a bar and pizza place attached.

US Road Trip Travelog: 13th April 2005 >