Saturday, May 13, 2006

The longest day ever

I spent Saturday night in Chattanooga before beginning the longest drive I've ever made. Got on the road just before 10 am and had to make it all the way down to West Palm Beach in one day. Northern Georgia was way more attractive than I remembered it...still in the hills with lots of morning mist.

Somewhere just south of Macon, I got off the highway and followed some country road for a few miles to an old gas station, where I filled up the car and took Murphy for a little walk.

Yes, I was walking in the middle of the street, but there were no moving cars for miles.

Then the rain started. It rained hard from Macon to the Florida state line, where it let up for a few minutes before pouring down again. Then, I stopped for more gas, somewhere in northern Florida, at some shack with a gas pump, a restroom, a soda machine, and a cash register (actually, it was more of a glorified calculator). I did my usual gas fill-up, dog walk, and bathroom break. But this time, something unfortunate happened. I was in the bathroom and was just about to flush, when somehow my driver's license and debit card fell from the back pocket of my pants into the toilet---before I had flushed. Lovely. I looked all over, hoping someone would have for some reason left a coat hanger I could use, but of course no such luck. So, yes, I had to reach in to fish them out and then take them straight to the sink and clean them off.

When I finally made it to I-95, just past Jacksonville, I encountered this:

It seems a wildfire was raging nearby, just off 95 a few miles up the road, and state troopers were detouring all cars off the highway so they could close a large strip of it. It would have been a frustrating detour, but thank god for the two Dane Cook CDs Kathy had given me to listen to. He's hilarious, and I'm sure the people in the cars around me thought I was nuts for laughing my ass off for hours of a hideous traffic jam.

Finally finally finally, hours later, after a 13-hour day on the road, I pulled into my parent's driveway in West Palm.

It was a long drive, and I was glad to be at my interim destination. Updates from my first week in Florida to follow...


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