So, at this point, we bid farewell to Micheal. had a lot more driving to do. After all, home was 5 states away for me, 6 for Rachel, and 4 for Dave. Micheal, on the other hand had a lot more, because he lives in Miami. This meant a two-day drive for us (and judging from how much Micheal drives, 2 days for him, too :-)
So, Dave, Rachel and I set out after she plotted us a course. I listened, and looked over my map. Sounded simple enough, and it was a good thing I did, because shortly thereafter, we got a little split up. I ended up being stuck behind some slow moving SUVs between two unfavorable traffic lights, and quickly was out of radio range from Rachel and Dave after they hopped on to the Interstate.
So, once I got there, I got on, and sped up to try to reach them. Unfortunately, traffic started getting heavy, and a little while later, the rain returned. Oy! I couldn't find Rachel or Dave, and my phone was acting up, yet again. Oh to be in my home telephone region. I even have the East Coast calling plan. Well, If I shell out a bunch of money, I could have a tri-mode phone that should work just about everywhere. So, I kept going on, thinking I'd run into them at some point. No such luck. Eventually, I had to stop, so I did somewhere in Tennessee. At the very least, I was able to gas up, and this gave me a chance to get my bearings and figure out my next move. Fortunately, I was in luck, my phone was working. I had a bunch of messages from Rachel, who had tried to reach me a bunch of times. It turned out that they had turned South (or was it East), and I went in the exact opposite direction. I called her, and got her. We were probably 100-150 miles apart!
What to do? Fortunately, the routes we had taken eventually converged somewhere in Virginia. The best move was to keep going on, and link up an hour or two later. This was our best option. So, I ended up retracing some of the route I took on the way down. This part of Tennessee is rather picturesque, and the skies started to clear up. Great. I pretty much went into cruise control mode and more or less kept pace with traffic. One thing I hate is when people latch on to me, and at one point, I got really annoyed with the tailgating, so I leapt ahead to shake 'em off. This worked, but then, I settled back down to a more reasonable speed. Somewhere around that time, my radar detector started going off, so I slowed down even further. Some of the people I had just passed now passed me. About a mile and a half later, I came across one of Tennessee's Finest. Wow, I love my Valentine One!
Tennessee ran out quicker than I'd have preferred, as I had to pull over and verify that I did NOT have a radar detector when I entered Virginia. Gloom and Doom went hand in hand with this turn of events, as right after crossing over the border, the skies opened up rather quickly, and heavily.Traffic eventually slowed, and I saw a couple of tow trucks with their lights on. Not a good sign. A bit later, the sky cleared a bit, but then, traffic had fully stopped on the Interstate. BAD SIGN. I saw reflections of police lights ahead, but eventually traffic started again, and I saw no indication of trouble. However, a bit later on, I noticed an accident on the Westbound lanes, and traffic Eastbound slowed to gawk. Soon thereafter, the rain slowed to a light drizzle, and I ended up getting to the meet point within a short while. The idea was to meet at the first gas station after the two highways converged. There was a mobile home that was also filling up, to the tune of $80. YEOUCH!!!! Kinda made me think of the people in Europe.
I called Rachel to let her know I was there, and what the actual exit number was. Unbeknownst to all of us, the convergence of the Interstates was a little odd. For a time, the the two Interstates are one, and the exit numbers get a little wonky. As a result, they ended up overshooting the exit by one. I hopped back on, and found that they were waiting for me there. Unfortunately, there were no gas stations at this exit, so Dave consulted his GPS system, and found that there'd be some up the road. Fortunately, his GPS setup listed such things on the major highways. Cool, eh?
So, what was the next town up? Bland! How dull a place, not! There were several stations, and the scenery was nice. There was an Exxon with a fast food chain in it, and the people inside asked us a lot of questions about our cars. Of course, we were modest in our responses :-) We even bumped into a fellow Z3er, who was just returning from a high school reunion in the direction we were headed.
Some time later that evening, we got to our hotel. We had decided to retrace our steps a little bit, so tomorrow sounded like a lot of fun.
Photos may be reused with permission
More Homecoming Fun
Page 1 - Prep for the trip
Page 2 - The roads not taken
Page 3 - Linking up in Tennessee
Page 4 - Re-Enter the Dragon
Page 5 - Nonstop to Greenville
Page 6 - Friday Flies By
Page 7 - Panoramic Profundity
Page 8 - Tech Tent and Saturday Night Surprises
Page 9 - Sundays are for Sleeping Late
Page 10 - Divergence and Convergence
Page 11 - The Long Way Home
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