Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Part I, Day 1: 080609

Today Matt and I packed up the car, involving some real-life Tetris skills to get everything in, and headed south.

Our mighty chariot, a 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix. Not pictured: squeezed and distorted upholstery.

We reached the border about 15:30, and it took about 30 minutes to clear. We were polite, and so were the border guards, but I think the shift-change they were in the middle of might have slowed things a little. In any case, they didn’t have any problems with our purpose (“We’re going to Florida to collect bugs.” “What kind of bugs?” “Diving beetles, snails, amphipods…” “Yeah, OK, wait here.”), and we didn’t have any trouble. Then it was off…

The Ambassador Bridge, southbound.

…through part of Detroit apparently named “Mexicantown”, because the interstate connector to the bridge was under construction. We got onto I-75 south, and didn’t stop until a Tim Horton’s (yes!) / gas station after about 30 minutes.

On the way south down through west-central Ohio we encountered a series of severe thunderstorms. Radio broadcasts were periodically interrupted by a computer voice (“male” and “female” versions alternated) to remind us of which hard-to-hear counties and towns were in “severe danger”, and suffering from nickel-sized hail and damaging winds up to 70 mph. As we passed through storms, the intense rain forced traffic to slow down, and made it nearly impossible to pass large trucks due to the heavy spray. In between, we could see rain and patches of clear sky, mainly off to the west.

Looking roughly south-west from the southbound lanes of I-75 in Ohio, not far from North Baltimore.

Dinner was at a Bob Evans just off the highway, a little ways south of Dayton, Ohio. And we crashed at a Red Roof Inn, which was good, and cheap. Bonus. Sadly, though, the internet access required a subscription account (or a $10 day-pass) with T-mobile.

Tomorrow: South as far as we can, along the fastest routes we can find, likely interstates. Then, the day after, we’ll be in northern Georgia, and we’ll start sampling.

1 comment:

King Aardvark said...

You got some of the crappy weather to drive through. Nice timing. Anyway, I highly recommend Red Roof Inns. We've always had good (read: cheap yet not crappy) experiences with them in the past.