Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bar Trip Days 7-9

Hello again, and thanks for waiting for this update!

After the Big Easy, we spent the night in Slidell, just before the border with Mississippi. Day Seven saw us mostly driving through rather boring parts of Interstate 10. For much of that way, we were hampered by the potent remnants of Tropical Storm Fay, seen here from the parking lot of the Motel 6 we stayed at in Slidell.

The storm let up a little when we got to Mobile, Alabama, where we saw a battleship.

It was clear again when we got to Pensacola, Florida. We got out because were were promised Florida's best beaches. It was rather balmy out, and with the tropical winds it felt rather nice, actually.

For lunch, we stopped at what we on the West Coast would call a Carl's Jr.:

Soon enough, though, the rains came again, wiping out our view of the road.

At Tallahassee, we decided to pull over at a rest stop and wait out the worst of it. We discovered that Florida has beautiful rest stops.

It was a while before we could get back on the road, and in any case we'd wanted to give Icy Z a bit of a break.

I took over again at the wheel after Tallahassee, as we pushed on toward Jacksonville. Before we got to Jacksonville, though, I was feeling very tired, and a fever had begun. It didn't help that the area of Jacksonville we were in, between Interstates 295 and 95, was atrocious: the Denny's there closes, and the McDonald's restaurants are impossible to find again after you discover one for the first time. Not to mention the 5-cruiser police activity near the motel we stayed at.

On Day Eight, however, aided by daylight, we saw a little more of Jacksonville. Once past Interstate 95, a downtown takes shape.

The distance from downtown to the beaches, though, was far greater than with its West Coast counterpart. Further, Interstate 10 ends miles away from the East Coast of the United States. We were a little bummed by that, but we pushed on through to Neptune Beach.

From there, we had hoped to be able to stop in Savannah; but before we even realized we were in Savannah, we were exiting Savannah, Georgia. We decided not to backtrack, and pushed on through on Interstate 95 to Columbia, South Carolina. It was a good thing the total distance from Jacksonville to South Carolina is only about 300 miles, of which 240 miles are on Interstate 95, because it is an even more boring freeway than Interstate 10. Nothing but pines for hundreds of miles.

We reached our hosts' home in Columbia about half past five. The home was easy to find: Hraesvelg's Nismo 350Z thundered its presence.

We became acquainted with Chelsea, one of Hraesvelg and Valkyrie's two greyhounds. The dogs are beautiful creatures!

Hraesvelg and Valkyrie threw a party for the occasion, and the beer fridge, which sits in the backyard, was well and truly plundered.

The party went until late, and even though I was far from the last to get to bed, I couldn't wake up until about noon. The darker greens captured the heat and humidity of Columbia, along with the chirping cicadas.

After treating our hosts to lunch at the world's most fantastic wings place, Wild Wing Cafe, we bade our farewells. We would've liked to have stayed longer, as with New Orleans, but we had to go. Thanks to Hraesvelg and Valkyrie for being such excellent hosts!

Because we left so late (about four in the afternoon or so), we could not cover the entire 500-mile and more distance to Washington, D.C., even though we did not stop at any of the civil war historic sites along Interstates 77 and 85, or to meet up with another friend in Charlotte, North Carolina. We did notice, however, that these routes were at least less boring than Interstate 95. Further, we noticed that, like Texas and Florida, North Carolina and Virginia apparently are important enough that identification signs along the interstates in these states did not indicate the name of the individual states. Finally, after two days of being chased by Fay, we ended up bunking here at the Econolodge in Richmond, Virginia.

It is now very late, so I must retire for the night. Before I do, here is the latest video log entry.

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