A long travel day calls for a timeline of the goings-on on the road:5:30 a.m.
Wake up a half hour earlier than planned. Not ideal in the sense that at best I got four and a half hours sleep--that's pushing it--but I'm awake and might as well take advantage of the light traffic at this time of day.6:15 a.m.
Depart Columbus for parts to be revealed. A banana, Tim Horton's medium coffee with cream, and a double chocolate donut provide my fuel. GPS and I have first disagreement on which way to go. I win.6:35 a.m.
Go what way?!?! If I'm heading to the southern United States, why would I want to take I-71 north from the southern part of the city's outerbelt? This could be interesting.7:22 a.m.
There is a large carpet (or something resembling one) in the middle of I-71 south.7:35 a.m.
The coffee demands pulling over to a rest stop. I didn't want to break this soon, but when you gotta go, you gotta go.8:14 a.m.
Cross the border into Kentucky. I was pleasantly surprised to zip through Cincinnati without much slowing down or any complete stops on the highway.9:05 a.m.
See the second semi pulled over by a cop in a ten to fifteen mile span. The highway patrol is thick this morning. Within an hour I will see two more drivers have been pulled over.9:25 a.m.
The coffee is going through me like a sieve today. Take a quick break at a rest stop just north of Louisville.9:36 a.m.
Pretty cool. The speed limit sign on the GPS changes at practically the same spot where the sign is along the interstate. It's an overcast day with a fair amount of fog wherever I've been.10:17 a.m.
I believe that Garmin gave my GPS voice the name of Samantha. She is not going to be happy with me as I've chosen to stick with the directions I've printed from Google Maps rather than follow her. It appears she has a thing for going around cities than through them. The arrival time wasn't affected by my choice, so it would seem that either way works fine. That being said, maybe Samantha has called out for this semi to ride my tail in a construction zone. He's been way too close for too long. Pass me, buddy. I'm in the right lane.10:43 a.m.
There's the sign for Hart County and the Central Time Zone. So make that 9:43 a.m. Also, these drivers in Kentucky are nuts. More passing on the right than the left and speeding like crazy.10:00 a.m.
And we've reached the halfway point as far as miles are concerned.10:46 a.m.
Cross the border into Tennessee. I would have stopped to get something to eat by now, but I don't expect most places are serving lunch until 11:00 a.m. Central.11:10 a.m.
Stop for lunch just north of Nashville. Win a free value drink at Wendy's via a Tennessee Titans scratch off card. Think that will be accepted outside this state? Also time to refuel the car. Looks like I got around 34 miles per gallon. Nice.11:42 a.m.
Back on the road. Again I choose to ignore Samantha's directions, which would take me around the city and bring me back to the road I'm already on at the southern side of it? Weird. Again, my choice isn't penalized with a later projected arrival time.12:52 p.m.
There's nothing on the GPS window but the road on which I'm driving. Kind of creepy. I pass the exit for the Jack Daniels Distillery and David Crockett State Park. Why so formal? Also, Tennessee drivers have seemed less aggressive but drive exceptionally fast.1:07 p.m.
And for the first time I have entered the state of Alabama.1:39 p.m.
Beginning to feel a little tired. Cruise control has helped with making the driving seem like less work, though. Luckily I don't have a lot of distance yet to cover.2:12 p.m.
I have a front row view of the car in front of me clipping a critter scurrying across the road.2:14 p.m.
Now there's a shredded tire in my lane. This is unrelated to the roadkill. I've encountered a few work zones while here in Alabama, yet despite the signs warning of doubled fines, I'm the only one slowing down. Even when I've gone with the flow of traffic at 65 in the right lane, I'm getting passed like nobody's business. Granted, some of these zones have had no workers and no barrels, so maybe there is no construction to slow down for. Still, the speeds people are driving are kind of freaky.2:58 p.m.
Arrive at the hotel in Birmingham, Alabama. I didn't listen to Samantha again. This time she slapped me with a five minute penalty on my projected arrival. Oh well, I made it here with a relatively easy drive. The air is lighter and temperature is lower than I was anticipating, but you'll get no complaints from me on that front.
You're probably wondering what in the world brings me to Birmingham. Nothing in particular, actually. It's on the way--in a very roundabout fashion--to my second destination. I opened up an atlas, looked at where I might go, and on a whim decided to come here. (Having a minor league baseball team playing at home helped. Nashville and Memphis' squads are on the road.) I also liked the idea of being able to cross off Alabama and, after Friday's travels, Mississippi from the list of states I've been to.
I'm going to see the Birmingham Barons
play tonight. I don't have any particular plans for tomorrow, although I'll likely check out the Vulcan Statue
and may go see some live music at what looks to be an interesting venue. What I do doesn't much matter, though. I'm just glad to be on vacation and seeing someplace different.
Labels: Alabama, driving, Kentucky, on the road, Tennessee