Thursday, July 30, 2009

Goodbye, Dallas. Hello, Unfavorable Driving Conditions

This was my average experience during Day 1 of the road trip.
Today I left Texas. For good? Only time will tell. I'm normally prone to sentiment, but not today. I was too busy to reflect. I'm trying to get to New Haven by noon Saturday. In less than two weeks, my MBA program's orientation starts, and since it's in New Haven, I figured that's where my stuff and I ought to be.

This morning I did my final magic on cleaning out my apartment. As I threw things into the Dumpster, pressed for time and a little frustrated by what couldn't fit in my car, I couldn't help but notice an elderly homeless man standing inside the foul-smelling bin, probably up to almost his knees in watery trash, because of a heavy overnight storm. As he picked through what I was throwing away, I was reminded of what a lucky fellow I am indeed.

Today I went almost 650 of my 1,640 miles, which is less than I wanted, but I made my decision based on this complicated analysis ...

Heavy Rain
Tornado Warnings
Darkness of Night
Unfamiliar Area
+ Dead Cellphone
Pull Over Hastily!

Hence I'm settled into a Best Western in Kingston Springs, TN, about 30 miles west of Nashville. The only stop I made of note was at Nick's BBQ & Catfish Restaurant in Carlisle, Arkansas. Butter is used rather liberally on the baked potato, as you can see. It's risky to go non-chain on a roadtrip, but I feel confident Nick's was better than fast food. For lodging, though, I can't bring myself to check into inns of unknown origin. I mean, it could end up like that episode of the Golden Girls where the ladies stay in a hotel that turns out to be a brothel. That's the kind of honest mistake I'm likely to make when I'm tired.