Getting a rental was a bit more problematic. After explaining my situation to two representatives (“My life was in my car, with bicycle in tow”), they direct us to a Hertz office about 15 minutes away. We have 18 minutes to get there before they close.
The last non-sedan car on the lot is a Nissan Pathfinder. The agent unlocks the door and has me sit in the drivers’ seat. It is hot and smells vaguely of vomit. It has a keyless push-button start, an utterly pointless innovation, in my estimation, and I’ll spend the next week trying to figure out what the hell to do with the damn door-lock fob once I am in the driver’s seat. I ask the agent where the release for the fuel door is, and he has no idea. We are finally reduced to pulling out the car manual, and even following written instructions, it does not work as explained. The car is one big blind spot — has a back-up camera to compensate for pervasive and egregious poor design. It is a car that should not exist. However — it fits all my stuff AND my bicycle easily, which I try to remind myself every time I crawl into the thing. Gratitude is gonna go a long way on this journey.
…. so….. the second day of hobo life also happens to be the first day of school for Akron students. Etta Mae James, my beloved and trusted vehicle, was parked safely off of the street. And my friend’s 17-year-old daughter, heading out to the first day of her Senior year of high school, somehow managed to crunch both passenger-side doors on her way to her first class. Estimated time to repair — 7-8 days. Lots of phone calls to insurance companies and repair shops. My friend is delighted every time I’m asked for my home address and I reply, “I don’t have one.” This seems to cause confusion for the agents and their mandatory fields on the other end of the line.
The daughter is not so delighted, but I assure her that most everything in life can be fixed, then gently add, “I’m just sorry that you didn’t get the ~other~ side of the car. There’s this little rattle in the driver’s side door that I would’ve loved to get fixed.”
One of the benefits of living in a town all your life are the people you get to know over so many years. My friends take me to Brown Street Autocraft, owned and managed by the fantastic Bob White. They introduce me, explain the situation, commiserate about the things their teen-agers have done, and Bob promises me that, even though they are closed for the long Labor Day weekend, he will get the car fixed by the following Friday. I have no doubt that he will be good to his word.
Packed up and on the road by 6:00am; weather and traffic were plain-out benevolent. I opted for I-90 — I am happy to pay money to avoid the vitriolic snarl that is Connecticut. But even the tolls are generous — Mass Turnpike to Buffalo for $16.30??? I love this country!
Driving civility returned as soon as I hit New York. Drivers in the far-left lane merge right once they pass slower traffic. No one buzzes by at 20 miles over the speed limit on your right. Assured Cleared Distance by drivers on all sides. General cruising speed stays around 7 miles over the speed limit, with no tailgating. I feel relaxed and happy.
No mix CDs today — my head is full of thought. I drive and think and watch.
Lunch (packed) eaten at a “text area” next to a river three-quarters of the way through NY, and the water smells funny to me. 🙂 I never realized how the salt air insinuates itself across Rhode Island. This air smells flat and vaguely of cow manure.
12 hours on the road — I was fine the first three, impatient hours 4-6, got my second wind for hours 7 and 8, and found my inner Driving Diva the last four. Arrived in Akron, OH, in great time, completely ecstatic to spend time with a friend I have not seen in 6 years. *SO* happy to be here.
…. wondering how I will be able to bikini wax in a tent and about my irrational fear of being killed by an exploding tire while filling them with air. I am sure I am worrying about the wrong things.
Ley lines /leɪ laɪnz/ are alignments of numerous places of geographical and historical interest, such as ancient monuments and megaliths, natural ridge-tops and water-fords. Some theorize that ley lines have spiritual power or resonate a special psychic, magnetic, or mystical energy.
Dipole /ˈdīˌpōl/ Physics, Electricity – A pair of electric charges or magnetic poles, of equal magnitude but of opposite sign or polarity, separated by an infinitesimal distance.