The Return 
Friday, 5 September, 2008, 00:59
Posted by Administrator
... so we're back. The Civic of Fury did quite well on our journey. I averaged about 41MPG on the way there, and just over 43 on the way back. I'm guessing the last leg of the drive there screwed with the mileage a little, as we hit Tropical Storm Fay about 300 miles north of Tampa and fought it pretty much the rest of the way down. Once we got there, though, it was consistently fantastic. I expected it to be more humid than it was based on hype from everyone I spoke to, but it wasn't that bad.

Julie and I switched off on the way there. I took us from Lombard down 355, over to 80, then down 57 to Paducah, Kentucky. Gas was $3.249 a gallon there, which is pretty cool. Julie took over at Paducah and took us to Nashville, where we switched again. I practically dragged the Civic up The Monteagle ... that poor 1.3L 4-cylinder was protesting all the way up the mountain. By the time we reached the top we were running engine-only, as the hybrid batteries were completely depleted. I dropped the transmission into S on the way down to save wear on the brakes and to force a recharge of the hybrid batteries.

Last Thursday we dropped by Julie's sister's place to spend the night. She lives near Jacksonville, so our return trip took us a different way -- we ended up going through Georgia, the Carolinas, Tennessee, and Kentucky on interstates I've never been on before. There's a section of Interstate 40 in western North Carolina that goes through Pigeon River Gorge and, as I looked at it on the in-dash GPS, I decided it looked like a huge strand of spaghetti that someone unceremoniously dropped on the land -- it was twisty with tons of elevation changes. I had both hands on the wheel through this entire stretch of road, and there was constant steering input -- not much straight road there.

We stopped for food in Clinton, Tennessee. There's a Cracker Barrel there, and to be quite honest I didn't expect to see that many locals there. I think we were the only ones in the entire parking lot with non-Tennessee plates, and the place was absolutely packed.

After that, though, the road became boring. Kentucky was hilly, so I was somewhat relieved when we crossed the Indiana border.

Today was my first day back to work. I had 831 total emails, and I'm surprised I managed to get through them all. Tomorrow the real workload takes over.

Good times.
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