10 October 2011

Trip Report: Arkansas Fall Gather Day 2

23 Sep 2011: Secondary Departure Day
Since my plan to leave on Thursday fell victim to my apathy, I was determined to leave for Eureka Springs come hell or high water, as the saying goes. I didn't expect either so I woke up and went straight to U-Haul to have the hitch installed on the HHR. I know you're wondering why I didn't buy one with it already there. I would have if the dealership had any. They didn't so I got what I got.
No need to cry over what's been done. I woke up a little later than I wanted because I'd stayed up too late the night before trying to figure out how to get my gps software onto the new GPS. It came with Copilot but I really wanted to have something I was familiar with for the long drive. I wasn't successful so I gave up and went to bed just not early enough to be at U-haul when they opened.
I got there an hour later and after breakfast with my big brother I returned to find the HHR had gotten hitched!

From there it was a mad dash back home to make use of my first car "mod".  Only problem?  I couldn't find the plug for the lights!  So I had to go back to U-haul to find out if they'd forgotten to install the plug or hidden it so well that no reasonable person could find it.
Almost ready to go!
Turns out they hid the plug inside!  Why?  So dawgs don't chew it. That's what he said, I'm only repeating.  Anyway, it was well after noon when I finally got on the road.

My only complaint is the ball mount is too low.  I got the one with the biggest rise he had when I saw what he had laying on the counter wasn't going to work.  I'm not sure that guy even looked at the car but he wasn't the one who did the install so I suppose it was all right.  I'll end up spending more money to get a ball mount with a higher rise but that was something to think about another time.

My late departure time meant I'd likely end up in Atlanta rush hour traffic.  Now in my last post I said I went home to get the trailer ready since I couldn't get the hitch installed on the day I got the car?  Well I neglected to check the tire pressure on the trailer.  As I headed out, the trailer was acting funny.  I hadn't even thought about the air pressure until then.

I stopped at QT because they have free air but there was a guy with a broke down truck blocking the free air.  So I went down HWY 78 a little farther hoping one of the other stations had free air.  The next closest one had air for $1 but it wasn't nearly enough to get the tire inflated properly.  I could have spent a lot of a lot of money there adding $1 worth of air at a time, about 10 psi.

So instead of doing that, I got back on 78 and made my way to the next exit where there was a QT but that air thing sucked air not pumped it!  I was exasperated.  I went up the street and found an NTB where I paid the guy $10 to get my trailer tires properly inflated.  By the time I did all that, I was definitely going to get stuck in Atlanta traffic.  And boy did I.  I didn't get to the other side of town and free of traffic until 5:30.  For reference here's the route:
I was only just past Douglasville, some 60 miles into a 690 mile drive.

After the deal with the tires, I kept thinking I should just go home. It felt like I was driving through hell as I crept through Atlanta traffic.  Hadn't I just been in high water with the under inflated trailer tires?  Maybe, but I pressed on.  I drove all night hoping to arrive in time to take a nap before the Saturday morning ride.

That's right, I stubbornly kept driving.  In fact I found I couldn't stop.  Then I got a text from thepopularjock just as I was crossing into Mississippi around 9:30, he'd gotten a nail in his tire and was searching for someone to patch it or replace it.  I called him because his book length texts were hard to read as I mindlessly continued on.

It's probably already common knowledge but listening to the radio in that part of the country on a Friday night during this time of year you get your fill of high school football.  As I kept searching for palatable music, I realized I wasn't thinking about anything but the songs "I drove all night" and "Leave a light on" would periodically pop in my head.  They never played on the radio!

24 Sep 2011: I Drove All Night...
Around 2:30 a.m. I cross the Arkansas state line and learn that thepopularjock was able to wake someone up to get his tire repaired and was back on the road.  We'd both be getting within hours of each other, perfect room mates after all.  I was hoping I was in the home stretch but I still had 4 hours of driving ahead of me.

I was greeted by a barefoot V10KLZZ71S (V10 from now on) sipping coffee.  How anyone can wake up that early in the morning is beyond me.  I used to do it and hated it.  I'd never do it on purpose but I was certainly glad he did.  Before I could get out of the car good, he was asking if I wanted help taking the bike off of the trailer.  Of course I did, but I really had to go to the bathroom. 

By the time I got back, motoed was up too and both of them got the bike off of the trailer.  I left the car where it was and rushed to bed in hopes of getting a nap in before they left for the day's ride.  I told them to wake us so we could join the ride and was off to bed.

Thanks for reading,
patrice, theWolfTamer

More trip here.

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