Day 2: So I’m heading on out in my noisy car to Cincinnati. I get there without any problems, despite the nagging doubts about driving Betsy in said condition. Soon as I do, I check into a Midas Muffler/Brake and have em take a look, which cost me about an hour of travel time. Diagnosis: same. Busted flex pipe. Repair? Not cheap, naturally, in the neighborhood of $200. Well, I had the choice of continuing, or getting it fixed then. I chose to push on and get it fixed in Austin since according to the mechanic, the only major risk was having air get into the engine and burn out a cylinder. Small, but real risk.
I started to blaze through Cincinnati, but at a rest stop, I checked a map and happened to notice that the zoo was on the way out of the city. So I decided to make a detour and stretch my legs a little bit longer and stop there. It was a cold winter day and no one wants to go to the zoo so instead of $10.95 they only charge $8.95, even though fully half of their exhibits were down for the season. What a bargain. It was an ok walk, but I didn’t get much for my $$. After fretting over misplacing my keys for about 5 minutes, I got back on the road and headed out of Cincinnati. From there, the Kentucky border was fairly close. As soon as I crossed it…It was like the air got thicker or something. I saw my first Jesus slogan on a billboard. Then another. And then they started appearing on car bumpers. And I swear I saw a dirty man in a rocking chair by the highway fingering a banjo but it may have been a hallucination brought on by excess “Energy Booster”. Driving through those famous Kentucky hills I stopped and got some local cuisine at a Mexican restaurant and topped off the gas tank just outside of Louisville. I fairly flew through cities at this point, wanting to make good time and make up for the delays early on. From Louisville to Nashville, TN, to Memphis. I had planned to stop at Mammoth Caves but again, time constraints. And although I had time to stop in Memphis, it was rush hour when I arrived and I just wanted out of there…
I drove up until 11 or so, then taking a lesson from the previous night, found a trustier parking lot before sleep kicked in at a Days Inn. Here the complementary soap was actually fresh and the toilet didn’t bleed water when you flushed it, nor was there any sign of duct tape holding together anything! Nothing at all like the last motel I stayed in! I walked across the street to a Waffle house, got a pair of waffles with hot syrup and butter, two sausage links and a biggie size cup of OJ, went back to my room, turned up the heat and watched Forrest Gump (one of my favorite movies of all time).
Full of waffley goodness, sleep overcame me at around 1 a.m. And that’s Day 2.