Sunday, September 25th, 2016

Wiggy’s Big Adventure

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I arrived back in Waukesha at 1:00 AM Sunday morning. In the previous 48 hours, my father and I travelled over 2,700 miles and visited 9 states. We took three planes for the first 1,340 miles and then drove another 1378.7 miles, 957 miles the second day.

We were on a mission to retrieve the car, as well as some of my grandfather’s personal belongings. We flew from Milwaukee to Cleveland to Charlotte to West Palm Beach, and then drove back. It was an exhausting trip.

Shortly after the drive got underway, I exited the Florida Turnpike without the proper change. I’m not sure if I’m now a wanted man in Florida after skipping the toll, or if the state patrol will arrest my uncle. I think I’ll delay transfer of the title until the smoke clears.

The worst part of the trip was stopping at the Scottish Inn in Unadilla, GA. We had just passed several motels which made us think about stopping. Then we didn’t see any motels for awhile, and finally I saw a sign for a Regency Inn. Unfortunately, we didn’t see the Regency when we exited, but a Scottish Inn was right in front of us.

I should’ve known better when the front desk had a sign that read, “no refunds after a half hour.” We got to our room and I noticed the bathroom sink drain was completely disconnected. I asked my dad if we should demand another room, but he was so tired that he just wanted to sleep. I was too tired to disagree. The next morning my dad bumped the sink and it fell off the wall.

When we went to check out, we had to press the door buzzer to get the clerk’s attention, although we did not have to press the door buzzer the night before. Apparently they’re more accustomed to vistors on third shift than first shift. By coincidence, it was the same clerk as the night before, and she didn’t seem too surprised when we told her about the sink.

Onward and northward, in Tennessee we discovered 10 MPH over the speed limit will not keep up with traffic. By the way, why doesn’t Tennessee annex that little piece of I-75 that weaves in and out of northern Georgia? Now entering Tennessee. Now entering Georgia. Now entering Tennessee.

In Indiana, my dad was sad to learn that one of his favorite truck stops had closed. It was also the first time he had ever seen the vast windmill farm in Northern Indiana on both sides of I-65. At night the scene is just creepy.

So what did the two of us do to keep ourselves entertained? We listened to Ira Glass of This American Life describe a loophole involving annuities. We talked about Johnny Cash recording “Hurt” and “Personal Jesus.” We talked about why my dad voted for George McGovern in 1972, the only Democrat to ever get his vote for president. We talked about my dad’s many years on the road as a truck driver, including during the strikes in the 1970s. Mostly we just talked about the family.

I wish the Lovely Doreen from Waukesha had been with me as we drove through the hills of Kentucky and Tennessee with the leaves in peak color. But I’m glad to be back home safe and sound – until the next adventure.

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