MAY 16, 1996: THURSDAY


Scheduled trip: NC - Tupelo, MS
Actual trip: NC - Tupelo, MS (630 miles)

Take two
Thursday morning it rained relentlessly. The downpour was almost tropical in its strength. Niels started the day early. Before resuming the trip, he wanted to try to get the Camaro's suspension problem fixed. The right rear wheel had a nasty tendency to scrape against the chassis whenever the car hit a pothole. Mounting air shocks should solve the problem, he was told. However, he couldn't find anybody who could install them on a moment's notice so the project was abandoned all together. The whole West Coast thing seemed like a farce at this point in time. We had two cars, none of which was in 100% working order and we were growing restless. The day before Marco had been in contact with Lexington and was informed that a used gearbox was being installed. The car could be picked up before noon.

A day had already been lost so we decided to go ahead once again. Dave and Niels arrived first at the Chevron station and waited for Manuel and Marco to show up. They did after about 30 minutes and Marco went in and paid the bill, which set him back some $700: not a good bargain considering a used transmission was installed.

As we drove onto I-85 our spirits lifted. It was nice being back on the open road. Like our moods the weather had cleared up considerably. Before long we had passed Charlotte and crossed the state line into South Carolina only stopping when we needed to refuel. Soon we entered Georgia and we hit Atlanta during early rush hour. Some places traffic came to a complete standstill and one had to keep cool in order to stay in the right lane. One wrong turn and the two cars could be out of contact because of the CBs' limited range. Dave reminisced about the time when he had had a breakdown with his Ford Escort in the fast lane of an Atlanta artery. We didn't need something like that happening to us but in the light of our recent motor problems it didn't seem highly unlikely.

We made it through Atlanta without breakdowns and continued into the little appreciated State of Alabama, which is characterized by its straight-as-an-arrow highways.

At sunset we entered Mississippi and pressed onwards to Tupelo. The evening was quite humid and we ran our A/Cs continuously while we looked for a motel. After a short search we came across a cheap motel in the outskirts of Tupelo. In fact the place was so cheap we decided to book two rooms, a luxury we couldn't afford all of the time.

Earlier that evening we had passed an auto part store. We returned to look for something to stiffen the rear suspension of the Camaro. The clerk recommended a small metal gizmo, which was purchased and later installed in utter darkness in the parking lot of the motel. At the same time the Corvette Rally centers were taken off and placed in the trunk for safekeeping.

<<May 15, 1996<<


Day 00: Prelude
Day 01: Leaving NC
Day 02: Tupelo, MS
Day 03: Henryetta, OH
Day 04: Roswell, NM
Day 05: Flagstaff, AZ
Day 06: Las Vegas, NV
Day 07: Victorville, CA
Day 08: Long Beach, CA
Day 09: Los Angeles, CA
Day 10: Thousand Oakes, CA
Day 11: Malibu, CA
Day 12: Lompoc, CA
Day 13: Lompoc, CA
Day 14: Palo Alto, CA
Day 15: Palo Alto, CA
Day 16: Fallon, NV
Day 17: Escalante, UT
Day 18: Grand Junction, CO
Day 19: Lafayette, CO
Day 20: Colby, KS
Day 21: St. Louis, MO
Day 22: Knoxville, TN
Day 23: Burlington, NC
Epilogue: Author's notes




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