My trip into New Mexico was one full of ear-popping, maniacal driving. The people in these parts don't mess around when it comes to sustained speeds. Hell, the speed limit is 75mph!
So naturally, everyone is moving closer to 85-90 mph on average. When you're 50 miles or so between gas stations, it's clear to see why you don't wanna go slow. All there is to look at is gargantuan farms, 25-story corn silos, and trains. Tons and tons of trains.
Did I mention how many damn trains traverse the southwest?
So by the time I made it into New Mexico, I was beat and decided to get a room on the world famous Route 66. This room is exactly what I thought it would be. 30 years of smoking, travelers, hooker's breath, and probably a few ritualistic killings left quite a scent in the room I got at the 5-star Motel 6 Resort and Laundromat. I had a quick chat with the surly old goat at the front desk. He was from Brooklyn. Probably in some sort of witness protection program by the sound of his disdain with the area and its inhabitants.
After settling into my room, I decided to watch TV and see what terrible shit was plaguing our planet this time. More murder and mayhem of course. I quickly passed out, forgetting to set my alarm.
No worries, because my battle damaged Terminator-like wake up routine made sure I was up by 6:59 AM. I finally got out of bed around 8am and loaded up the soccer-mom-mobile to head out. That's when I spotted this awesome building up for sale. As you can tell, it has been repurposed several times.
After admiring the Gas Station/Chinese Restaurant/Lunch Buffet, I figured I should ride a little further down Route 66 and see what I find. I passed a few Tex Mex joints and scrap yards, then found something I had wanted to visit for quite some time and completely forgot about it up until this point.
The Route 66 Automotive Museum! This place was awesome and only $5 bucks to enter. All the cars and memorabilia was on sale - because let's face it, everything in life is for sale - and the lady running the place was really nice and gave me a little tour since I was the only one there at first.
Like most places I show up, it's empty when I get there and people seem to follow me in. If only I had the same effect on the rain in California.
Check out the gallery below:
When I arrived in Indiana, I was pretty beat. I had been on the road for a while and I figured I needed to take a break and get some rest. I spotted signs for the city of Terre Haute.
Sidenote: I really had a hard time pronouncing Terre Haute. It comes out Tara-Haauuuoote.
Near the exit, I spotted a sign for White Castle. I nearly had a heart attack. I haven't had White Castle in ages! I had to go. So, after cutting off multiple cars, I darted down that exit ramp, made a hard left, and ended up in the parking lot.
There was a random lady dressed in a top to bottom poncho pacing the parking lot and I scared the shit out of her when I slid into my spot. She could tell I was on a mission.
I walk through the door to hear the familiar sound of disgruntled fast food employees accusing one another of sexual harassment. I noticed the menu has changed quite a bit since I last went to the one on Bruckner Blvd two decades ago. I ended up ordering a two slider meal and added two chicken sandwiches. I figured let me see if I can grade both beef and chicken compared to Krystal's.
My findings were surprising. White Castle makes a much better beef sandwich. MUCH BETTER. However - and believe me, it blew me away to say this - but Krystal's makes a 10-times better chicken sandwich.
The employee walking around cleaning tables enjoyed watching me destroy this tray of food. When I told him about my trip, he was blown away. He offered me some free food but I couldn't stuff my face anymore.
After burping and farting in the parking lot for what felt like 20 minutes, I was confident enough to get into my car, not crap my pants, and head to the Red Roof Inn.
Check my previous post for the Red Roof Inn-cident.
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I arrived in Terre Haute, Indiana last night and with the storm aptly named Ajax rolling in, I've been stuck here since. When I pulled up, I noticed there was a Sheriff's Deputy car parked out front idling. I figured maybe he was checking in. I was wrong. Incredibly wrong.
As I walked into the lobby, I immediately walked into a potential shootout. The deputy, a tall thin black man, was being berated by a short and ornery older Asian dude. This guy was slamming his hand on the counter, yelling "I live here 31 years, I am American!" and the officer stood there, taking it. Repeating his sentiment, I stood behind the little ninja just in case things got out of hand, I could leap in to pin this guy down.
After a few minutes of storming around, he sat down and the officer confirmed the guy's address for the hotel clerk named Thomas - a very patient guy by the looks of it. Once they entered his info and booked his room, the officer radioed back to dispatch a code and walked out. The Asian guy followed him out.
That's when Thomas asked "Uh, how can I help you?" and I said "I'm just looking to get a room..." He apologized and quoted a price. I asked him what had happened and he said the Asian guy was involved in a domestic dispute and his wife threw him out. The officer was kind enough to drop him off at the hotel so he didn't freeze his ass off outside.
Right after explaining that, we see the Asian guy following the cop car on foot, yelling "TAKE ME TO JAIL YOU SON OF A BITCH!"
We died laughing because this guy was really trying to get arrested. But, I had to comment that we don't know what happened. The guy could have walked in on his wife getting dry humped by the mailman. Who knows?
I got my room key, and looked around outside before heading to my room. I couldn't find the little guy so I assume he might have been arrested.
I'll never know.
As mentioned previously, America's roads are in shambles. My front tires were already low on tread and after I left Virginia Beach that morning, I knew something was up. I pulled over and I had fresh nails in the driver side and a strange circular cut out in the other one. I mean it looked like someone cut this thing with a circular saw.
I sat in the parking lot of a McDonald's, using their WiFi and searching for reputable tire shops. The local PepBoys had some horrible reviews and an equally how 2.2 star rating.
But I figured let me give them a shot. Not everything you read on the internet is true. So I walk in and I'm immediately greeted with anger and disdain. The dude at the counter said he's got nothing available until much later that day or the next day. Then, tries to tell me the tires I need on my car have to be ordered because he doesn't have them in stock and it'll take about a day. THEN he quotes me a price so comical, I decided I had to be pranked. $149 per tire, plus mounting and balancing.
As I walked out, he said "you won't find another shop 'round here with the tires you need" and I just smiled and laughed. If I was driving a rare 60's Ferrari, he might have been right. But 235-65-17 tires are insanely common amongst SUVs. Every shop had them in stock.
The internet was right this time.
So, I whipped (and nae nae'd) into the Merchant Tire around the corner. What a good decision that was. They had much better reviews so I headed over there the kid at the counter was awesome. He came outside, said he had some tires that would work perfect and gave me a decent deal on price. Not to mention a 2 hour turn around - which I was ok with.
There was a girl by the name of Leah working there, traveling from corporate, and she happened to be from South Florida so we had a lot to talk about travel, life, and this crazy one-way trip I decided to take. Meanwhile, the manager, Robert Price, was cool enough to let me go in the back of the bay and take some shots of the car being worked after I explained what I was doing. We talked about marketing, sales tactics, and plain old customer service. Earlier, I heard employees saying he was a tough guy to understand but he meant well.
My impression was that he really cared about the customer and building relationships. After one of the employees quoted a price to a customer that had just walked in, the customer declined the service and walked out. Robert jogged outside to grab the guy before he took off and make him an offer. After a minute, the both came back in and he handed them the keys. I like that. It's better to shave a couple of bucks off a price and keep the customer, than lose them over a and damage your reputation. Sales like that increase revenue directly and via reputation management.
Anyway, so I had plans to go meet up with my friends Jay & Charlene and I didn't want to be too late. so I took off from the tire shop around 1 PM. Colonial Williamsburg as certainly worth the detour.
I wasn't sure how that whole tour thing worked. I just parked and took a stroll. What a perfect day it was. Chilly and sunny.
After harassing some of the actors and joining a large group for the canon firing, I figured it was time to hit the 'ol dusty trail.
After leaving beautiful Savannah, I shot up I-95 at a good pace. Or so I thought. People are fucking maniacs on the highway. I forgot that 73mph was an insult no matter what lane you are in.
I spent about a hundred miles getting cut off and mean-mugged by aggressive dickbags. However, my numbers were right and I didn't have to get gas until I got into South Carolina. I pulled off the highway and into this little no-name town. Prices were great but the clients could tell I was from out of town. They had that "you sure got a purdy mouth" look on their faces and I knew I had to hurry up and get out of dodge.
Upon reaching the NC/SC state line, I had to stop at South of the Border. It definitely hasn't changed in years. None of the restaurants or attractions had wifi. But the burger I ordered was fantastic and the customer service was even better.
Maybe I was just starving, but I destroyed that damn thing.
I was tempted to pick up a novelty but it seemed like they have the same dated crap from back in the 90's. Which is oddly kinda cool, but I don't have the budget to blow on things that aren't survival related.
Once I left SOTB, It was a long and boring trek through the now rough terrain of our dilapidated highways. I implore everyone to take the time to write your local congressman or woman. Take pictures of the potholes, broken walkways, and make it known that our infrastructure is in shambles and you are aware of it.
I didn't feel safe on the highway until I got into Virginia and went through the Hampton Road Tunnel. The road is smooth and quiet in there. It gave my kidneys a break from the brutal beating they were taking bouncing up and down on what felt like I was driving over the skull ridden terrain of the landscape depicted in 'Terminator.'
Reaching Virginia Beach was a simple after that. I met up with my old friend Christy and we decided to hit her favorite bar - The Yard House. It reminds me of a cross between World of Beer and Ale House. Good beer and great food! Christy's girlfriend eventually met up with us and she was a riot.
After chowing down and sampling 3 beers from O'connor Brewing, I settled on El Guapo. I subtle, floral IPA that sits at 7.5% ABV. Since most microbreweries showcase their IPA, I just have to accept that and give up on ever finding the equivalent to a Red Monk from World of Beer.
Once we settled our tabs, we headed back to Christy's for some shuteye. I ended up editing images and smoking the best damn hookah I've ever made. Mostly due to the chilly temps on the porch, but Starbuzz's Blue Surfer just hit the spot.
I witnessed one the neighbors dragging her dog across the parking lot - an adorable little corgi - and I couldn't figure out if the dog was being a pain, or that lady was just a bitch for treating her dog like that. Corgi's are not a breed of disobedient dogs so I'm sure she was just being a douchebag.
Afterwards, I finally hit the sack on Christy's couch. From the stories I heard of that couch, it seemed like it had seen more action than mattress at a shady motel. Hey, at least one of us is getting some action!