Sorry it has been so long since the last post, life has a way of getting busy between my Parishes, Marquette Catholic High School, where I am Chaplain, and my own personal pursuits.
As promised here is the next part of my trip to Florida. As I mentioned in the last post, due to some poor planning on my part, I was not going to be able to overnight in Tifton, GA. So having decided to make the journey in one night(day… ok 21 hours) I set off for the Supercharger(SC) in Knoxville, TN. The drive there was easy and I made it still feeling fairly good. This was the first place that I ran into a fellow MS driver. He was on his way North, I on the way South. We had a nice conversation before he went to a hotel and I went off in search of 5 Hour Energy at the Wal-Mart. Not only did I find 5 Hour Energy but the extra strength variety (Vile stuff, but it works)! After about an hour at the SC I hit the road for Atlanta. I did try to nap a little bit but did not have any luck. It was about 2:30 AM when I unplugged and got on the road for the Atlanta SC.
I have a tradition of listening to Bruce Catton’s “The Civil War” whenever I head South of the Mason-Dixon line. I try to time it so that when I am going through Chattanooga, the site of the Battle of Chickamauga, the book is narrating the events of that battle. I just so happened to time it just right on this trip. I was quite surprised and pleased. It really helped me get through those early morning hours as my energy waned. I pulled into Atlanta about 5 AM, as I got more tired my average speed dropped as I knew my reaction time was not quite its best. The Atlanta SC is in a very large parking garage that is a bit of a labyrinth. Thankfully where my Tesla Nav left off I had Plugshare which gave me an approximate location. I plugged in and desperately tried to catch a nap. With a little shuteye and another 5 Hour Energy I hit the road. It was nearly 6:30 AM and I knew I had to get out of the Atlanta Downtown before it’s notorious traffic trapped me. I slipped out Atlanta and was on my way for the Tifton SC. Once I got outside of the metro area I put the cruise on 65 mph and began the long drive into the dawn. From here on out as the sun came out I started to get my second wind. I kicked the cruise control up to 70 mph and about 9 AM I pulled into the Tifton SC. This SC had a Starbucks, Olive Garden and a couple of Gas Stations with decent amenities. I got myself a little caffeine, a bottle of water and a protein shake. I also took a nice long walk just to shake off a bit of the rust from almost 16 hours in the car. The MS had enough charge after about 45 minutes to make it to the Lake City, FL SC.
The drive to Lake City was fairly easy, the closer I get to Florida the better I felt. the Lake City SC does not have much to commend it. It is set at the back of a strip mall with untidy dumpsters in clear view. I did need to empty the garbage I had been but apart from that convenience did not see much that made this stop appealing. I caught a little more shuteye, surfed the internet and by 1:15 PM or so I had enough charge to make it to the Orlando SC. Again this was a fairly easy drive as the closer I got to my destination the better I felt. It took a couple of hours and I pulled into the Turkey Lake Service Plaza (the Orlando SC is on the Florida Turnpike) and intended to get a 100% charge so I wouldn’t have to charge during my time in Orlando. The Turkey Lake Service Plaza is really a good SC stop. There is plenty of room to take a stroll, a couple of shops to pick up drinks and snacks, 3 restaurants. I picked up some milk (8 grams of protein per 8oz. serving) and settled in for an hour and a half. Debi (my MS) got to about 99% and I figured that would be enough for my time in Orlando. I finished charging around 4:30 PM and then headed off to the resort. I spent a little over 21 hours in the car driving a little more than 5 hours and change charging. By far this was the longest drive to Orlando that I had undertaken. I so look forward to the I-24 Corridor out of Saint Louis to Nashville to get built out. It would take at least 4 hours out of that drive.
If I ever choose to take the route again that I used this time I will overnight in Knoxville, lesson learned.
Well that is the completion of my Journey from Brighton, IL to Orlando, FL.