"Putting on the Game Face"
|Thursday August 9
A month ago I departed on a great adventure to go to Europe, and visit the town, Fouras, where we lived when my Dad was stationed there after WW2.
I failed in my mission. I never got beyond the East Coast. This is what happened. First of all I forgot my EZ pass transponder and I was using the toll road almost all the way there. That cost me about twice as much in tolls. I could have bought a new one but that thought never dawned on me. On a positive note my Seiko solar wrist watch started working after being in a dark desk drawer for over 5 years.
Then I remembered that I had better tell VISA that I'd be on the road away from home or they'd cut off my credit card. When Linda called she said she'd call and take care of that. I departed a little after 6 AM and found a Comfort Inn about halfway in Harrisburg Penn. There was congestion but not bad going through Chicago.
Friday August 10
This is not a good time to be worried about the transmission in the van. It is beginning to clunk. Not a good sign... will check the fluid levels in the morning. I arrived in Dover and checked the Space A terminal. I just missed a flight to Rammstein. It originated in Memphis and had plenty of seats. However it filled here and I probably would not have gotten on even if I'd gotten here earlier. I stayed on the Turnpike too long and got off North of Philadelphia and that cost me several hours. There were no accommodations on base. Nothing was going on the 72 hour board. I got to talking to a couple that came in on the Memphis flight. There was no rental cars or hotel accommodations in Dover and I invited them to accompany me to look for a motel outside of town. In Harrington we found one but it was $168 a night....whew! There was a big convention going on. The next morning the transmission was worse and seeing nothing on the 72hour board... Spent the day checking out the base and went that afternoon in search of a motel room. This has not gotten off to a good start. I tried to check the oil level at the base but the transmission is a sealed system. It was sounding worst when I got to the motel.
Saturday August 11
Well nothing again today on the 72 hour board. The transmission is sounding bad. I parked it at the motel and started taking local bus transportation. I have been doing a lot of walking from the motel to restaurants in the area. The room here in Dover was 168 for the first night and dropped to $120 a night. I took a long walk today to vent my frustration. My feet are sore and the sweat was rolling off by the time I returned to the hotel. This is not going at all as expected. Having plenty of time to reflect on the process I have plenty of better ideas in retrospect. One is to find a local Space A terminal, say in Milwaukee and if that doesn't pan out go south to Memphis or Ft Campbell. If I got a flight I could find my way back to my point of origin using bus, or AMTRAK. There is definitely room for improvement in my pretrip planning. Another consideration is not relying on the normal servicing of the van but have a more comprehensive pretrip inspection. When I went to get my International Drivers License, AAA offered Roadside Assistance. I should have taken it. A bicycle would not have been a bad idea.