Got home Tuesday morning at 1:30 am after driving fourteen hours. I was exhausted. When I finally got to bed I felt like I had been beaten with a bag of nickels.
I love Austin, Texas. I have to admit that the constant heat and spices did take it’s toll on me. At one point I got a bit heat sick and had to go back to my room a while. I’m sure I would adapt but it would take some time.
My wife needed to be back home to sign some real estate papers so we decided to head back Sunday, right after breakfast. After saying goodbye to my daughter we headed out. I had a few concerns about the coming eclipse so when it got dark I decided to keep going and drive as far as I could. By two in the morning I had made it past Memphis and to Jackson, TN. We were beat so grabbed a motel and got back on the road at ten. Because I had gone farther we only had nine and a half hours to go. The plan was to get home by eight.
As we drove north from Nashville you could see hundreds of cars, campers and lawnchairs in the rest areas waiting for the eclipse. No problem. We weren’t going to stop, we just wanted to get home.
While driving it slowly got darker and oddly dusklike. When the eclipse occurred it was like sunset without the long shadows. It was very odd. Then it was over. No problem.
Then it got bad. Thousands of cars left the rest areas and got on the highway. Within an hour the highways were bumper to bumper. Google Maps kept trying to take us around the clogged streets but it was no use. At one point I left I65 and headed over to Elizabethtown to try and circumvent. It was brutal. The mapping app would say we would be home at 8:30 pm, then 9:30 pm and then 12:20 am.
We didn’t get home until 1:30 am. That was fourteen and a half hours on the road with minimal breaks for bathrooms and food. It was brutal. We slept in the next morning and aside from giving my chess lessons we just watched Netflix (The Defenders) and relaxed. No walking, nothing. I plan to get back to it tomorrow. No excuses.
One odd thing I want to mention. Once we got into Kentucky and then through Tennessee, Arkansas and Texas it was impossible to get a cup of hot tea. Up here you go into a McDonald’s and order a hot tea it is no problem. Down there it isn’t that they don’t have it, it’s that they don’t understand what you want. I’d ask for a hot tea and they would give me a sweet tea with no ice. I’d explain hot water with a tea bag and they would just look at me like they had never heard of such a thing. The looks on their faces was like I was asking for some strange exotic food. I don’t even want to get started about the grits with breakfast. That is a whole other blog post.
I’m home, I’m safe and I’m tired. I’m getting back into my routine tomorrow.