One Mouthful at a Time….
(attributed to Creighton W. Abrams, Jr., US Military, 1914-1974)
I am a 9 Quick Start (Kolbe A Index 5492). I decided to transport a whack of framed prints about 2.5 x 3 ft. from Toronto to Florida, with glass intact, and I received quotes from $2500 to $7000, with some stringent conditions, It took about a month for the funnel to whittle down to two alternatives, (1) forget it, or (2) drive it myself.
If you are familiar with www.kolbe.com you know that I chose (2). So, you probably also know that as a “5492” I am not going to the CAA to get a TRIPTIK. But, I did arm myself with both GPS and a Garmin that provided traffic and accident information. If I was going to wing it, I was going to be armed. This was quite an event because even though the prints were mine and they were being transported for personal use, border security could question my unusual cargo. We prepared for the event. My friend drove in to Toronto from Cape Cod, MA. with her son and over two days (time out for fun) we loaded about 10 pieces of art into my SUV, along with assorted other “stuff”. Even the passenger seat was allocated to an overnight case and a cooler.
This article is about my adventures. Mostly it is about the DO’s and DON’Ts of solo driving between Toronto and Florida. If you have driven the route, you know my challenges, and probably avoided most of them.
There are three routes to Florida and I picked the picturesque route down I-77. Only take this route in summer. Just my advice. Fewer assists, more hills, some unusual roads.
And I am away! Seeking adventure. What I remember most about the trip down was being hungry and having to “pee”. What happened to my adventure? Hungry because food stops must be where the food is served. Gas and restaurants are off the highway. I could not eat from the cooler for three days. So, follow the food signs. If KFC and Burger King, and Subway are highlighted, keep moving. The area may not be built up so it may not be safe.
Eventually I would find a town where food signs indicate Cracker Barrel, Applebee’s and familiar gas stations like Shell or Exxon. More people, more families, and…garbage bins. Garbage bins are very important. Keep the car clean, after all, it is your work environment.
To stay awake comfortably, you have to be well hydrated. Well hydrated results in the need for “facilities”. As I said, what I remember most about the trip down was being hungry and having to “pee”. McDonald’s tends to have cleaner bathrooms, AND usually a side door right beside the facilities where you can slink in and out with minimum fuss and guilt. There is another bonus. McDonald’s has super good iced coffee, super cheap. I drank mediums, black no sugar, all the way down, and every restaurant was under $2.00 for a medium. If you are hungry, in a pinch, McDonald’s knows what lettuce and a tomatoe look like.
Over three days I encountered situations where I had to be vigilant. Of these the most difficult was the need to drive after dark on unfamiliar roads. No Garmin or GPS can take away the stress of driving “blind” in the dark on roads virtually without any lighting or reflection points.
AND always respect the “working equipment”. Tune into your car and listen and look for unexpected sounds as if you were watching over a child. And join CAA or AAA!
So, Let Me tell You a Story!
(Well, that is for the next Blog)