Travel from Atlanta to Fort Valley to Louisville and finally back to Denver. 8/4 - 8/7/19
The next day I made my way back down to Middle GA for only 2 nights. I was home able to sort of process the whole summer. I traveled the 6th up to Louisville to visit and tour the Slugger baseball bat factory and museum. If you’re a sports fan, then this place is worth it and amazing! The longest day of travel I had was 20 hours on the 7th. I left Louisville, KY at 4:30 AM EST. I stopped for a good amount of time in KC to see an old friend and grab things I left at my friends house after the Royals game back in early June. I didn’t arrive to my house in Denver till 10 PM Mountain TIme (Midnight EST).
Finally on the road heading to Atlanta. I-95 SB was busy with traffic and construction but thankfully opened up and didn’t have any issues all the way to Atlanta. We got into Atlanta at a perfect time too because it was after all the rush hour traffic. We didn’t really stop anywhere because it was such a long distance. However, I did stop at a Total Wine liquor store in NC to buy local craft beer. Getting to stop at Waffle House and Chick-fil-a was nice too along the way back to GA. I made sure to stop by Orpheus and Sweetwater brewing on the way into town too.
David and I took a relaxed drive down to DC with a pit-stop in Delaware for specifically the Dogfish Head Brewing Company in Milton, DE. Nothing too exciting other than enjoying a nationwide known and well made craft beer. It’s been really interesting just to see the landscape and scenery along I-95 that I’ve heard so much about growing up and as a sports fan. I really liked the remoteness and closeness of Delaware. They have beaches, big A.F. Bases, minor league baseball teams, a good amount of agriculture, and really close to the capitol.
Started out a little later than wanted, but nonetheless it was a journey for sure across all of NY then to Boston. I absolutely stopped in Cooperstown, NY for the Baseball Hall of Fame. No, I wasn’t able to take a tour but I’ll definitely be back another day to spend more time in that beautiful region of NY. I did enjoy checking out the items for sale in the Store. That in itself is enjoyable to experience Wow. The facility and town and parks...as a baseball/sports fan and someone who loves the outdoors just loved that whole area. I ate at the Italian restaurant right across the street from the HOF, because someone many stadiums ago mentioned and highly recommended it to me...and let me tell you that place is legit. Good grief at how delicious the authentic taste of the food was there. I also wished I could have been there earlier to stop by and enjoy Omme-Gang brewery. I completely forgot that place was based out of Cooperstown.
7/22/19. Today was a pleasant and not so far of a drive to Buffalo, NY from NYC. Thank goodness the traffic was that of nothing I experienced on the GW bridge the day before. I seriously thought I was back in India with the sheer chaotic traffic flow. I even got to see the Appalachian trail again while leaving the city! I saw it the day before near Stroudsburg and the Delaware River. Driving through the back-country of New York was a treat to me, because it was a land I had heard about once from 2 friends with what it looks like. Us people from Georgia don’t really know what to expect when hearing “upstate NY”. Lots of agriculture and beautiful rolling hills. Buffalo was my place of stay as I prepared and went to the Toronto game.
7/19/19 This was a very sad day for me. I got in my old Subaru all loaded up, ready to go on a smooth ride to Pittsburg with no problem having peace that my car has been fixed for good. 70 miles up the interstate, it overheated again. 70 miles. The closest to a mental breakdown I’ve had in a long long time. I made it safe and sound to a truck stop to let the engine cool down before refilling it with more coolant. I could see places where coolant was leaking down onto the pavement under the car. I mentally couldn’t handle the stress anymore. I called a dealership up in South Columbus, told them my situation, and made my way over there. I was so frustrated and stressed because of this trip itinerary of not missing a game, and my vehicle. I got to the dealership, checked out their very few in numbers used vehicles, then saw the one I’ve wanted since the new 2019 Foresters were released last year. I know a decent amount about cars and which ones I like and don’t like. I test drove the one I liked, and knew I would buy it. Hatfield Subaru gave me a crazy good deal for it, added on the drivetrain coverages, and 5 hours later I left with a brand new Subaru. I bought a Sport Trim which this one has nearly all the bells and whistles that the Touring (top of the line trim) has. Massive moonroof, all weather floor mats, nice leather trim seating/interior, the 9 speaker Harmon-Kardon entertainment option, back seat durable covers for when I fold them down, and more. I did cry some about my old Subie. I loved it and didn’t want to say goodbye that way. I don’t like giving up on things when times get tough. I want things to work out. Yet, it just couldn’t keep the engine cool anymore no matter all the expensive mechanical work. So many amazing trips and memories and adventures in that old thing. I loved driving it around knowing that not too many people had one like it. I made the decision to go to the Pittsburg game the next day, and then the following day high-tail it to NYC for the Yankees game. My schedule just became even more crammed, but it’s still held together.
The 15th and 16th of July were 2 days spent mostly resting and waiting for my Subaru to get fixed at the nearby dealership. It allowed me to catch up on baseball things for the trip, wash clothes, update the website, mail baseball memorabilia back to Denver, and more. I laid low trying to not worry about my car messing up as it had done just a few days earlier. I checked out a few breweries in the area too and met some really cool people. I got connected well with 2 people, had solid conversations, and will continue to chat with in the upcoming days! I love making new friends!
On the 17th I drove from Cleveland to Cincinnati. After driving my Subaru having just been fixed for 100 miles...it started overheating again. I...had no words yet again. How could an engine with leaking head gasket, that got it completely re-sealed and fixed...be overheating AGAIN?!?! I made up in my mind to continue driving and make it to Cincy to get it checked down there. After taking a break at a Target in North Cincy to put more coolant in it, I finally found a mechanic shop to work on it. Apparently all the Subaru dealerships were completely full and inundated with Takata air-bag recall work, and none of them could even really look and let alone try to fix my old car. I was so frustrated and starting to feel completely helpless. I was able to make it to my place of stay, set an appointment for the next morning, and go out to eat at a local place in Cincy with my hosts. I was glad to be in Cincy for the game, but under a lot of stress.
Travel days Cleveland to Milwaukee on July 10th & 11th.
Sadly, this was by far the beginning of the end for my old 1999 Subaru Forester. I thought it would benefit the vehicle that while getting a 3rd oil change of the trip to do a coolant flush since i had all sorts of nastyness in the radiator from the past 7,000ish miles. I picked up my car that afternoon, loaded it up, got ready to go, drove 10 miles, and my engine began to overheat very quickly. Some of the hottest it’s ever been. I had a minor panic/freak out moment, eventually got off the interstate, and headed back to the mechanic shop. The found air pockets in the lines, and added more leak stoppage pellets. I start on the road again, and BOOM...overheating again. Complete helpless and frustrations feelings flowed through me. I was able to stay at my friends again that night.
The next day I take it to the mechanic shop, they feel confident they fixed the issue, I drive it around again, and yet again...overheating. I make the call to take it to a Subaru dealership to re-seal the head gaskets...which cost $1,800. I get a rental, leave my Subaru, and head to Milwaukee. I didn’t arrive into Milwaukee till late...nearly 2 AM. So stressed, but hopeful my old Subaru would be ready to go when I return.
In case you’re wondering what’s wrong with my car...let me explain. Engines get hot and are cooled down with a system pushing the coolant fluid from the radiator, which is the thing the in the front of the car when you open the hood. My engine itself was leaking coolant out, causing the fluid level to lower, then my engine overheats because there’s not enough fluid to keep the engine cool. I hope that is fairly simple explanation for all.
This long haul took 2 days. The 1st day took me through the mountains of Washington, Idaho and Western Montana. Really pretty landscape. Washington has so many different climate zones just in 1 area. My Subaru was doing ok. I had to stop for an hour in Eastern Washington so that I can pour more coolant into the radiator. It doesn’t seem that the Barrs Leaks stuff was working very well. It’s a concern, but it kept cool and going! The sunset of the 3rd was absolutely mesmerizing and really hard to see since I was driving East and it was all behind me. I stopped with a WR friend in Bozeman, and I liked the city and region from what I saw.
The next day on July 4th I drove 970 miles all the way to Minneapolis. I was surprised and stopped at the Theodore Roosevelt National Park in western North Dakota. I seriously had no idea it was along my route, and wish I could have stayed for the 4th of July parade they were soon to be having in the town of Medora, ND. I stopped in Fargo for fuel and food with Georgia friends. It was good to stop for a while and eat some really good food. I finally made my way down to Minneapolis around 1:30 AM and glad to have stopped for a few nights. The front of my car was a graveyard of thousands of bugs from driving at night on the interstate.
3 days of driving from SD to Seattle. Pretty relaxed...so to speak.
1st leg was from SD to Sacramento where I met up with the WR America team there. The time was great and I enjoyed their company and sharing stories.
2nd leg was from Sacramento to my WR squadmate’s house near Bend, OR. I loved this drive mainly because it was up in the mountains with curvy scenic roads. Mt. Shasta was phenomenal to observe while driving, Crater Lake NP was something else, and the sunset near Bend was the perfect way to end the day. Crater Lake NP visitor center closed at 5 PM and I just barely got there before they closed. I highly recommend for people to visit this National Park. The views are absolutely gorgeous, but also bring bug spray since there are quite a few thousand mosquitoes. Stopped in Bend at the very popular Deschutes Brewery and boy did they have almost too many bomber 22 oz bottles to choose from. I’ve never seen a brewery with so many bomber options for to go.
3rd leg from Bend to Seattle was a good scenic drive as well. I made sure to stop by and rest a bit at Trillium Lake with majestic views of Mt. Hood close by. The rain left quickly so that I could just sit on a rock next to the lake and type out website updates and journal trip information. It was much needed. It was a pretty and clear day the rest of the way up to Seattle. I ended the day with 3 rounds of bowling with my friend I’m staying with and an old college friend. It was so fun!