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Home » Stories, True and Otherwise

Big Country Little Car Tour: Day 1

Submitted by on March 24, 2010 – 6:50 AM28 Comments

It's a big country. I have a little car. It's Big Country Little Car Tour 2010.


Why?Well, why not? I like to drive, I have a thing in Murfreesboro on Friday, I haven't seen AB Chao in ages…what the hell, right?

But it is a very very little car — too little, as it turns out, to fit cruise control into the works, so the sleety hills of I-76 is not the most fun I ever had in my life. Also, I packed in my usual stupid "what do you mean, 'they have stores in the Central time zone'? — that's crazy talk" fashion, so it's a tight fit in there. In my defense, I brought a third of the stuff as hostess gifts, but I won't have given any of the (bulky and breakable, obviously) gifts away by the time I have to pick my not-that-little dad up at the Nashville airport on Thursday. I just don't know where I'm going to put the man.

I didn't have any fun stops today, either, because I had to bite off a bunch of mileage today, so I blew right through Hershey without even slowing down. Keckler's going to fire me.

The day had a funeral theme. I stopped in to visit my grandparents' resting place and make sure everything is mown and in order. Later, I spent several miles on I-70 behind a casket truck with the legend, "Please Drive Safely, Heaven Can Wait." And the Best Western is across the street from an old graveyard.

Next stop: Louisville, KY.

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  • Matt says:

    You're not going to make it up to St Paul, are you? First round's on me.

  • Miss Twitch says:

    Apologies if you knew this already, but you can often get cruise control put in by a third party; there's no way I would have bought my Scion before finding that out, since a) my folks are 5 hours away, b) I suffer from major Mood Foot, especially when given 5 hours to think about my relationship with my folks, and c) I don't make enough money to fund a speeding-ticket habit.

    Enjoy your trip!

  • avis says:

    Well cruise control is dangerous in rainy and icy situations so maybe that wasn't the worst thing. You're really goning to miss it on those long stright stretches through the south though. Interstates were made for cruise control.
    Have fun in north LA! Given that it's spring 3-4 days a week and late winter the rest of the time it will be interesting.

  • Tisha_ says:

    So, I feel like a total stalker or something, for remembering that you like Creamsicles, but… if you are anywhere that has a Sonic Drive-In, don't forget to stop in and get an Orange CreamSlush.

  • Leslie says:

    Oh yea! You are coming to TN again!!!! I have suggestions if you are looking for things to do

  • Rachel says:

    I-76 in a Smart car? You brave, brave woman. Safe travels!

  • Someone's Coming to Louisville--Yay! says:

    Louisville, yay! Do you need recommendations of things to do/places to stay/fun places to eat? There's a really good vegetarian diner downtown, and and and…(Sorry. No one comes to Louisville. All my friends mock me for living in Kentucky, actually.)

  • Keckler says:

    But I wanted penciiiiiiils!

  • KC says:

    Aw, I did my own "Big Country, Little Car" tour a few years ago. Why? Because I'd never seen anything between the coasts. One of the best times of my life. Have fun and drive safe!

  • Melina says:

    I… have to tell you? You did not miss much in Hershey. Except the chocolate smell. The park is not as lame as you think it will be? But the highlight is the free chocolate on the factory tour, kind of, NCandyAA theme-appropriateness notwithstanding.

  • Liz in Minneapolis says:

    Oh, taking pictures while driving! I got lucky on one trip and a semi cab was towing another semi cab, backwards, right in front of me, so I have a shot of a semi coming at me head-on from 20 feet away.

    Fellowship of the road – I spent every fourth or fifth weekend for 13 years crisscrossing the actual Midwest (SD, ND, IA, NE, MO, MN, WI, IL, MI, IN, OH, and also MB and ON) by car, usually alone, for my hobby group. The average trip was 6 hours one way, but they ranged up to 12. Some scenery – admittedly not nearly enough, unless farmland is new and thrilling to you, but lots of cool 19th and early 20th century architecture – lots of observational sociology, history, economics, ecology, and political science, lots of solitude, and unique local-label truckstop treats like blueberry soda and potato chips flavored like hot dogs with mustard. Also, of course, actual cities and culture and shopping and stuff. Really.

    Side benefit of all that Midwesternness – the oceans never fail to dissolve my cynicism and utterly entrance me. For one of my friends it's deserts. For many it's mountains.

    Anyway, point being, have a wonderful trip and enjoy the road!

  • Nina A says:

    Drive safely and enjoy!

  • Des says:

    Yay, welcome to KY! Tomorrow.

  • Renee says:

    As someone who travel I-76 every day is a tiny car, I salute your bravery.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    No further north than KC, I'm afraid.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    I won't be in town very long, but I appreciate the offer!

  • Renee says:

    Couldn't find how to edit, but I couldn't let my typos go. I, of course, meant "As someone who travels I-76 every day in a tiny car, I salute your bravery."

    Have fun!

  • heatherkay says:

    Hey — been following your work since MBTV days. If you're looking for ideas for snacks or entertainment in Kansas City, let me know.

  • Jaybird says:

    I love Tennessee like my mama, and I miss it, because it's a beeYOOtiful state.

    That's all. Just enjoy living there.

  • Jaybird says:

    Sars, is it possible–or rather, advisable–to play Compulsive Waving Family in a SmartCar, alone? Because how funny would that be?

    Unless, of course, the wavees showed up at the same IHOP a few exits over, and stared at you while they ate their blintzes.

  • Faith says:

    I'm with heatherkay. I'm in Overland Park, KS, a suburb of KC, and I loooove to show people around/give ideas about our fair city we have here. :D I'm sure you won't be here very long, either, but it'd be great to host ya.

  • rayvyn2k says:

    How long are you in the 'Boro this year? I have a house now…

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    @rayvyn: Not very long, alas (about 36 hours).

  • tulip says:

    Aw! I have family in Murfreesboro! Have fun and be careful! :)

  • Jessica says:

    Please report back on the Ferguson Jenkins talk, and the conference in general — it sounds fascinating.

  • Zeynep says:

    I feel like I should do something like this; it is a big country, and my car is officially named Little Red Car… Have fun and be safe!

  • Jody says:

    Just now read that you were passing through Louisville, KY! I would have bought you lunch!

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    @Tisha: I am drinking an Orange CreamSlush right now, and OMG.

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