Green Bay to Saginaw

July 26, 2014 19:00 – 19:00

I’m at the Springhill Suites in Saginaw, MI, where (yet again) they have deathly slow internet that’s “free”, and a $4.95 upgrade to get barely acceptable speed. This is the upgraded speed:

Unfortunately, the top floor wasn’t available, so I’m on the ground floor (next best option, since that eliminates the room below me as a possible source of noise).

The ride up was mostly uneventful—not a lot of traffic, which is why I routed myself through the UP. I did hit a lot of heavy rain for about 30-60 minutes west of St. Ignace. The rain finally let up long enough for me to get a pasty from Lehto’s, and then eat it in a small road-side park. Just as I finished, it began raining. Well, I say “finished,” but it was too big. I chucked about ¼ of it. And, having just emerged from the bathroom, I’m thinking maybe I should’ve chucked all of it.

The car is averaging 42 MPG for the trip so far—after about 6,500 miles. With only about 700 miles to go, it’ll probably end up at 42 for the trip, unless I encounter really slow traffic somewhere along the way. For today’s 420 mile leg of the trip, it averaged 47.1 MPG. Here’s the read-out at 6,412:

Yes. I’ve driven 111.44 hours on this trip so far.

For dinner, I decided to go to Olive Garden, since I haven’t been to one in at least 20 years. I remembered something called Tour of Italy, and its being pretty decent. I also remembered the salad and breadsticks as being decent. I’m guessing the latter two must vary by location—or my standards have changed.

I used one of the breadsticks to coax food onto the fork. For that, it was useful. The one bite I had, however, was enough to convince me that this particular location’s breadsticks’ utility is strictly as a fork supplement. Other locations’ breadsticks might be quite good… I don’t know. I ordered the Tour of Italy (lasagna, chicken parmigiana, and fettuccine Alfredo. It was quite good, as I remembered. The salad lived up to the root of the word salad (salty). I guess it takes a lot of salad dressing to deter roaches (a friend said they found a roach in their salad there)—and it must work, since my salad was roach-free! The Robert Mondavi cabernet I had was pretty bad… I left about half of it.

Correction… using “utility” more liberally, the breadsticks are also great ways for adolescent boys to entertain themselves–sword-fighting. After the first few opening parries and grunts, I donned my earphones and listened to Geoffrey Howard narrate part of Simon Brett’s “The Torso in the Town”.

The plan for tomorrow is to drive to Morgantown, and go the rest of the way on Monday. That way, I won’t have to deal with Sunday traffic on the PA Turnpike, and I won’t have to deal with DC’s rush hour upon re-entry, since I’d be getting home just a little after lunch. That should also give me part of the afternoon to get the house cooled down and to do a little grocery shopping.

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