Monday, 3 September 2012

Day 2: Tampa, FL - Mobile, AL

After a poor night's sleep it's heigh-ho for the Wild West.  Well, it is once Emily gets her bearings - multi-storey car parks having the effect of hiding the GPS signals.  After a certain amount of milling about I'm finally able to find I-275 which in turn leads to I-75; this eventually links with I-10 somewhere north of Gainesville.  Driving on the freeway in this part of te world is Not Interesting as there are no hills, few curves and naff-all to see as the roads are generally bordered by pine woods.  Here is a photo to prove that I've been here:

Thing on the wall of a Florida rest area
Among the places I manage not to see are Gainesville, Tallahassee and Pensacola.  There's some good bay action to be seen around Pensacola, but nowhere to stop and take photos.  There are also two three four other things about today which made life a bit tiresome.

One, it was not.  The temperature was in the thirties by about 09:00 and didn't go anywhere much except up for most of the day.  After an hour my water bottle was the temperature of bath water, so I was obliged to keep stopping at the rest areas to refill it from a handy drinking fountain.  Florida rest areas do have these funky automatic windscreen washers though; you just drive over a switch which triggers an absolute deluge.  Make sure the roof is up before using one.

No, I didn't.

Proof that I have been in Alabama
Thing two: my iPod has decided not to talk to the motorcar's stereo.  I don't know whether it's my connecting lead or their radio, but it's annoying all the same. 

Thing three: on arrival in the outskirts of Mobile I am halfway down an off-ramp when the heavens open; by the time I've got the roof up everything is rather damp.  Especially me.  Bah!

Thing four: I left the Babage-Engine running while I went out for some dinner.  When I got back it appeared to have died on its arse, but I think it was more likely the somewhat precarious combination of gadgetry connecting it to the mains as a bit of poking and prodding seems to have restored it to rude health once more.

The good news: I have cold BEER.  Tomorrow it's back to I-10.  There's only about twenty miles of Alabama left, after which it's going to be a case of playing "Dodge the mess left by Hurricane Isaac".  I f the Lake Pontchartrain causeway is closed, I shall be most put out.

And another thing.  Parked just over the road from the motel is this:

A big boat, yesterday
This is the USS Alabama, a 35,000 ton battleship with nine sixteen-inch guns.  She's been here since 1964.  There's loads of other military stuff over there as well but it's dark now.  Maybe some pictures tomorrow.  New states visited: Alabama.

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