Given the tight timeline defining our little odyssey, we knew that we would have a few days of long freeway slodges. We did NOT plan on driving through Atlanta during the rush hour. Even we know better than that. But whatever, that is exactly what we ended up doing today.
I texted this phone screenshot to my Atlantan BFF today as we were slowly wending our way through the city. On the off chance that you aren’t familiar with Google maps on the iPhone, we are the blue dot in the northwest quadrant of the screen, just under the “401”. You can see Piedmont Park over to the right at about the same latitude as the blue dot and that is near Sam’s house. Of *course* Sam said COME OVER TO OUR HOUSE! And boy oh boy, did I want to right then. At least a part of me wanted to. The other half wanted to put a few more miles behind us. Our goal at that point was Chattanooga.
In the end, after some more texting and a phone call, we did continue to bite down hard on the bullet and stayed on the freeway. It took a while and *almost* more patience than my panicky personality could handle but we did eventually drive out of all that doggamn red stuff. We are now safely (?) ensconced in a hotel in Chattanooga. Would I drive through Atlanta on the freeway every day if I lived there? I would do everything I could possibly do to avoid it. Today? It was AWFUL but we only had to do it TODAY and (KNOCK ON WOOD BIGTIME — OHAAAAO, I AM LOOKING AT YOU), we have had almost zero traffic slowdowns this entire trip. I did not like some of the construction north of Tampa on the way down but that was because the pavement was awful and it rained, so there was standing water and I felt like I was hydroplaning a couple of times. The biggest problem I had on that stretch was that I wanted to go slower but it was unsafe to do that, despite the hydroplaning.
But here we are in Chattanooga and guess what? The weather forecast wants to bring us tornadoes tomorrow. Potentially, anyway. We’ll see. It sounds as though we will miss any big ugly storms if we drive north, so maybe it’s best we didn’t stop in Atlanta. I dunno. Taaaaarrred at the end of this day and feeling like we may have dodged a potential mugger downtown after dinner tonight. Toooooo friendly for my taste. Works in the carnival business and anxious to get back to work soon because he (and his girlfriend?) are currently living in a tent. Okay. Took a different direction back to the Frog Hopper than he was walking.