Thursday, 24 August 2006, 13:48:10 EDT

I was driving to my friend Jay's place to meet him for lunch on the fifth of this month when I had an idea. I decided to drive to Michigan and visit family during my break between semesters. I would have left that following Tuesday, but I had a rather important job to get done at work that week (which I didn't remember until Sunday). Instead, I left Georgia on the twelfth at about 7:00; actually, I got on I-75N at 6:50. I made it to South Haven, Michigan at about 21:00. I would have been there earlier, but I got mixed up on my directions and missed a turn. I spent about forty-five minutes fixing my mistake. Anyway, I spent all of last week in Michigan visiting with family I haven't seen in seven years and working (a little bit) with my Dad. I really enjoyed my visit. It was quite a change of pace from my normal day-to-day activities. I took more naps that I think I have ever taken and spent more time away from a computer than I have since, well, I can't remember. I haven't decided if I will try to go back up next year, though. I think I would like to, but I don't want to put the extra 2,000 miles on my truck every year. Maybe that is a lame excuse, but I'm going to have to drive this thing for many years.

Speaking of driving 2,000 miles. It is about 800 miles between Stockbridge, Georgia and Pullman, Michigan. Depending on the route you take, and the stops you make, it is a twelve to fourteen hour drive. As a result, there is a lot of time to observe traffic. Maybe it was because I drove through on Saturdays, but I found that there is a lot less traffic in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Michigan than there is in Georgia. When I got back to the Atlanta area I think there was more traffic at 20:00 than I encountered in Chattanooga, Nashville, Louisville, and Indianapolis combined. I feel somewhat sorry for the people who come into Atlanta and don't know how to drive here. Our traffic moves at almost twice the speed of the cities I mentioned (posted speed limit be damned) with twice the number of lanes to navigate. Then you have to deal with the people; it must be a frightening experience for out-of-towners. I eased right back into it, though. Around Barrett Parkway, some ricer got so far up my rear he should have bought me dinner first. I was in no mood for that so I slowed down to forty. When he passed I gave him a taste of his own medicine.

I also found out how well the FM transmitter for my iPod works in other states. The station I usually broadcast on, 89.1, doesn't work so well between Georgia and Michigan. I used it exclusively while driving around the South Haven/Pullman/Hartford area of Michigan. The signal wasn't quite as strong as normal, but it was clear. Between Georgia and Michigan, I found 94.5 to work well. I use that station as an alternate in Atlanta (when 89.1 gets interference) so I didn't have to search around for another station while driving; that was nice. On my way back, though, I discovered that neither channel was working very well in the northwestern part of Indiana (I took a different route home). So, I had to surf channels for a few minutes and came across 97.1 being a good station to use. It didn't work so well when I started getting near Kentucky, so I switched back to 94.5.

I'll write a little more about my trip later. For now, you can look at some of the pictures I took while there by heading over to my picture gallery.