We had all changes clothes…which took away some of the smell we had accumulated over the last four days, but I can imagine what the waitress at the Texas Roadhouse must have thought about us: “Where have these weirdoes with the funny accent come from?”
Anyway, we ate our fill and had a laugh or two about the long weekend. I stuffed myself with a big sandwich and drank enough Diet Coke to float a battleship. We finally all staggered out – stuffed to the gills – made plans for me to drive the lead vehicle to get us back on I-81 headed south; said our goodbyes; and manned our cars. Once I got our two-car caravan onto I-81, we could travel at our own pace to get back to Arkansas.
I began driving, and before we got on I-81, Randy had us laughing so hard, I thought I was going to bust a gut. He related a story of him trying to understand the newfangled toilet facilities on a jumbo jet, and I was laughing so hard my vision was blurred. I almost didn’t make the on-ramp for I-81. We must have laughed for the next 10 miles. Since we were sleep deprived, full of good food and ready for a good time, the story just hit us the right way.
As I proceeded down the interstate, the skies to the south looked threatening. Just south of Winchester, VA, we ran into some scattered showers, and by the time we had gotten to Staunton, VA, (pronounced Stanton) it was a steady downpour. I drove until we were about 70 miles from the Tennessee line. I was getting tired, and the rain was so hard, that is was a chore just passing the semis with all their back spray on the narrow construction lanes I encountered. I finally pulled over at a nice looking gas station/convenience store.
We got gassed up, and Joe took over as the driver. I got in the back seat and dozed on the drive through East Tennessee. We made it through Knoxville by about 11:30; through Nashville at 3:00; and stopped at Jackson, TN for Randy to take over driving. I think, by this time I was really punch drunk. We stopped again in West Memphis about 6:30; and made it to my house in Little Rock at 8:45. I got all my gear unloaded, and my Pards set out for LA (lower Arkansas and beyond). They still had to go to Hope, AR and then Joe had to travel to his home in Texas.
How do you describe such a sojourn?