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The Trip from Florida: Safer on the Autocross

The Gathering Clouds

Morning breaks and most of us aren't hungover (oddly enough). We stumble to a local breakfast place, gather up supplies for the trip, and see the rain roll in. We hook up the dolly, load up the car, and Sean takes the driveshaft out in the rain, with me watching. By the time he's done, we're both soaked and greasy. A quick change of clothes got us on our way.

No, Really, I'm Fine

On our way, but not very quickly. Rainly wether is not the best towing weather, and it wasn't too far before the hastily assembled rear window began to give way. We stopped for gas, ripped out the window, and continued on our way with Sean at the helm. The weekend of ferocious work and limited sleep had taken its toll, however. Sean was in no shape to drive, and aid so, shortly after crossing into Georgia. My body had had a similar shutdown the night before, so I'd slept more and was next in the driver's seat.

Driving Machine

I took the wheel from just across the Florida - Georgia border until just across the North - South Carolina border. The rain was pretty solid up until South Carolina. This drove our trip time up by at least an hour.

80% of this leg was uneventful. The other 20% consisted of near misses and light hydroplaining. Three events stand out amoung these.

In Georgia, during a light rain with lots of water on the road. A woman in a Ford sedan suddenly braked and veered sharply off the road, just as we were passing her. Fortunatly, she veered away from us.

Early in South Carolina, I saw an SUV backing up to make an exit they missed. They were unable to keep the SUV on the shoulder while backing up, and started backing into the oncoming traffic lanes of I-95. We were in the passing lane a long time before this.

After passing a semi late in South Carolina, I had placed my blinker on and was preparing to get out of the passing lane. This apparently wasn't happening fast enough for the driver of a little MX-3, who narrowly avoided getting creamed (but managed to get flipped off by almost everyone in the Jeep).

North of the Border

Rob took over at the North Carolina Welcome Center, but by then I was too hyper to sleep. Sean was still wiped out in the back seat. (Other) Sean was getting punchy. Everyone was ready to be home. It seemed like forever, but it was only really a few hours.

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