Thursday, October 13, 2011

Atlanta readers: need your input

We are at the Wal-Mart in Greenwood, South Carolina (map). We made it here without incident, but it was a long day's drive. As far as we can tell, there has been no change whatsoever in the condition of the wheel hub after another ~220 miles or so.

We managed to keep the speed under 50mph the whole way, with the cruise set on 48 for a good portion of it. Our decision to stay off the freeways meant we slogged through a few cities, including Columbia, where we passed right through downtown. Between the slogging and the slow speeds, it was a full five hours in the driver's seat, plus stops. We stopped every hour or so to shoot the hubs with the IR thermometer, and we also stopped for a rest in the middle of it all, at the Wateree River.

Just as we made the turn onto the Greenwood bypass a few minutes from here we also spotted $3.499 diesel, about the best we've seen, and stopped to put $300 in. Fuel will only get more expensive in Georgia. It was just about 5:30 when we pulled in to the lot here. With rain closing in quickly, we got squared away and darted across the street to Chili's for a couple of well-earned glasses of wine and a casual dinner.

We did get something of a late start this morning, even though we got up fairly early, owing mostly to me communicating with various folks about our situation, including trying to get price and delivery quotes on the parts from Europe. Last night I had also posted about our plight on the bus forum, seeking advice, and I spent a good part of the morning digesting that.

With any luck, we will get an earlier start tomorrow and should make Atlanta in four hours or so. Which brings me to my question for our Atlanta readers: Can I park the bus overnight at a MARTA lot? The MARTA web site indicates that parking is free up to 24 hours at many stations, and specifically we are looking at College Park or Lakewood. The satellite view shows large ground lots at both locations. What I can not tell from any of my on-line resources is whether oversize vehicles are permitted or not.

What we'd like to do is pull in tomorrow afternoon, then take MARTA downtown for dinner at the Commerce Club. After dinner we would come back, catch 40 winks, then get back on the train in the other direction to get Louise to the airport for her 8am flight. We'd be parking at, say, 3pm or so, taking two trips on MARTA, and I would be rolling back out of the lot by 9am Saturday, well within the 24-hour allowance. Odyssey fits easily in two parking spaces (end-to-end) in either of these lots.

If that's not going to work, the backup plan is to find a Wal-Mart not far from the airport, and I will have to drop her off at the terminal in Odyssey using the bus lane on the lower level. Never our first choice, since navigating an airport with its maze of ramps, low clearances, and low weight-limit decks in the bus is dicey at best.

One way or another, unless we have further problems with the wheel hub, we should be in Atlanta tomorrow night and I will be rolling to Chattanooga Saturday morning, stag.

1 comment:

  1. Here's hoping you're safely settled in at the Chattanooga repair facility, and that the needed parts are on their way to you!


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