I apologize for not posting much in the last month or two. Some of you know why.
Friday was the first time I’d driven the Miata farther than along the back roads in West Ashley. Justine would probably tell me that I’m showing my age if I say the word “hoot” but driving it to Kentucky and back was a hoot. I’m glad that I paid extra for the optional suspension package because the Miata hugged the road while I drove the steep, twisty part of I-40 in the Smokies between North Carolina and Tennessee (well over the posted speed limit) and the steep, twisty part of I-75 in the Appalachians between Tennessee and Kentucky.
I’d mentioned before I left that I hoped it wouldn’t rain along the way. Well, it’s July and the Southeast so pop-up showers are a fact of life. If you’ve ever driven a two-seater at speed with the top down you know that as long as the rain is light it doesn’t land in the seat with you. It blows over. It’s only when it comes down in buckets that you have to stop and put the top up. That happened somewhere in the Upstate. Fortunately we were seconds away from an exit. A great thing about the Miata’s retractable hardtop is that you can put it up, and down, in 10 seconds. I know because I timed it. The rain stopped about 15 minutes later so when we stopped in Asheville for gas we put the top down and didn’t put it up again until we parked it at my sister’s house. The same thing happened on the drive back. We were almost to the first Asheville exit when all hell broke loose. We needed gas anyway so it came at a convenient time. We stopped at the SC Welcome Center a few miles later and put the top down again.
Speaking of gas, when I bought the Miata the sticker on the window said 30 mpg highway/24 city. I’ve yet to check the mileage in town but I did whenever we stopped for gas this weekend. The numbers were 30, 30, and 29. When I filled it up this morning it was again 30. Yes, automakers make cars that get better mileage but I bet they aren’t as fun to drive.
Some random observations: I worried that my ankle wouldn’t be up to the 550 mile drive to Kentucky but it never complained and, in fact, it felt better at the end of the drive than it did at the start. Evidently all it needed was the exercise. Now the rest of my body says that it needs exercise, too. What have I started?
Even though the Miata has a retractable hard top that tucks into the body, it has a surprisingly large trunk. It’s not huge but it’s large enough to hold two weekend-sized bags plus a number of things that Jo Ann wanted me to take back to Charleston.
As mid-life crises go (or in my case, late mid-life crisis) the Miata doesn’t make the top 10 but since hot twenty-somethings no longer look at me and wonder how big my bank account is I’m willing to settle for driving down the Interstate with music blaring. Speaking of which, I’m driving back to Kentucky soon so I have time to pirate and burn my favorite driving songs and those that commenters and trackbackers suggested. I’ve added a few more to my list: AC/DC’s Highway to Hell, Sammy Haggar’s I Can’t Drive 55, Wall of Voodoo’s Mexican Radio, Allman Brothers’ Midnight Rider, and Bob Seger’s Turn the Page (although the Metallica cover works, too.) This is your latest chance to chime in with your suggestions. For the record, I prefer driving songs that are about driving. (BTW Allan, you never sent me your driving mix CD.)
Update: Soon came sooner than I expected so I haven't had time to burn a CD. Don't let that stop you from making suggestions. I own about 200 salsa CDs (don't ask) so I'll listen to some of them instead. I'll post again after I get to Kentucky.