I mentioned a trip. I went to visit Dave on the edge of southern Indiana last Friday, and the driving was more eventful than usual. I got almost to Findlay, Ohio (120 miles south of my house) when I noticed the air conditioner was pumping out warm air. Then something went POP and there was smoke coming out my tailpipe, and then the battery indicator light on the dashboard lit up. I exited in the middle of a construction zone, willing the car to not stop in the middle of it, and found a mechanic. The a/c compressor had seized; since it was no longer spinning, the belt around it broke; and then a dampener pulley either broke or bent. They could fix everything on Friday but that pulley, which was a part that had to come from some Dodge supplier somewhere and wouldn’t be available until Monday.
So I could either stay in a motel in Findlay, which wouldn’t have been very much fun — mind, Findlay is a nice town, but it’s not where I wanted to go — or I could rent a car to finish my trip. Option B yielded a new Nissan Altima, which was awfully comfortable. I figured a car rental would probably cost as much as a motel room rental. So off I went through Ohio and Kentucky, through storms and construction zones, and got to Dave’s in time for a nice hot pizza.
We didn’t do a lot. For various reasons, we’re both in a mode where sleep is our best friend. We did a quick trip to look at new bridge construction. Two new bridges over the Ohio River are being built, and work is progressing at a nice pace. We also went out to some very good dinners, including a Japanese restaurant with one of Dave’s friends. The weather was kind of meh, with lots of showers and glowering skies and humidity.
Then on Tuesday, I had to leave ridiculously early (10:45) so I could return the rental car in Findlay and pick up my car. That was pretty expensive, but went without a hitch. Luckily, I missed severe weather in the Toledo to Detroit stretch of the trip.
I just remembered, I have a photo of that Altima.
The Altima was cushy and very responsive. It had so many features, like a push-button ignition, and a little display of the car in the dashboard that I still don’t know what it was showing. The car was kind of old-fogeyish (Dave and I agreed it was similar to a Buick), but I appreciated that it sits higher off the ground than my Stratus, which is hard for me to get in and out of. Mostly, I was really impressed with the advances in cars that are ten years newer than mine.