Happy Reading!

As promised, here is the next installment of Road Test.

Enjoy the first sector of the first day of the trip as we realize the possibility of a covert connection between a girl and her favorite vehicle.


Star Date: 2015.07.21

          The time is now 1023 hours. Hubby Steve, has fueled up, checked the fluids, and verified tire pressure. All set to go and only an hour and a half past the planned exodus. Right on time!  My priority?  Sunrise Café’s lattes and banana nut bread. Hi! I’m Flo. We’re the Radkes. Yes, the rad keys to new adventures.

We picked up our drugs, left Brunswick, Georgia and headed west…er…ly…ish.
The direction on which we decided to travel was definitely not carved in steel. It was more like a drawing in the sand that could be altered on a whim.  Of course the top was down! Sunshine, wispy clouds and beautiful blue skies smiled upon us.  

We interrupt your program for a special announcement…

You may be stuck on the thought of us picking up drugs on our way out of town.  Allow me to explain.  Although we may act like it, we are not spring chickens and typical conditions of aging make us acutely aware of the folly of not bringing enough of our prescription drugs and nutritional supplements.  Since we were going to be cramped up in a car for many hours a day we knew the risk of resultant stiff joints and sore muscles.  Prevention and preparedness is the best plan.

Back to our first day’s observations…

The geography and topography of Georgia is varied and incredibly beautiful. Hills and rivers. Mighty oaks and lanky pines. Wild flowers of every color and fragrance. Flora and fauna abound in the temperate climate. I have lived in Georgia a good portion of my life and now realize that I have taken for granted its beauty and diversity.  I am so happy we took the backroads for the first leg of our journey. 

Highway 82 from Brunswick to Alabama

          We’ve traveled this road a few times but never very far and had never taken it all the way to Alabama.  We will most certainly do it again. Some people avoid going through small towns because it takes a little longer. That may be true but the history and traditions of our country are so often missed as a result. Immersion therapy was just what I needed to return my spirit to the land of my ancestors.

“Now just hold on a minute! Don’t I get a say in this?

 After all, I AM the Warrior Princess!

I thought we were just going on a day trip. Now you are talking about going all the way back to Nevada?

Weren’t we just there…what?…13 years ago.

I haven’t worked out in a while.

You can’t just hit the road and expect me to be the best that I can be.

I need to stretch and pump some good fuel through these lines. Blow out my carb. Flex my tires and such.

I thought all that time at Larry’s Spa was a reward for

all my loyal service!

And now I’m hungry and thirsty. They better stop soon.”

First stop: Albany, GA

We’d been on the road just over three hours and both our tummies were beginning to fuss, not to mention our screaming bladders! And my princess was getting a bit low on petrol.  We stopped at a gas station just outside Albany and scanned the area for a burger joint. Just a little something to hold us a while. We had another four hours to our destination and had no idea what the traffic would be like during rush hour in Birmingham. There we would have a scrumptious meal with my son and his bride. (They knew all the best eateries!)

“Goodness, it is hot out here.

That little bit of shade they parked me under has moved to the next space. I hope they stuff their faces in a hurry.

Oh, and I just know they are gonna bring back their drinks.

She better not spill it on my gear shift again.

I never recovered from that last one.

And I am still thirsty!”

Bellies full, legs stretched, full tank of gas, tire pressure good, and all fluid levels at par, we climbed a little rise back up to the road.  We had chosen a northwest route out of Albany and headed in the direction of Columbus, Georgia and the Chattahoochee River. 

“Ah… I love the cool updraft I get from the rivers.

So glad they are taking their time.

I need to warm up these gears before I do any heavy duty traveling.

Come on people! I hear a river calling!”

About 45 minutes west of Albany and half way to Columbus, Highway 82 went west and we went northwest on Highway 520. Another country road. One we had never traveled.

We passed what looked like an old general store open for business and a manicured pecan grove right next to it.  Well of course we had to hang a U-ie and check it out. We found a wide spot in the road to perform said U-ie right by an old-fashioned firehouse with a vintage firetruck parked in front. Maybe they’re open? No luck there. That museum was closed today.  Looks like a future day trip! Just 4 hours from home.

When we parked, I asked Steve, “Honey, have you heard something strange coming from the vent? It’s just a sound I can’t quite identify.”

“No. Well, maybe a little hum or something. Could be a bearing in the AC fan motor.”

“It sounded more like a little whine to me. Just off and on. I know the old girl is in good shape. Probably road noise or something.”

“Can’t say that I have. She drives like a dream. I’ll keep an ear out for whining, though.”

“Whine? Whine my tailpipe! I’ll give her a whine.

At least they could have parked me in the shade!

There is a whole grove of trees right over there.

Don’t see why they have to park so close to the door.

While I don’t relish the thought of bird splatter on my face, a bit of shade for my paint job would be appreciated.

Is that too much to ask? And who are they calling old?

They could use a little bit of a walk, too.

My seat cushions are getting a bit flat.”


Thanks for reading. Road Test is a protected work in progress. Enjoy the read. Share the upcoming release around November 2020. Just in time for Holiday shopping.

— Flo Radke

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