Missing the St Patrick’s Day parade had been the plan. And that was about all that went to plan.
J, G, and I drove down to Syracuse, NY on Saturday with one thing in mind: shopping. In particular, shoe shopping. We wanted to hit up DSW specifically and if we happened across a few other places all the better.
We had a later start then planed, but that was to be expected, this is us we’re talking about – and anyone who knows me knows that “late” is the norm for me. I had gotten my parents to come over to let Gadget out so getting back later then expected wasn’t going to be an issue either.
On the drive down we drove past the Power Rangers out on bikes. All they were missing was the pink ranger.
We got to Syracuse, decided that IHOP was not going to be in the cards this trip and hit up the first set of stores that we had planned on. So far so good, we only got lost once and it was only a minor detour. And we already knew how to get back to the Carousel Center from where we were since it was right off the highway.
To quote the Beatles “And so it’s true, pride comes before a fall.”
We missed the exit for the Carousel Center by miles. Several of them.
I can’t figure out how to insert a map so click here to see what I mean!
The random exit that I picked to make a U turn on (once we realized that we really were quite far from where we wanted to be) happened to be the one that had the IHOP on it. There are times when Fate is telling you something, this was one of them.
It took us 3 tries to get into the parking lot, the street infront of that place is confusing and lacking in turning lanes. As we pull into the restaurant the Benny Hill started to play.
This has become the theme to our road trips for a reason.
We ate, we had a laugh, we asked the server (Jake) how to get back to the Carousel Center. His reaction when we said we were a little off course was priceless. Yeah, we were a good twenty minutes past where we should have gotten off the highway. Oops.
We got shoes, got out of town and headed home figuring that the excitement was over for the day.
We hit Highway 416 at about 10 pm. It was dark and we were hopped up on sugar and caffeine (well, I was anyway). The 416 is one of those lonely stretches of highway where there is nothing for miles and miles. The 401 and Bellville/Cornwall are at one end and about an hour north is Ottawa. The entire reason for this highway is a corridor linking the 417 to the 401. There are exits for a bunch of smaller towns along the highway, but it’s one of those places that you get gas before you get on it, especially if you’re driving it at night.
About 15 minutes into the hour long ride up the 416 to home we started to smell burning rubber. I’m still driving on my winter tires and it’s been hot all day. Five minutes later the smell hasn’t gone away. I hate pulling over on a highway, especially at night, but I’d rather pull over then have a blow out at speed.
Five minutes of checking the car over, tires are cold, engine is fine, smell is gone. Okay, it was probably just the junker that passed me earlier and that I had seen up by the transport a head of me when I pulled over.
Five minutes later we caught up to the transport that I had been gaining on for a while. It was pulled over with massive amounts of smoke billowing out from under it. Best guess is that one of the tires on the drivers side of the transport had blown.
From the rate of speed, and how I had been gaining on it, if we hadn’t pulled over when we did we would have either been right behind it when that tire went or would have been passing it – on the drivers side of the transport.