Louisville was much fun. Tommy and Katie were at the pinnacle of hostiness and they have two awesome cats. We went for a hike with Tommy on some mole hills called Scott’s Gap and encountered a boy scout troop the leader of which was smoking a cigarette during the group’s reprise. We also went out to some bars including The Back Door (a bar that provided a cross-section of some of America’s finest) and another dive where we saw a great band called The Young Republic play.
The next morning Tommy made us some farewell breakfast burritos and we found ourselves hurtling down the highway toward Asheville. It was a grand day, and we were unfazed to find that I-40 East was closed right outside of Asheville due to an enormous rock slide. We decided on a mountain pass detour that brought us down 25 through Marshall smack dab into Asheville. Our plan was flawless and our resolve has never been matched by any other travelers. Upon entering the lovely town of Hot Springs, the Subaru began her ascent up a particularly large mountain. We were within 30 miles, and anticipatory of our arrival. Billowing hood smoke was the last thing that we would have expected. But sure enough our radiator had suddenly began smoking like the caterpillar in Alice In Wonderland. We were suddenly at the mercy of the Gods of car repair.
While waiting for the flatbed driver Chris played some guitar, while I attempted to get my camp stove started. A kind man of Hot Springs pulled up in a truck as big as his heart, and was kind of curious about the two hobos that had shown up suddenly in his town.
Our flatbed driver was a man by the name of Wayne. He possessed one of the thickest accents in Appalachia, and over the course of our 45 minute ride, told a long-winded story the content of which was cloaked in his mysterious tongue. Chris sat directly next to him and understood enough to fuel Wayne’s gab with agreeing phrases.
And so we found ourselves in Asheville. We brought our Subaru to the Organic Mechanic the next day, only barely getting it there before the temperature gauge hit the dangerous red. The whole day we anxiously anticipated a quote on repair costs, and were discouraged to hear that it was a broken thermostat that they were going to have to fix the next morning. We waited patiently overnight, and showed up to collect our glorious ride. The mechanic confronted us with news for which we were unprepared. We had a blown head gasket.
For the first time in our trip, it seemed like the bottom had fallen out. Chris staggered back a step as the news hit him and my jaw dropped. Seeing the crazy look in our eyes, the mechanic stepped back a little. We had no choice but to go for the expensive repair.
The only other problem at hand was that we were due to be at Myrtle Beach in five hours. A rental place was decided on and we were set up with a Sebring. The rental place had free popcorn and soda, a hospitality which we took full advantage of. As he watched the fees pile up, Chris gave the woman behind the desk increasing amount of grief. After a painful swipe of the credit card, we were on our way to Myrtle Beach, and that’s where we are now missing our Subaru which should be fixed by Friday.