Sunday, August 28, 2016

On the Road to Wichita – Day 4

Sometimes traveling is tough.

I am done work by 9:40 a.m. It’s time to get on the road and I’m out of the hotel by 10:40 and after getting gas at a Sunoco station, I’m on Interstate 71S and then I-270W a couple minutes later.

The traffic is heavy and getting through Columbus with the construction is nerve-wracking. I hate the driving already this morning. I want to go home! I can’t see anything and I can’t take time to look. I fight back tears. Oh, why did I say I’d do this? Could I possibly find another route home? I don’t want to do this anymore – Whaaaaaaa whaaaa.

I reach I-70W and after some initial construction and moving out of the city, the traffic thins and I feel better. The speed limit is 70 miles per hour. The land is flatter here with more open fields. It dawns on me that I feel claustrophobic driving through the cities. It feels like the walls and traffic are closing in on me and I can’t breathe.

I cross into Indiana at 12:20 p.m. The sky is overcast and it’s windy when I stop at a welcome center. Unfortunately it isn’t manned and no one to ask about time change or if I should stay on I-70 through Indianapolis or go around on I-465. When I come out of the building, they skies look ominous. I take a few photos before getting back on the road.

Bridges in Indiana have concrete sides like in Ohio. I can’t see the rivers, but at least here, in the flat areas, I can see fields, trees, farms and such. Nice! Soon the sky falls and it rains. It’s gray, kind of like fog, but not fog. Am I willing to drive through Indianapolis in the rain and poorer visibility? Yes, I can be brave. But when I see a Comfort Inn sign in Greenfield, I decide to stop for the night.

Sometimes the hotels are not up to standards.

I’m glad to stop, but this place is awful! Everything about it is beat-up and old. The young women at the desk are very nice, though. I get a room on third floor and when I open the door, “Ewwww, it stinks like dirty socks!” The odor is similar to the hotel hallways in Syracuse. I think it’s the carpet cleaner they use. I get out my perfume and squirt it a bit.

I decide to take a swim before settling in to work. There looks to be pine needles on the pool bottom along the sides look. Where would pine needles come from here? The grip bar only extends to two steps and I cautiously make my way down the last three into the water. This is a safety hazard. The water is warm, but as I swim out to the deeper end and begin to do my exercise, I look around.

Where’s the clock? How can I time myself? Then I begin noticing things: Scrapes along the wall, the floor around the pool was painted a crap-color brown and looks really yucky… everything about this room feels gross. That’s it, I can’t take it and I swim back to the shallow end. I hate to touch the hand rail (once I struggle up the couple of steps to reach it) and notice that it’s all rusty-looking and dirty on the underside. Ewww.

I can’t get dry off and get back to my room fast enough. But it doesn’t get better. I can’t get on the internet and the phone won’t work, so it’s back down to the first floor. The desk clerk goes to the second floor to restart the internet then brings a new phone after not being able to get the one working. She offers to give me another room, but admits they’re all the same. I have too much stuff to move and I need to get to work.

I get used to the smell of the room although I feel slightly ill, like that weight that settles in your head just before you realize you are getting a cold. I struggle to get the work done because the chair is so uncomfortable. The adjustment doesn’t work (clerk said they are supposed to be getting new chairs) and if I move just right, it creaks just like my old chair back home before that one broke.

I can’t wait to get out of this place!

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