Roving I Recap: Midwest Road Trip in a Lotus, Part 2

The Lotus
The day after the long drive home.
Buckle up for Part 2 of my husband Scott's cross-country adventure in a tiny car. 
"I quickly settle in to the car and I already love it. The motor is singing behind me and there's nothing but the open road before me. Every mechanical sound most car manufacturers try to conceal and muffle is amplified in full stereo spectrum in the Elise. The hum of the motor carries me across the beautiful landscape of Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, a light rain followed me through most of the state and made the view of the mountain range difficult. It was mid afternoon but due to the weather, it seemed much later. In the rain and fog, I cut through and went up and over each silhouette of a mountain. They were majestic, but I would have enjoyed seeing them in the sunlight. I quickly discovered that a car weighing less than a ton and clad with high-performance summer tires do not mix well with rain. It is a little unsettling going twenty miles an hour below the speed limit and still losing traction. After many hours of white knuckle driving down highway 70, I was approaching Pittsburgh and due for my first gas stop.  
Before I left Art’s home earlier, he shared with me that when you stop to get gas, you will be asked about the car and he was right. People would flock to the car asking all kinds of questions. What is it? Who makes it? What type of motor does it have? How much does it cost? 
I saw two guys having a debate a few pumps over and they finally yelled over to me. “Hey, is that a Ferrari?” “Nope, a Lotus,” I replied back. The guy laughed and screamed out a “told you so” to his passenger like he had just won a $100 bet. They both said “nice car” and drove off. I hoped back into the car and continued on.
With Pennsylvania and the rain behind me, I was able to get a true feel for the car and finally enjoy the scenery. Well, that was my plan but in all honesty, Ohio was a blur. There are only two things I remember about driving through Ohio. One, the sun went down as I drove through the state and the other being that I was photographed by a car full of girls. I would like to believe, like most guys, that they were taking a photo of me, but I know this was not the case. I think they did everything to keep up with me in their beat up Cavalier as they took photos. After a few shots, a wave and a thumbs up, they dropped back and took the next exit. I laughed, turned up the radio and drove into the sunset.
Before I knew it, I was approaching the Indiana state boarder and I had covered a large portion of the trip. I perked up a little bit and decided to stop to get gas and a quick bite to eat. If I have to get fast food on the road, there are two places I like to eat: Arby’s and Subway. I know, pretty strange. There wasn’t an Arby’s in sight so Subway would have to do. It was in the back of a run down Mobile gas station operated by an attendant who had more fingers than teeth. Subway had been closed for five minutes, so I grabbed a gas station sandwich. It was horrible, but I survived eating it without needing a tetanus shot. As I walked back to my car, the Subway worker ran out and complimented me on the car. He asked a few questions about the Lotus but quickly shifted the conversation to his own ride. He stated he had owned a twin turbo 2010 Chevy Camaro, but recently ran it into a pole. He told stories of running three second 0-60 passes and how the cold air intake he put on the car added over 100 horsepower. I have never heard so many ludicrous things come from one mouth. His stories were harmless so I played along, but in all honesty I wouldn’t trust the guy to sit on a toilet correctly. He was in mid sentence and all of sudden decided he had to go. He jumped into a beat up Pontiac Sunfire and one-tire-fired it out of the parking lot and he was gone, out of sight. Can this trip get any more interesting? Yep. 
I want to go on official record saying that Indiana has the worst roads I have ever seen. The potholes were the size of manhole covers and they were dead square in the middle of the highway. I drove the whole state of Indiana like a slalom course. One hundred and fifty miles of swerving back and forth would drive anyone nuts and I couldn’t wait to enter Illinois.
It was 11:00 p.m. and I was now somewhere in eastern Illinois. I wouldn’t know that my third and final stop for gas would be the most entertaining. I filled the tank and needed a quick restroom break. As I entered the restroom, there was a group of four guys arguing with one another. At first, I thought I had walked right into the middle of a fight, but I soon found out that they were having one of the craziest arguments I have ever heard.
“You know damn well I can swim across the Mississippi!”   
“Not after it's rained!” 
“It doesn’t matter! I can swim across it anytime. When it’s low, I’ll walk right across it!”  
The argument went back and forth. I was going to ask how far we were from St. Louis, but I felt it would be best to back away, hop in the car and never look back. I was twelve and a half hours into the trip and the last hour was the longest. The last 80 miles might as well of been 800 miles. Each mile seemed to last longer than the one before. It was 40 degrees outside and I had the windows rolled down, music cranked and slapping myself in the face just to stay up. 
Finally, Highway 70 turned into Highway 255 and I was nearly home. By now, it was two in the morning and there wasn’t a car in sight and I got a second and final wind. The last thirty miles were bliss and I knew I had made the right choice purchasing the Elise. It was a great experience driving the car halfway across the country (maybe not Indiana). It was also great meeting Art and sharing our passion about cars with one another. I hope this new friendship lasts and we have the opportunity to share many other car stories in the future. I hope my number 25 sticks around for some time, but I’m not promising anything. So until number 26…
Special thanks to my dear husband for his trip recap. Number 25 better stick around for a while. But, I could be due for a different car one day soon. Or just a couple of vacations. 

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