I was so close. Just two more cities to go and I finally got a flat tire. To be honest I am shocked it did not happen sooner. My day was not all bad however, as it began with a great tour of Citizens Bank Park.
Before I made the trek up to the Great White North, I stopped by Citizens Bank Park one last time to take a tour of the stadium. Upon my arrival, I noticed a statue that I had missed on my game day. This sculpture featured a man sliding into the bag which stood outside of old Veterans Stadium since 1976. The tour itself was pretty standard, although we were able to check out the Phillies media room which was a nice change of pace from the other tours I have gone on. The tour ended with a trip into the Diamond Club where there is a great view of the batting cages. If you are lucky enough to have wealthy friends that can invite you to the Diamond Club for a game, I imagine it would be quite the experience. Outside of the Diamond Clubs is a painting that includes legendary members of the Phillies throughout time. There is one player who is not allowed to be mentioned inside the walls of an MLB ballpark, yet just as the Reds did in Cincinnati, the Phillies found a creative way to honor baseball's hit king. In the painting, there is a single red rose on the table to represent Pete Rose. I applaud the creativity Phillies, although I am saddened that this is the only way to keep Rose's on the field legacy alive.
What I listened to in the car:
By the Way, in Conversation with Jeff Garlin – Marc Maron
Comedy Bang Bang
The Todd Barry Podcast – Colin Quinn
WTF with Marc Maron – Mary Lynn Rajskub
After the tour I checked to make sure I had my passport and began the International leg of my tour. Two hours into my eight hour drive I heard a loud POP and smelled that unmistakeable odor of burning rubber. Luckily, there were few cars on the road and I immediately pulled over. There was an emergency area about 300 yards in front of me so with my caution lights on I carefully coasted to safety.
Frustrated, I sat in the car for a moment before calling AAA. Do not judge me. I am not ashamed that I can not change a flat tire. I have a bad back and before this trip I had not even driven a car in six years. I can feel you judging me. Thankfully, I did not have a game scheduled for a couple of days, so this was not nearly the catastrophe it could have been. The AAA guy came quickly within a half hour of my initial phone call. It was decision time now. Should I risk driving on my spare for the final 1,000 miles of my trip, or should I sacrifice a travel day and go get my tire replaced now. The fact that I had a scheduled off day the next day made my decision easier.
I searched for a place to buy a new tire and came across a Sam's Club about 45 miles from where I was. I have to give a huge thank you to Bill, the service manager at Orrin B Hayes in Kalamazoo for helping me out through this ordeal. I will admit that my knowledge of cars is lacking. Anything I may have known about cars was excised from my brain when I moved to New York as I thought that I would never drive again. Bill has helped my family in Michigan for years with anything car related and he came to my rescue once again. He instructed me on where to go and what to buy so as not to be taken advantage of. I feel you judging me again. All I will say is that if you are like me and know nothing about the world of the automobile; having a person in your life like Bill is invaluable.
The guy at Sam's Club was unable to help me so I found a Pep Boys across the street. Within an hour I had two new tires and I was back on the road. I drove as much as I could before it got too late and ended up in Buffalo for the night. I decided to stay in the States as long as possible so that my cell phone would still work. Tomorrow I will cross the border into Canada.
Miles Traveled: 416
Time in Car: 7 hours
Avg. Speed: 59.43 MPH
Gas Money: $67.24
Gas Price: 3.779
Gallons Filled: 17.793
Sleep Time: 6 Hours
Bottles of Water: 4
Bathroom Stops: 3
Traffic Jams: 1 hour 30 minutes stuck with flat tire
Food Eaten: Grapes, blueberries, raspberries, pasta from Whole Foods
Total Money spent today $248.76
Cumulative Miles through today 16,262
Cumulative Time in car through today 296 hours 50 minutes