The Ride Home
Just over two weeks ago, I fired up the Nathan-mobile to head home for Christmas break, triumphant to have conquered my Circuits and Thermodynamics finals and ready to enjoy some much-needed relaxation time. After forgetting a bag at my dorm, I was forced to turn around about 45 minutes out of Nashville to pick it up. This delay would prove to be rather unfortunate with regards to my trip – history’s longest Nashville-Oak Ridge commute.
At approximately 2:00 pm CDT, my Volvo’s engine basically exploded. A loud bang and an eruption of smoke from under the hood interrupted my peaceful driving ruminations, forcing me to veer across to the shoulder of I-40. After checking under the hood (turns out it was smoking!), I sat in the driver’s seat of my car talking to USAA, who offered to tow my car……..three hours later. Thanks! Instead, Highway Patrol showed up to escort me off the exit ramp at Lebanon. Surprisingly, my car managed to start and move to a hotel parking lot (with much clunking and smoking) without setting anything on fire.
I spent the remainder of the day lounging in the lobby of the Comfort Inn, reading the entirety of a book from my backpack until late that night, when my father and grandfather showed up with a tow trailer.
An auspicious beginning to break? Oh yes.
(For anyone curious, a bearing came loose, allowing a rod to slip and eventually blow a hole in the side of my engine block. It was seriously the size of a grapefruit.)