Mostly on the road – Day 14

It’s been a long day and I’ve covered a lot of miles.  But I also met someone I have only previously ‘met’ on social media.  Hope to see her again soon – at the Bird Fair, I hope.

Let me take you back nearly, but not quite, two weeks to when I picked up this car.  The man at the hire car desk was very keen to get me to upgrade to a better car.  I was quite happy with what I had ordered (and I thought I knew what was happening).  In the end he upgraded me for free – and when I went out into the place where the cars were it was clear why (and I had thought that I knew what was happening) – he didn’t have any smaller cars so he had been trying to get me to pay extra for what he had to give me anyway.

He also suggested I hire satnav – and I wanted satnav because my experience on my last trip was of missing lots of turnings and taking wrong turns and sitting staring at a map – it’s difficult when you are on your own in the car.  But at $10 a day (I think it was) it’s cheaper to go into Walmart or Sears and buy one (or two or three or, just, four) than hire at that rate. So on my first night in the USA, after going to bed at 11pm, I woke at 2am and was in Walmart at 0230 – but although they were open they had no phone and no satnav I could buy. Huh!

So thumbs up to Sears somewhere in Arkansas the next day who sold me both very easily.  The satnav has been invaluable already – saved me worry and time (and therefore gas and money).

I think my car is a Hyundai – I don’t really pay that much attention!  I’m getting 37mpg out of it but those are US gallons which means, I think, that I am really getting about 45mpg out of an automatic car. Not bad but wish it were better.

Gas prices vary from place to place but also dependent on the State – as there are State gas taxes.  I think the cheapest has been $3.25 and the most expensive was definitely $3.99 per gallon.

And, although I can’t think that many people will be interested in this, I have added Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, both Dakotas, Maryland, Maine, Massachussetts, New Hampshire, Oregon and Vermont to my list of state license plates – bringing the total to 39 out of 50 (or out of the lower 48 as the contiguous states are known).  I can see Rhode Island and South Carolina being blockers in this silly little game!

I’ve thought a lot about how great the folk at Cornell are during the day.  Not only were they very kind to me but they are great birders and great professionals in their work.

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5 Replies to “Mostly on the road – Day 14”

  1. A new film and book - http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/from-billions-to-none-the-passenger-pigeon-s-flight-to-extinction#

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  2. I wouldn't be me without leaving some sort of nonsense on here, but as a trucker before satnavs what we used to with maps is using a highlighter mark the roads we needed to use then place the map on the dasboard upside down and use the reflection of the windscreen to view the map negating any stopping to look at maps, old school 🙂

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  3. 45mpg sounds very good indeed, probably the best you could get for a medium sized petrol automatic car. Is that partly down to the lower US speed limits (still 55mph)?
    A simple step for nature our govt. could take would be to lower our national speed limit, or even effectively enforce the existing one to reduce emissions - rather than the loony proposal to increase it to 80mph on some motorways. Add a speed limiter to all new cars and give any motorist a free MOT and tax for year who has one retro fitted. Costs of the latter to be recouped by reduced accidents, and eventually reduced enforcement costs (most cars can't actually exceed the national limit). Benefits for nature (reduced CO2), motorists (reduced demand for fuel = reduced cost) and gamekeepers (fewer pheasants run over).
    Expect this to be in all three main party manifestos at the next election (sorry two of the three main parties and the Lib Dems, yikes!)

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    1. MK - speed limits vary. They are usually around 65. I'm trying hard to be fuel-efficient. Having good info on fuel use through the dashboard really helps.

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      1. This comment a bit late in the day but if your unrequested upgrade is going to cost more in fuel to haul around the place, then you deserve a discount. Now that would be a discussion I'd like to be in the queue behind to hear.

        When asked if I wanted to upgrade, I just looked vacant (comes naturally!) and asked why I would now want a car that I didn't want when I booked it?

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