Philadelphia to Pikeville: There and back again a 164's tale...
This is the saga of my 164's first trip to your fair state for your enjoyment....
Philadelphia to Pikeville a 164S's tale:
With the trunk loaded to the gills, and every major system checked, re-checked, and double checked... I set out from Philadelphia Monday 4/21/08 for the fair town of Pikeville KY. In August I will be moving to Pikeville for Medical School and I planned several trips throughout the summer to slowly establish my new base of operations. The 164 will be my car of choice as it is a nice "Practical" Alfa Romeo, so I decided this was a nice way to test how the car would handle on such an extended drive.
Under cloudy skies, the 164 roared down the PA turn pike only to be halted by two and a half hours of bumper to bumper traffic due to construction. Near Harrisburg; my leg throbbing from all the 1st to neutral shifting, traffic finally cleared and I gave the beast a nice "Italian" tune up.
Approaching Cumberland MD, the cloudy skies gave way to torrential down pours and fog that was so thick it reduced visibility to near zero. The skies finally cleared crossing into West Virginia that welcomed visitors with the slogan "Open for business". WV is truly a beautiful state, the highways were lined with the most peculiar purple trees, and grass that was green and lush.
Approaching Morgantown WV, I decided to make my first pit stop having traversed 370 miles on a single tank of gas. I stopped into a Sheets for fuel, an Arby's for food followed by a quick return to the highway. By this point in the day, I felt as though I were racing the sun. I knew the roads through the mountains can be treacherous at night and given my unfamiliarity with the terrain I did not want to press my luck.
Daylight finally faded as I passed through Logan WV. Topping off the tank which needed very little fuel and with the daylight gone, travel through the mountains became increasingly tedious along poorly lit sections of highway. Ten hours and 640 miles traversed, I began to see signs for Pikeville. However as I approached Meta KY I could see in the distance the ominous flicker of emergency vehicles. One mile outside of town, a truck had crashed along route 119 having spilled its passenger and contents along the edge of a narrow turn.
Tired and nervous, I followed detours through hollers of the Appalachian mountains only to determine I was merely circling the town and truly going no where as I came once again to the road block I had previously passed. After an hour of driving around back dusty roads, I finally made my way into Pikeville. Finding my lodging, I pulled into a nice shaded spot and put the 164 to rest.
Fortune did smile upon me in Pikeville, I quickly found a nice apartment near the school with private off street parking for the 164. I finished paperwork at the college, and had time to do a little sight seeing for the basic necessities of life in a small mountain town.
The drive home was especially nice. I stopped at a Shoney's for a buffet breakfast and loaded as much into me and the car as possible. With the cruise control set at 85 mph, I let the car go and cruise through the mountains of KY and WV at liberty. The scenery was breathtaking, and the 164 was purring like a champ even with the A/C blowing at full tilt. Nine and a half hours later, the 164 pulled into a familiar drive way with every flying insect imaginable splattered along its front grille. I gave it a little pat, put it to bed, and slowly wheeled my suitcase into the house.
I was throughly surprised at how comfortable, nimble, and fuel efficient the 164 was along this drive. I truly was pleased with the outcome and have become more confident taking longer trips in the car as my plans bring me closer to life in Pikeville.
I hope you enjoyed my tale, and I look forward to alfa events in the Lexington /Ashland area..
Last edited by AlfaRomeo1750; 04-25-2008 at 11:38 PM.