The Atlanta Saga – Rear View Mirror

I’ve been back home for a week now, and have had time to reflect on my experience.

First, I have to thank Jayne and Dan. I would not have seriously considered this trip without their kind offer to put me up (and put up with me) while I was in Atlanta. They are two of the finest people I have the privilege to know. Their hospitality was much appreciated and their moral support kept me on an even keel while all my plans crumbled around me.

Thanks also to all the random people who helped me and who tried to help me. I’ve known for quite a while that one of the important aspects of my track days is the sense of community. We all get together to share a common passion, and we come to each other’s aid when possible. Although nobody was able to direct me to someone who could fix my car and salvage the rest of the trip, it wasn’t for lack of effort. I don’t necessarily expect this level of support from random strangers, but I sure got it from Reuben when I was stranded out of sight on the side of a Tennessee highway.

Last but not least, thanks to Ryan who went out of his way to squeeze me into his already heavy work schedule. He was confident that it would be a relatively easy fix and went the extra mile to see that I was back on the road (and the track) quickly. He was correct: it was an easy fix; a wire was chafed, causing a short.

I think the Toyota dealer in Atlanta would have been able to find and fix the issue if I had been able to provide them with a wiring diagram. Generals are always getting prepared for the last war. In that vein, I’m going to get a thumb drive I can add to my keychain and put the service manual, wiring diagram, and parts manual on it.

Ryan got me running again, and now Michael and I need to do some maintenance to make sure I can stop: it’s time for brake pads all the way around and disks in the rear, as well as replacing a failing brake caliper on the right rear. And I’ll take it to a windshield repair shop to see if they can fix my nasty rock chip. She won’t be “as good as new” – she’ll join the 100,000-mile club in a few weeks – but she’ll be ready for the next adventure.

Finally, some stats. The trip totaled 3,254 total miles, only 71 of which were on the track.