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Vermont to Vegas: Meter feeding and bourbon flights

Posted by Clifford Atiyeh  August 21, 2013 09:43 AM

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The Fourth Street Live block in Louisville, Ky.

Tuesday's 616-mile leg has us leaving Baltimore through western Maryland, cutting down to Charleston, and stopping overnight in Louisville, Ky.

8:30 a.m. This is when we were supposed to leave my apartment. But I can't wake up for anything on time.

10:36 a.m. This is when we actually roll out, and Bates-- extremely patient as he is -- doesn't show how much he wants to hit me. But everything's packed, and after a fill-up and a 20-ounce Red Bull, Bates starts the drive off right. We've got Utz sour cream potato chips, beef jerky and Reese's peanut butter cups.

Noon Western Maryland is beautiful, and it's amazing how thin the state's borders are when I check the map.

1 p.m. We're in West Virginia. A woman at the rest stop tries to pass out Jesus flyers. Declined.

Charleston-Pizza-edit.jpg

3:30 p.m.
We land in Charleston, and despite stuffing our faces with junk food, it's necessary to stop at Pies and Pints, a craft beer and pizza bar. The parking outside is limited to a half-hour, and when we go back to feed the meter, someone has already dropped a quarter. Southern Hospitality starts right now, apparently.

4:45 p.m. I start driving the remaining 247 miles to Louisville. The roads are tailor-made for 85-mph cruising, although the Cruze doesn't have cruise control. Just how is that possible?

8:15 p.m. We arrive in Louisville, after a few hours of passing cow trailers and not much else.

Bourbon-Flight-259.jpg9 p.m. We hit up Fourth Street Live, a covered outdoor strip of clubs, restaurants and the Maker's Mark Bourbon House and Lounge, which, as expected, sports an entire bar full of bourbon. I try a bourbon flight -- that's three little shots of bourbon, with a side glass of ice -- and proceed to sip slow.

11 p.m. We're in bed. After delicious single-barrel bourbon and fried chicken, that was also expected.

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Clifford Atiyeh is an automotive writer and car enthusiast . He has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own.
In the garage: 1995 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (by association)
Bill Griffith is a veteran Boston Globe reporter, having reviewed cars for more than 10 years and serving as assistant sports editor for 25 years. He was also the paper's sports media columnist.
In the garage: 2006 Subaru Baja
AAA's Car Doctor, John Paul John Paul is public affairs manager for AAA Southern New England, a certified mechanic, and a Globe columnist. He hosts a weekly radio show on WROL.
In the garage: Hyundai Sante Fe, Chrysler PT Cruiser convertible
Craig Fitzgerald has been writing about cars, motorcycles, and the automotive industry since 1999. He is the former editor of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car.
In the garage: 1968 Buick Riviera, 1996 Buick Roadmaster, 1974 Honda CB450
Keith Griffin is president of the New England Motor Press Association and edits the used car section on About.com. He also writes for the Hartford Business Journal and various weekly newspapers in Connecticut.
In the garage: Mazda 5, Dodge Neon
George Kennedy is a senior writer for WheelsTV in Acton, which produces video reviews for Yahoo, MSN, and other auto websites.
In the garage: Lifted 1999 Jeep Cherokee
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