Marquette to Flint, Michigan

Our transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment cost so far

July 19 ~ Day #70
Budget to date
Spent today
Total to date
Daily average
Miles by Road
Nautical Miles
Miles by Air
Miles by Train
Total Statute Miles
3856 [4437]

Current Location: Flint, Michigan

Today’s Total Expenses: $140.76

Transportation: 53.50 ($50.00 gas + $3.50 Mackinac Bridge)
Accommodation: $39.95
Food: $47.31

Car Trouble

After loading up the car and checking out of the hotel in Marquette, Michigan, we discovered that our car would not start.

Geoff popped the hood and noticed that one of the wires attached to the distributor cap was corroded right through.

Auto Club to the Rescue

We called the Auto Club to send someone out to get us back on the road. Although it took a lot longer than they had said for someone to arrive, the person they sent out, from Goodwin’s Auto Repair in Skandia, Michigan, was both knowledgeable and helpful.

He managed to get our car running on 5 cylinders and we followed him to a local garage. Unfortunately, the local garage didn’t have time to fix our car.

The guy that was helping us was really surprised as he said it would be a fairly quick job, but he didn’t abandon us. He said we could either drive to his shop in Skandia (about 10-15 miles away) or follow him to an auto parts store and he could repair the car himself right in their parking lot.

We opted for the latter and followed him to the auto parts store. Good to his word, he got the parts required and repaired our car right there in the parking lot. Amazing!

Although the service call didn’t cost us anything because of our Auto Club membership, the repair was a totally unexpected expense of $153.28. That was to replace the distributor cap and all the wires.

Late Start – Great Lunch

Because of the car trouble we couldn’t get away at a reasonable hour, so we opted to return to Wahlstrom’s Restaurant for lunch.

Today’s special was a turkey dinner with all the trimmings. A bit much for lunch, but since we had skipped breakfast we went ahead and had a big lunch.

Leaving Marquette at 1:00pm – Or So We Thought

By 1:00pm we thought we were finally on our way again. No such luck.

We noticed that the “Check Engine” light was on and assumed that had something to do with the car trouble we just had.

Fortunately we had the name and address of the repair shop from the receipt for the repair. We had Madge (our Magellan GPS) take us there so they could have a look.

Sure enough the error code that triggered the “Check Engine” light was for a misfire caused by the broken wire.

The guy that fixed the car quickly reset the code for us.

It was now 2:00pm and we hadn’t put many miles on the car at all.

Mackinac Bridge

Even with the late start, we did manage to cross the Mackinac Bridge (where Lake Michigan meets Lake Huron) and put 409 miles behind us.

Because we had driven so far we opted for a hotel – The Home Town Inn in Flint, Michigan – for the night.

High Food Costs Today

We did WAY TOO MUCH eating out today and that was certainly reflected in our food costs for today.

Starting with the big lunch at $18.94 (not bad considering that also included the tip), stopping for pie in a tourist area cost us another $12.17 (and we didn’t need this at all), picking up some ice tea when we stopped for gas added another $2.00 and then we stopped for dinner as well and spent $14.20 (not a lot for dinner, but money that we didn’t need to spend). That meant a food expense of $47.31 for the day without the purchase of ANY groceries that could be used to offset costs on upcoming days.

Giving in to the ease of eating out can really add up. And, you know what, the food generally isn’t all that good anyway. We can usually make something better ourselves for way less money.

We’re going to have to watch these kinds of expenses along the trip. Especially when we get hit with unexpected expenses, like the car repair.

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