93 days to go...
...I believe I've sufficiently recovered from my drive from Phoenix, Arizona to Apex, North Carolina to report that I drove the 2,236 miles in 38.5 hours. Why did I do it so fast? I don't know, but I told my wife I would stop once I got tired. That didn't happen, however, until Charlotte, North Carolina. That's when I found out that the car had a teleportation device button. Next thing I know, I'm home in the driveway. Now I'm mad at my niece for not telling me about this device. Now, my left wrist hurts. I'm not sure if it is from the drive or a lingering affect of being teleported those last few miles.
* EATS: What a shock! Only three diet cokes and two candy bars consumed for the entire trip. That's an amazingly low amount of caffeine.
* TOLLS: There were no tolls along the roads I took, though I did see a troll under the Mississippi Bridge at Vicksburg.
* FASTEST SPEED: 82 mph while getting out of the way of a car approaching from behind traveling over 100 mph. Her curly blonde locks were corralled twenty miles down the road by the state police. Hope she shows up on C*O*P*S.
* WORST CITY: El Paso...Nasty accident and zero options to squeeze by because the town hugs the mountains/desert and the Mexican border. Runner-up, Shreveport, LA. One butt ugly town, twisty roads with quick speed changes; however, it is a small city and the pain is over quickly.
* ODDEST SIGHT: From a distance, the lights of Florence, Texas seem to flicker on and off. Once you got right up to one of the lights, you realize it is hundreds of wind turbines with their nightlights flickering off and on in an enormous display of pale yellow-reddish Christmas lights.
* ANIMALS SEEN ALIVE: Ostrich (hundreds of them), two jack rabbits trying to pace me, a huge alligator turtle trying to cross the Interstate, an armadillo sniffing for clues at the scene of a crime (dead rabbit), a hawk eating a rat on top of a cactus, llamas, alpacas,
* ANIMALS SEEN DEAD: The usual suspects (squirrels, rabbits, turtles, domestic animals) and an alligator.
* Texas never ends.
* The Mississippi was really high, but everything else looked parched and all rivers looked low.
* BIGGEST SURPRISE: How lush and productive the Rio Grande Valley is from Las Cruces, NM, until I left the river valley 100 miles later. Lots of produce, trees, and cows where nothing would be without the river.
* WORST DRIVERS: Atlanta...Yeah, I know that there are a lot of damn Yankees there, but the indigenous population has accepted the awful driving skills. Atlanta drivers are as fast and dude as anything I've seen around Chicago or Boston.
* PHOENIX-to-HILTON HEAD FUTURE TRIP FOR THE LEONARD'S (niece and hubby and kids): Go the southern route. The roads are better; the traffic less. Maybe you'll get a tail wind like I did to smooth out the ride. The northern route (I-40) is almost guaranteed a crosswind. Gas is generally cheap by 5-20 cents a gallon in Texas compared to the northern road. Passage through the major cities is fewer and generally better. As always, go through them during off-peak hours.
* BEST SCENERY: Toss up between AZ/NM border area and where I-10 heads away from the Rio Grande in Texas. Panoramic majesty for both. And I saw my first real mirage. I could swear the lake was there, but there were dust devils coming off the surface of the "water". A true indication that it wasn't water I was looking at.
* BIGGEST BUMMER: No alien encounters or hot, gorgeous hitchhikers. (The two ZZ-top look alikes under a bridge in Mississippi don't count.)
* BIGGEST REALIZATION: You CAN jog in the driver's seat to prevent blood clots in your legs if you're inventive enough, but expect other drivers to give you weird looks and drive far away from you.
...Hey, let's do this again sometime soon.
According to Webster's, soon is an adverb meaning "...really, not in this lifetime." ;-o
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
93 days to go...