Out of My Way!

Up Next


Hello Everyone,

Well, I made it! From Los Angeles, CA to Falls Church, VA in 57 hours... Yikes!! As usual I got a late start, about 3:30 Thursday morning, and with only a few hours of sleep. So much for plans. I drove all day and most of the night the first day; 'til about 4 AM (Central), pretty much stopping only for gas & soda (you know me), and, well, to pee of course. I did have to take a quick lunch break/nap for about an hour or so at a rest stop near Flagstaff, AZ - I was definitely starting to fade big time, but after that didn't take any significant breaks until about an hour east of Albuquerque, NM where I stopped briefly for dinner at good old McDonalds. Yummm! From there I made it almost to Oklahoma City, but had to pull into a "Picnic Stop" cause I just couldn't go any more, any farther. At that point (22 hours later) I think I was on the verge of mental collapse. I'd be thinking of something, trying to concentrate on the road, staying awake/focused, etc. and then then my thoughts would veer to the most remotely, tangentially-connected memory or thought and I'd then be thinking "Where the hell did that come from?" and "That doesn't make any sense at all!" It was as if all the memory connections were all of equal validity and the filter was gone, but my mind was scrambling, trying to keep from shutting down by processing anything it could "grab". Very weird! When I saw the Picnic Stop sign I knew I was done and pulled in - 1400+ miles later.

And speaking of "Picnic Stops". In Texas and Oklahoma, they pretty much don't have Rest Stops. Instead they have Picnic Stops, with no bathrooms, but to be honest I don't know why the hell you'd want to picnic there as there they were pretty much treeless and non-scenic and no bathrooms... don't those people have to pee?! Now don't get me wrong. I'm not "messing with Texas" you understand. I'm just reporting an observation.

Anyway, at the Picnic Stop, I crashed for about 3 hours, cleaned up and hit the road, drove all day and into the night again and made it as far as Claytor Lake State Park in southwestern Va, about 300 miles from my final destination - a 1000 mile day (slacker). I had to pull over for another quick nap/dinner break just past Memphis, TN and got into the campground at Claytor Lake about 5:00 AM (Eastern). I was hoping to get a little farther, but late that night the curves started scaring me - 60 mph seemed too fast... on the interstate! And then the disconnected connections started happening again so I gave in to better sense (what little I had) and stopped for the night; before someone got injured. I caught a few hours of sleep, woke up, made use of the campground's shower facilities - that felt good - and then headed out. I made a quick side trip to my old alma mater, Virginia Tech, in Blacksburg, Va. (which is why I pushed so hard on Friday). That was interesting. While there were a lot of changes, new buildings and such, it still looked basically the same. Unfortunately, I picked the weekend to do this that the freshmen were arriving on campus so it was pretty crowded and parking was a bitch. So I just went to the bookstore, bought a few things, then took a quick stroll downtown and through the dorm area I used to live in, then headed out for a short and easy drive to my parent's house, arriving about 4:30 PM (Eastern). A rather quick trek across the good ole USA!

The weather was pretty cooperative all along the way. I barely used the A/C as the humidity and temperatures were all pretty temperate. I did run into some thunderstorms in Arizona. At one point there was lightening to the left of me, lightening to the right of me, and lightening to the front of me. But clear above me. What in thunder was going one? ;) It was pretty cool actually to see the lightning displays as they were all in the distance. Did you know that northern Arizona has the most lightning in the US (maybe the world, I forget actually)? This was according to a Rest Stop information sign anyway. Except for some brief showers there though it was great weather the whole way. Darn! No tornadoes to run from across "Tornado Alley". I guess you can't have everything.

Now, it's to the beach for a couple of days, then up to NY for a couple of days, then on Saturday morning I'll be heading for Glacier NP on the Montana-Canadian border. I'm not sure of the route yet, or how long I'll take to get there. After all... I'm on vacation! Hope everyone is well. More later if I get a chance to get "connected" 

Take care,