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January 13, 2005

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[The odometer before the trip to Orlando: 103,599 miles.]
[Date created: 1/4/2005 4:25 PM]

January 4

4:26 PM: Start

4:35: Option 1 was to sit in traffic on I-279. Option 2 was to go through town and take US-19 to I-79 south of town. I chose option 2. I chose poorly.

5:02: And after all that, I-279 was open and moving anyway.

5:24: Just passed the Murtland exit. The car thought it was poker night.

5:42: OK, this rain needs to stop.

5:46: And now there's fog. Yippee.

5:57: Entered West Virginia. Speed limit's 70. Cool.

6:33: The first of many pee breaks. (Hey, I just wrote stuff down. You're the ones reading it.)

7:43: Good thing I'm closing in on Charleston -- I'm getting hungry.

7:51: Y'know, I liked it better when I was above the fog and rain.

8:02: Just came to a realization. Since I pretty much jumped in the car without doing any cleanup of any kind, I have stank breath.

8:34: Apparently McDonald's has passed Charleston by. I didn't see a single set of golden arches.

8:37: Just passed a guy in a budget truck hauling a car behind him. I feel bad for the guy -- I at least had good weather.

8:50: Grabbed some food in Marmot, WV. Next stop should be Wytheville, VA for gas, late nigth snacks and coffee.

10:23: Looks like I'm about the only passenger car left on the road. Just me and the big rigs.

10:27: Enter Virginia. WV is way too large for its own good.

10:35: "C'mon, little car, you can make it."

10:40: Just passed a place called Bland. That about sums it up.

10:53: Hey, the 76 station we used to stop at on the way to vacation looks like it isn't here any more. And I passed Wytheville completely while looking for it on signs.

10:58: Gassed up (finally).

11:51: Enter North Carolina.

January 5

12:04 AM: Tried to take a sip of my coffee while passing a pasture or someplace being fertilized. Reminded me of that scene from Austin Powers 2.

12:20: Just passed an exit for Wilkesboro. I think my stepbrother and stepsister live around here somewhere. Or at least, the used to. I think they've both moved by now.

1:04: Just passed the beginning of Charlotte's HOV lane. I forgot that it was Pittsburgh that's weird for building a separate highway for it.

1:17: Charlotte is just not a happenin' place at one in the morning.

1:26: Just saw a sign for "485 FUTURE WEST". They have roads that go into the future? They must be working on some heavy shit at RTP.

1:28: Enter South Carolina.

1:30: ABCD EFG HIJK LMNOPeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Grabbed some 50-cent coffee from a vending machine. Not bad.

2:26: Moon just rised. It took me a couple minutes to figure out, but I'm pretty sure it's just past the third quarter.

2:52: It takes some getting used to, but SC puts reflectors on the "don't go here" stripes they paint, in addition to lane markings. Makes for an ocean of reflectors at the end of on-ramps.

2:52 (again): Just passed a sign for Strom Thurmond Blvd. They must feel the need to counteract that road in Charlotte that leads to the future.

3:06: Got off I-77. It's actually kind of odd -- I see 77 as a north Ohio expressway. It throws off my macro-vs.-micro sense to see (to me) a local road this far from the Cleveland/Akron area.

3:14: More coffee. I'm going to be a caffeine addict by the time I get back.

3:59: Just found a 24-hour McD's. Had what may have been the best sausage-egg biscuit ever.

4:32: Eyelids are getting heavy. Just two and a half hours till dawn.

4:52: Just passed another Budget truck hauling a car. This guy has good weather though.

5:07: Just realized I've been on the road for more than 12 hours now.

5:36: Gas, bean and pee break. Put in 8.1 gallons. Could've made Savannah.

6:00: Enter Georgia.

6:16: Maybe I couldn't have made Savannah after all. I thought it was closer to the state line.

6:18: Should've waited to get gas until I entered GA though. It's cheaper here.

6:22: Well, the place still smells like a swamp.

6:36: Starting to see light in the east.

6:42: There's one bright star off to the east making it through the fog. I'm guessing Jupiter's near the sun right about now?

7:02: Yeah, it's gotta be Jupiter. Nothing else would still be visible when it's this light out. [Note, 1/13/05: Looking online, Jupiter would have risen in the middle of the night, a little bit before the moon. And at magnitude -2 it wouldn't have been quite as plainly visible at that hour anyway. Venus, at magnitude -4 (lower number = brighter) came up before the sun and would have remained visible. In my defense, I was very tired.]

7:44: Entered Florida. Peed off the edge of a parking lot since the gas station wasn't open yet.

8:21: Know what's fun after 16 hours? Driving through rush hour in Jacksonville! No caffeine left. Powered solely by road rage.

9:30: Gassed up one last time in Daytona.

9:37: Just passed road construction in January. Yeah, with no snow that would be possible. Seemed out of place to me though.

9:42: My wrists are sore. Usually the right one starts getting annoyed on a two-hour drive -- probably tendinitis from mousing -- but now the left one's joining in. Trying to drive without actually gripping the wheel is... interesting.

10:03: I just saw a small lake in the highway median on I-4. There were people fishing in it.

10:34: All right, Yahoo Maps sucks. They said "get off I-4 and continue on FL-50." They didn't bother mentioning which way on 50.

12:01 PM: Arrive (finally). 19 hours and 35 minutes on the road.

[The odometer after the trip down: 104, 703 miles.]
[Date created: 1/5/2004 12:42 PM]


While I was in Florida I took a trip over to Cape Canaveral (I'll write about it next, I think) and did some other driving. I didn't think to take a picture of the mileage but it was something like 105,150.

January 10

9:29 AM: Gassed up and on the road again.

10:40: Pee break already.

10:46: I had my phone on the seat in case someone called. Then I pulled a U to get back on the highway and shot the damn thing right off the seat.

11:16: Peed yet again. I think I drank too much coffee at Shoney's this morning.

11:32: There's a cop working his way up the left lane. You should see all the cars with out-of-state plates (including mine) clear out, then get in behind him once we all decided we weren't being pulled over.

12:24 PM: Entered Georgia and -- you guessed it -- peed again.

1:47: Stopped near Savannah for gas (remembered from last week) and my hourly pee break.

2:12: Entered South Carolina.

3:10: Stopped for lunch at a Mickey D's just south of I-26.

4:38: There's more people on the highway during the day. More bugs, too.

5:38: Wrists are bugging me again already.

5:42: Enter North Carolina and plop myself down in Charlotte's evening rush hour.

7:00: Coffee-gas-pee.

About 7:40: Entered Virginia (forgot exactly when since I wasn't stopping as often).

8:37: Entered West Virgina.

8:51: Stopped for a sub and another coffee.

9:15: Ready to leave after the food break. Feels like winter's beginning to reassert itself.

10:11: Just blew past a Mustang on a hill. That was kinda fun.

11:44: One last pee break. It's easier now that I've been on I-79 for a while -- the car knows its way home now.

January 11

12:09 AM: Gas.

12:38: Just passed through some exremely localized fog. It was over with in about one minute with no real changes in elevation.

1:02: Enter Pennsylvania after doing about 275 miles of WV.

1:47: Just got on I-279.

1:53: I'm off the expressway and back on the streets. Just a few more minutes.

2:07: Arrive at home. Enter apartment, put up placeholder and collapse. Only 16:38 on the road this time.

[The odometer after the trip back: 106,301 miles.]
[Date created: 1/11/2005 2:07 AM]

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This page last updated Jul 19, 2019 3:34:19 PM.