Tuesday, February 12

Crazy trip

Well, I did something crazy this weekend. I drove with Shane to Dan's wedding reception near Sioux Falls, SD. It was about 2700 miles for me, round trip. I left Thursday night after work to drive to Shane's place in Oak Ridge, TN. That was about 5 hours. Then we left before 5:30 am to head for Dan's.

I would have never had this idea on my own. That's a long way to drive in one weekend. But Shane suggested it, and I'm crazy enough to say yes.

To further add to the insanity, I hadn't ever met Shane or Dan in person before. This sounds like an article in Wired about someone who gets murdered, doesn't it? But I trusted them ;-)

Meeting Shane in person was great. We had plenty to talk about; no awkwardness at all.

Something else about Shane: he drives really fast. Further, he regaled me with stories of all the times that he has fought speeding tickets and won. I don't drive that fast, but I don't mind if he does.

Since the ancestral family farm was right along our path, we stopped for dinner Friday evening. Here's the picture my sister took:

They had just had a blizzard a couple days earlier (missed three days of school) and the interstate was littered with cars and trucks on the side of the road.

Shane's first post

For my part, I was glad to visit some real winter weather.

Something else about Shane: he doesn't really know much about how big Iowa is. We made really good time to the Iowa City area and he thought we'd make it to the Sioux Falls area in no time at all. Well, it took a little longer than that. But we made it to Dan's place right around midnight (Central).

Shane's second post

It was really cold in South Dakota, in case you weren't watching the weather report. 11 degrees F at noon on Saturday with a RealFeel of -10.

Shane's third post

The reception was at noon on Saturday. Met lots of great people, including Brendan of I Hate Linux fame. Took a number of pictures outside in the -10 RealFeel. The people trying to stay warm were not amused when we kept going outside to take pictures. Fei's stepmom popped up to go sit by the fire.
Yes, it is sad to be so short. But I was glad to be with Shane and Dan.

Shane's fourth post (wherein I supplied the snarky comment to Mark, who we had hoped could go with us, but, alas, he could not get free).

Dan's first post

Technically it was not -35 when we were apparently locked out in this picture:

Here's a picture that shows a little more of my current facial hair configuration: beard, no mustache:

Shane introduced me to Guitar Hero. And Dan's sister had it, too. This is a shot of her playing, generally destroying Shane.

I've got cashews and a glass of shiraz on the window sill. That's Brendan bottom right with a Pomegranate liquor.

Guitar Hero is seriously fun! And I thought I did pretty well for a noob.

Dan playing:

We went to bed about midnight, alarms set for 5:10. But Shane woke up at 4 and we lighted out. It was bitterly cold, -10 with wind chill in the -30 to -40 range.

Shane took a number of pictures of the snow blowing over the road. There's one in his last post.

Refilling the van with gas was the coldest part, all the way up until after lunch in East Peoria, IL.

I offered to drive, but Shane was trying to keep his average high, and I don't normally drive faster than 75. Including stops, Shane was able to keep his average above 71 mph!

We arrived in Oak Ridge Sunday night about 9 pm (Eastern). Unwound, had a little dinner, sat in the hot tub, played some Guitar Hero, went to bed.

I woke up around 10 am the yesterday and drove home to SC.

Great trip. Much fun was had by all.
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