|On Sunday morning, August 23, 2009, I left my mom's in Denton, TX and headed back to D.C. for a job interview to be a contractor through Aster Engineering with the NOAA helping to work on models to predict algae blooms. I had suggested the 26th for the interview, but they asked for the 25th. I decided to make the trip in two days (about 22 and a half hours driving). My mom had given me a cool clock that sets itself (at least in the U.S. where there are radio transmitters which transmit the time. It also has a thermometer included. I used it to monitor the temperature in the car during my drives as the air conditioner in my 1991 Toyota Camry doesn't work. This leg of the trip was much cooler with a high temperature in the car of 96 degrees versus 113 degrees on my drive to Texas. I figure that the car temperature was about 10 degrees higher than the outside temperature (as it is in the sun), but the air blowing around me was cooler (as they were blowing on me mostly). I hadn't worried about the high temperatures as the humidity was pretty low and I stayed cool by drinking lots of water and sweating. I had worried about this part of the trip as the humidity could get high, but it was quite pleasant really. I was impressed how green Texas was as it is often dry during the summer, though this year the West coast seems to be the only place that is particularly dry this summer. I passed lots of pasture lands with one particular well kept (and large) ranch shown above. I didn't stop (it was a long drive), but just took pictures along the way, so you also get a glimpse of the apple tree traveling with me. Here is a more typical farm / ranch.||=0=|
|Arkansas was pretty green and had more trees (above). I had tried to find a place to stay the night via CouchSurfing.com, but couldn't find a host. Michael had suggested using a guest pass with Bally Total Fitness, but they don't have any clubs between Denton and D.C. unless you add a hour or two to your trip and go through Atlanta. However, in checking that I noticed that Bally offers a free seven day pass and so does 24 Hour Fitness. 24 Hour Fitness has a nice club in Memphis (shown here), but the caveat it that it is for local residents only (as shown on your ID). Oh well, I just drove straight through. I stayed the night at a Pilot truck stop most of the way to Knoxville. The hills were very pretty as I headed NE towards Virginia. I took this picture and the ones below of the sun rise and mist on the hills.||=0=|
|On my travels I have been using a Magellan Roadmate GPS unit and really love it. Along with being able to find most any address and correct the route if I go astry, it can help me find gas stations, libraries, and even Walmarts (where I get my frozen dinner for the day). It said there was a Walmart SuperCenter about twelve miles off my route in Kingsport but another three miles further along and right on my route. However, it was a closed Walmart shown here. Doh! I drove another forty five minutes and found one that was on my route, but it wasn't a SuperCenter and so no frozen dinners. Doh! However, there was a food store in the same shopping center and I got my Banquet Frozen Dinner for an additional 40 cents ($1.38 plus tax versus just $1 at Walmart) which really is hardly worth worrying about. As I had skipped my shower and just kept on driving, I arrived in D.C. earlier than expected, getting to Mark and Ruth's about 5PM on the 24th.||=0=|
This page was last updated on August 30, 2009.