Sunday, July 17, 2011

July 11th - 15th: Running to North Carolina

That dreaded 3:30 a.m. phone call. We all know that they exist and we all know that over time we all will get our share, but nevertheless, they are never easy. Marie, Landon, and I had a good week visit with Mom and Beth, Travis, Carter, and Austin. We get home on Sunday night and all seems well. At 3:30 a.m., Mom calls to tell us that Duane died quite unexpectedly. Well, we all know the right thing to do is to get back over there, but the question is do I leave right away or in the morning? Given the fact that Mom was just now leaving the hospital and was trying to get some sleep - leaving now and getting there around 10 really doesn't make a lot of sense. So the plan is to go into the office button up a few things and be on the road a little after 9.

Well things never go completely as planned but I manage to get out of the office a little after 11 and on the road to Mom's by 11:20. It was by far one of the fastest trips over in my 10 years of making the trip - I think the September 2002 trip over was faster only because I didn't stop at all on that one. I averaged a running speed of 73 mph the entire way and only had a 7 minute gas/pee stop in Camden. Because I was running so well on the interstate, I stayed on I-95 to US 74 instead of heading towards Conway at Florence. The distance is about 17 miles longer but the GPS says it is about 2 minutes shorter - something that seems about right. It was hot the entire way - well over 90 the entire time. I got in to a good routine of drinking every 10 minutes or so. Thankfully, it was an easy trip over and I got to my Mom's at 5:00 p.m.

After the week helping Mom as best as I could, I headed back on Friday morning at sunrise. It was a cool ride back (never got above 75) and one that I pushed about equally as hard - averaging the ride at 70 mph with just a couple of gas/pee stops due to fuel management issues. I did confirm that the Conway route is shorter in distance but slightly longer in time (mainly due to lower speeds on 501 as compared to 74). I pulled back home a little after 11:30 a.m. and headed back to the office.

I also confirmed that the motorcycle odometer is generous by about 1.44% (hey, gotta do something to keep the mind sharp while grinding out interstate miles). In other words, for every 100 miles of riding, the odometer will read 101.4, for every 300 miles it reads 304.3.

Yeah, I got to ride the bike, but I hate it for my Mom.

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