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Sarasota to Columbus

It was kind of difficult to leave, but I knew everthing would be fine in Sandi and Jill's very capable hands. The first symbolic act of the trip was tossing a certain sentimental momento off the Little Manatee River Bridge as I cruised over it. It was an impulsive act, and a ringer shot. Out it flew, right over Hoover's head, out the open passenger window, and over the concrete wall-thing on the side of the road. Then, neurotically, I worried for hours that maybe it hit a fisherman on the head and knocked him out. Or that a fish would swallow it and die. I drove through a lot of wildfire smoke up around Gainesville. Great metaphor.

Tweety wandered around the car and settled in a hole somewhere to sleep. The only time she came out was when I stopped somewhere. Then she stood on her hind legs and looked out the back window. The drive was extremely easy until I hit gridlock in Knoxville. Hoover got sick and puked all over the front seat of the car, which included all over me and in my purse and in the camera bag. It was one trip that I was NOT happy that he rides in the passenger seat. And I was stuck in the traffic; I couldn't go anywhere or do anything. It was disgusting and I felt sorry for him AND me. And I cried buckets in frustration. And the rest of the drive pretty much went like that. Hoover would puke and I would stop at the next available spot to hose us down. It may have been the worst 400 or whatever miles that I have ever driven. Except maybe for a drive about 20 years ago through the mountains in the middle of the night in a horrendous rainstorm with a stuck accelerator pedal. The car had a manual transmission, and everytime I changed gears I had to reach down with my hand and lift the pedal. But I digress. And this drive was about as stressful, if not as harrowing.

Even with all of the stopping-to-hose downtime, the drive only took me an extra 3 hours or so, and I got in around 1:00 am. I took a quick look at the Reimo tent , which Garth had set up in the backyard for inspection, and then I crashed.

I took 2 days gathering stuff, repacking the EVC about 4 times, and taking care of Hoover. I took down the tent and set it up by myself to make sure that I could. It's heavy and kind of cumbersome, but very cool. VERY solid. Very well-built.

I also took the time to really compare the '95 EVC with the '97. I pulled them both out into the driveway and compared them bumper to bumper. I miss the black bumpers on the '95, but that's about it. The '97 is a more refined vehicle than the '95.

For some bizarre and unknown reason we are really partial to white German cars.