Friday, May 7, 2010

All Systems "Go"

Time to hit the road...

We decided over the winter that this year's bike trip would be to Savannah, GA for a good taste of the Old South. From what we're told, it's a great place to visit, and it fits our 9-day window perfectly. If we could make the quick trip to Florida in there somewhere, it would complete the East Coast for both of us, and Kevin will have ridden in every state east of the Mississippi. Good enough reason for us!

From that, we went about building an itinerary. It turned out pretty cool, if we don't say so ourselves.

The first thing was, if we're going to be near the north Florida coast, why don't we see if we can time the trip to coincide with a Shuttle launch before the program comes to an end this year? The May 14 date seemed like a perfect time to avoid the oppressive heat and humidity, so we chose it and that's why you are reading this now.

It also happened to coincide with the due date of the first child of Kevin's brother and his wife in Richmond. And also with Myrtle Beach Bike Week.

Also, Kevin and Karen, who starred in our "Wandering Aimlessly" trip last year, live near MB in Georgetown, and have been after us to visit them forever. We can stay as their guest as long as we like. Bryan and Lydia's baby, Jon, was born a week ago, and everybody is settled in. I love it when a plan comes together!

We leave Saturday morning. We'll see the baby, and spend Saturday night further down the road. Two days with Kevin and Karen, followed by an afternoon in Charleston, SC and an evening in Savannah. We'll play that part as we go, and probably spend a night in Daytona Beach before arriving in Titusville (Cape Canaveral) on Thursday. The launch is scheduled for Friday. I hate getting home Sunday and rushing through the unpacking and laundry, so from there, it's an Iron Butt ride to get home on Saturday evening - 1,000 miles in 24 hours. Donna seems to endure a ritual test of some sort that crops up on every ride; this time, it will be planned, and she'll have the certification to prove it. If circumstances don't cooperate, we'll bag it and get home Sunday.

So far, it looks like we'll be leaving in the rain as has become our usual modus operandi. The forecast steadily improves all the way to launch, which as of now is 100% perfect. We may return to more rain, but that's a long way off.

We've kept up with the STS-132 mission updates, and everything looks good.

So, off we go. Wish us good luck, safety, and good weather - especially for Friday! We wish all of our friends well in our absence, and look forward to seeing you when we return.

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