Friday, October 13, 2006

The whirlwind tour

After more than a week on the road I finally have a moment to come up for air. We started the day in Ocracoke, North Carolina, at the very end of the Outer Banks. It's a beautiful place, a wonderful admixture of sea and continent, and, as a bonus, the site of the Wright Brother's first flight is on the way. We left at 1:00. It was 78 degrees.

About 400 miles and one cold front later we're in Winston-Salem and there's a frost advisory for the evening. We were on the road about eight hours (including one forty-minute ferry ride), a sustained speed that would have been a fantasy just 100 years ago. For $106 we have a very nice room in a La Quinta inn (complete with free high-speed Internet). For $54 plus tip we got a fine meal for two, which included three martinis and a very fine apple cobbler (with ice cream). What a great country.

This is literally the first free block of time I've had since we started this trip on the 4th. I've had five or ten minutes here and there, but this is my first free hour. It's been an amazing trip. The weather has ranged from 80 degrees and sunny to pouring rain and nearly freezing temperatures (fortunately not at the same time). We've gone from New York (population 8 million) to Ocracoke (population under 800). We crossed the Cheapeake Bay bridge-tunnel, a 17-mile long span that is one of the engineering wonders of the world (worth a detour IMHO). I shot three hours of additional footage for my film. Michael had his Social Security appeal hearing two days ago. You'll have to wait for the movie to find out what happened. :-)

Two days ago we were saddened to learn about the plane crash in New York. We had already left the city, but a number of our friends called to make sure it wasn't us. I fly an SR22, and the plane that crashed was an SR20. I have no idea what happened, except that it was pretty clearly pilot error. The most plausible theory I've heard is that they were trying to make a U-turn to avoid controlled airspace and underestimated how much room it would take. But regardless of anything else there is no escaping the fact that to hit that apartment building they had to be flying way too low. I feel sorry for the pilots and their families (and fans) but I'm a bit angry with them too. They made a stupid avoidable mistake and caused a lot of people a lot of grief.

Tomorrow we head in to Tennessee which is our last stop before we head home on Thursday. Hopefully I'll be able to pick up regular blogging again after that.


No comments: