Three Corners in my New Porsche

During the winter of 1998, I decided to realize a life-long goal: buying myself a brand-new Porsche. Buying the car was an adventure in itself; you can read about it here. If you've read my other road-trip reports, you can imagine that the first thing I wanted to do with the car was drive it across country!

But first, I took the car to the track for a driver's education event at Seattle International Raceway. The nine-turn, 2.4-mile track provides a great proving ground to learn about your new car—and the course I took, provided by Don Kitch of the ProFormance Race School, was a nice sedate way to learn about my new toy.

I've finally started driving, so you can come back here to read about the drive as it happens. This will be a unique trip for me for several reasons. First, I'm taking a car instead of a bike. Second, I'll have a laptop with me. I'm not sure if having a computer around is going to be a good idea, but at least I'll be able to make some of the updates for the trip log a little easier to write. Finally, I won't be going alone: I've been seeing Liz for nearly a year. She was the girl who didn't call me back before my last vacation started, but left some messages for when I finally returned!

I'll be driving from Seattle to Boston alone. In Boston, I'll be speaking (again!) at Boston University's WinDev conference. Liz will fly out to meet me at the close of the conference and we'll drive south, towards Orlando (where my parents live).

After a few stressful nights with my folks, and doing a little tourist crap ourselves, Liz will fly back to Seattle. And I'll begin driving back to Seattle.

Date Start City Stop City Mileage Gas Mileage Driving Time Average Speed
Thursday, June 3, 1999 Track Day! Seattle, Washington N/A
Tuesday, June 8, 1999 Redmond, Washington Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 328.1 mi 22.0 mi/USgal 6 hours 5 minutes 56.4 mi/h
Wednesday, June 9, 1999 Coeur d'Alene, Idaho Havre, Montana 491.2 mi 26.1 mi/USgal 8 hours 61.4 mi/h
Thursday, June 10, 1999 Havre, Montana Minot, North Dakota 435.7 mi 24.5 mi/USgal 6 hours 40 minutes 67.7 mi/h
Friday, June 11, 1999 Minot, North Dakota Ashland, Wisconsin 531.0 mi 23.9 mi/USgal 11 hours, 7 minutes 47.8 mi/h
Saturday, June 12, 1999 Ashland, Wisconsin Toronto, Ontario 797.8 mi 25.1 mi/USgal 12 hours, 10 minutes 65.6 mi/h
Sunday, June 13, 1999 Toronto, Ontario Springfield, Massachussets 493.9 mi 24.2 mi/USgal 7 hours, 45 minutes 66.1 mi/h
Monday, June 14, 1999 Springfield, Massachussets Boston, Massachssets 159.5 mi 19.2 mi/USgal 3 hours, 15 minutes 66.1 mi/h

On Monday night, I presented at the conference. It was a bit of a surprise, as I thought the talk I was to do would be on Tuesday and not on Monday! Arriving in time to prepare some slides and take a little nap before going on stage was completely luck.

That first talk intimidated me greatly, as I'd never done anything like that before. The talk was billed as entertaining and fun, so I peppered the slides with funny, irreverent information. And I went off on serveral diatribes. Everyone said it was swell, but I wasn't so sure.

The next talk was on Wednesday, and it was material I'd done before many times. So that was just fine. I fooled around a bit that evening, and then was getting ready to meet Liz at 4am at Logan from her red-eye flight out. We were going to go back to the hotel and nap for a while and then get on our way.

Around midnight, Liz called to say that her flight had been cancelled and that she wouldn't be out until that evening! The bastards at United cancelled the flight and then never bothered to notify us.

Well, I was mad, but I went to sleep. The next morning, I hung around in my room until about noon. I guess I could've arranged for a late checkout, but I just bailed. I checked my luggage and left the car at the hotel valet. It wouldn't be too hard to kill time in Boston.

Or, so I thought. I went to the TGI Friday's on Exiter Street and sat around, but this guy kept talking to me. He was nice, but just kept coming at me. I wasn't in much of a mood to interact with people, so I bailed out instead of listening to him go on and on. He ran his own business, and had about a pound of gold chains in bracelets on his wrist.

I went to the Boston Public Library (which is only a few blocks away from that Friday's restraunt) and found it was locked. It's Bunker Hill Day in Boston, and a few of the government services close down. I stood at the door of the library and watched people try to get in, or read the sign and turn away. Crap.

And so I went back to the Copley Square Marriott and sat in the bar, which was far more entertaining than the bar at the Cambridge Marriott, where the conference was being held. I had a few beers there, and nobody talked to me. I watched The U.S. Open on TV and saw John Daly clean up before choking on the last hole.

Around six in the evening, I left the hotel by taxi to go get Liz. I dozed off in the waiting area at the gate, and was thrown for a loop when I went to check on Liz' flight again. The time on the arrivals monitor was frozen at 7:30pm, and my watch said it was about 8:15pm. Since I just woke up, I was disoriented and confused by this little mismatch.

Liz arrived a little early, and we got a taxi back to Cambridge. We picked up everything and loaded up the car. It was already around 10pm, so the hotel was quiet and it wasn't hard to get going. The navigation system pulled us out of the city, and we were on our way.

Here's where we stopped:

Date Start City Stop City Mileage Gas Mileage Driving Time Average Speed
Thursday, June 17, 1999 Boston, Massachussetts Rockport, Maine
Friday, June 18, 1999 Rockport, Maine Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
Saturday, June 19, 1999 Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania Monroeville, Pennsylvania 309.0 mi 23.1 mi/USgal 7 hours, 11 minutes 43.0 mi/h
Sunday, June 20, 1999 Monroeville, Pennsylvania Harrisburgh, Pennsylvania
Monday, June 21, 1999 Harrisburgh, Pennsylvania Virginia Beach, Virgnina 336.3 mi 21.9 mi/USgal 8 hours, 45 minutes 43.4 mi/h
Tuesday, June 22, 1999 Virginia Beach, Virgnina
Wednesday, June 23, 1999 Virginia Beach, Virgnina Raleigh, North Carolina 240.5 mi 23.2 mi/USgal 4 hours, 25 minutes 54.5 mi/h
Thursday, June 24, 1999 Raleigh, North Carolina Orlando, Florida 619.0 mi 23.9 mi/USgal 10 hours, 35 minutes 58.5 mi/h

Liz and I stayed with my folks in Orlando for a couple of days. We really didn't do anything; I installed a new hard drive on my Dad's computer, and my Dad washed and waxed the Porsche. He used Zymol products; it turned out great! On the second day, we went to see the new Austin Powers movie. Then, we rented a couple of tapes: Blade, which my parents didn't understand, and Waking Ned Divine, which was really good. On the third day, Liz woke up early and flew back. After lunch (and watching a little bit of the CART race at Cleveland, in the rain!) I started driving back to Seattle that afternoon.

Here's how the trip went:

Date Start City Stop City Mileage Gas Mileage Driving Time Average Speed
Sunday, June 27, 1999 Orlando, Florida Tallahassee, Florida 289.6 mi 23.4 mi/USgal 4 hours, 12 minutes 71.3 mi/h
Monday, June 28, 1999 Tallahassee, Florida Greenville, Mississippi 556.7 mi 22.5 mi/USgal 9 hours, 46 minutes 59.3 mi/h
Tuesday, June 29, 1999 Greenville, Mississippi Olathe, Kansas 621.1 mi 24.4 mi/USgal 9 hours, 30 minutes 67.7 mi/h
Wednesday, June 30, 1999 Olathe, Kansas Northglenn, Colorado 617.2 mi 25.4 mi/USgal 8 hours, 51 minutes 72.0 mi/h
Thursday, July 1, 1999 Northglenn, Colorado Twin Falls, Idaho 699.1 mi 25.4 mi/USgal 9 hours, 42 minutes 74.4 mi/h
Friday, July 2, 1999 Twin Falls, Idaho Redmond, Washington 629.8 mi 24.7 mi/USgal 8 hours, 45 minutes 74.4 mi/h

I'm glad I am finally home, but I had a great time on my trip. The timing of my arrival is just about perfect; I can fool around on Saturday, catch up with some errands, and then go to all the 4th of July picnics on Sunday. Monday, I can just rest and talk my self into working again.

Some days don't have links because I'm still working on transcribing the notes. These are transcriptions of my real journal entries. My journal entries often contain personal reflection and sensitive insights. When I've felt uncomfortable with their content, I've edited them before posting them here. What's here is still the work of my own two hands, so please treat it (and me) with respect.

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Last modified on 30 August, 1999.