The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

23 July 2007

The line forms on the right, babe

Dustbury, Oklahoma — 4333.7 miles

Yes, I'm back in town. I have a stack of mail half my height, a yard nearly as tall, two loads of wash going, and just enough grocery shopping done to fill that empty aching void in the fridge.

It wound up being a foursome for breakfast today: Becky and her pride and joy (I remembered being a seven-year-old boy, and I'm surprised any of us were allowed to live to eight), her mom (the aforementioned ex), and me. I checked out at 10:50; I crossed into Kansas at 11:00 on the dot and it rained on me for the next fifty miles.

Originally this was supposed to run around 2500 to 3000 miles, so you can see how well I planned things. On the upside, the massive fatigue that normally hits on day 15 will get to me this evening.

Toll report: Kansas Turnpike, $5.25; total $13.00.

(Aside: Kansas, dammit, puts their money to good use: the horrid THUMPTHUMPSCRITZTHUMP that sets in the moment you hit the Oklahoma line is both disconcerting and annoying. Even the segments of I-35 ODOT has redone recently aren't as slick as the K. Since Brad Henry doesn't read this, here's a hint for gubernatorial candidates in 2010: consider sacking ODOT outright and outsourcing the whole thing to Topeka. If this requires a state question, I'm for it.)

Fuel consumption: 151 gallons; 28.7 mpg. (Tanks ranged from 26.5 to 31.0.)

Total expenditures: $2,135.43, including all cash spent, all charge slips signed, $485.14 worth of gas, and $13.08 to run a long-distance dialup the day my Wi-Fi wouldn't work at all. This is about sixty-five bucks less than I anticipated.

Thanks to:
Tip-Top Cleaners and Laundry, Angier, NC
TracFone Wireless, Inc.
And special thanks to everyone who welcomed me with open arms on this long, strange trip.

Regular programming will resume once I get some shuteye.

Posted at 7:59 PM to World Tour '07

Welcome home! Sometimes the best part of the journey is getting back to find things are all OK :) Of course these days the whole beauty of going away is with the internet to those of us who only know you from your online presence it's as though you never left!

Posted by: ms7168 at 9:06 PM on 23 July 2007

Welcome home. It was an honor to be one of your stops.

Posted by: Deb at 2:33 AM on 24 July 2007

Glad to know you made it home safely. Excellent gas mileage for the trip. It is interesting that you traveled 1300 to 1800 miles further than planned, but spent less. My results are usually the inverse of that.

I enjoyed visiting with you over dinner here in Nashville. If you ever come this way again, you know how to find me.

Posted by: Winston at 6:37 AM on 24 July 2007

We used up the most interesting eating place in Newnan on this trip. Maybe next time you come through here we'll go to the catfish place in Franklin. We've only been there once before.

Posted by: McGehee at 7:57 AM on 24 July 2007

It didn't hurt that I got better-than-EPA numbers for gas mileage, and that prices tended to be lower outside of Oklahoma. When I left, premium unleaded was going for close to $3.40; only once did I encounter prices over $3.30 on the road, and $3.20 was more typical. A forty-dollar fillup every day is painful, but $50 would have been much more so.

Posted by: CGHill at 8:49 AM on 24 July 2007

I've noticed the same thing crossing from Kansas into Colorado.

Posted by: Heather at 9:16 AM on 24 July 2007