Postlude - October 16, 2011
This was the one hundredth trip I've documented on this site. The first one started just over a dozen years ago on August 21, 1999, and was the only trip for that year. The pace has increased since then. My October 16 blog entry discusses this milestone a bit more.
October 13, 2011 (day 7)
October 12, 2011 (day 6)
October 11, 2011 (day 5)
October 10, 2011 (day 4)
October 9, 2011 (day 3)
October 8, 2011 (day 2)
October 7, 2011 (day 1)
Prelude 2 - October 6, 2011
I proceeded to cancel my rental car reservations and even, for just the briefest moment, considered canceling the trip. But I soon moved on to considering routes. My first thought was to trace the path of the railroad but I soon realized that that would be tedious and probably more of a tease than satisfying. I also thought of a straightforward all expressway run to DC. In the end, I opted for all expressway to just inside Pennsylvania then US-40/National Road on east. When I was thinking of the expressway route I was also thinking of a Friday morning departure. The decision to drive at least part of the way on two-lanes was accompanied by a decision to leave Thursday.
I'm almost as upset about the trip title as I am about missing my long dreamed of autumn train ride in what promised to be perfect weather. I'd called this train centric outing to attend at least one and maybe two concerts "Hail, Hail, Rock 'n' Rail" and thought that extremely clever especially in light of my not terribly distant "Hail, Hail, Rock 'n' Roll" trip to see Chuck Berry. Without the train, the name became senseless and my decidedly unclever quick fix is to replace the "'n'" with "w/o". Of course, the locator map is also senseless but I'll fix that later.
Prelude 1 - September 18, 2011
Passenger trains pass through Cincinnati exactly six times each week. Eastbound trains come through on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday; Westbound trains on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. It's really just one train, you see, ping-ponging itself back and forth across the country with a day of rest on Monday. I can reach DC in time for a Saturday night concert by taking the Friday morning train. And that's not a break-of-dawn Starbucks-just-opened morning. It's a dark-of-night disco-just-closed 3:27 AM morning. If you are ever charged with making travel by rail incredibly inconvenient, just use Cincinnati as a model.
I may add a third element, another concert, to the train ride and Dirk appearance but that's unconfirmed just now. If it happens, I'll be in the DC area long enough to slip to the eastern terminus of US-50 and follow that route back to the Washington Monument. Even if that doesn't happen, and I head home on Sunday, I'll still have Saturday's daylight hours for a little exploring. The locator map behind the button at the top of this page assumes I'll not start home until Wednesday and shows the US-50 drive. I'll change the map if that falls through. The red line is the route of Amtrak's Cardinal between Cincinnati and Washington.
No independent audit has yet verified it but, if I've been counting correctly, this will be the one-hundredth road trip documented on this site.