My 1999 Route 66 trip merged into the caravan to Bowling Green for the National Corvette Museum's fifth anniversary. A similar event for the tenth anniversary seemed likely and a 2004 repeat of the 1999 adventure appropriate. But the Corvette turns 50 in 2003 and plans for a major celebration, complete with caravans and museum involvement, are coming together to commemorate the June 30, 1953 birth. So it looks like my next go at Route 66 will come less than four years after the first; not the five I had thought.

Planning had barely started when a large problem appeared. Our company is a supplier to the plastics industry and that industry's biggest US trade show takes place in Chicago June 23-27. This event, the National Plastics Exposition, happens every three years. That's five days out of 1095 or about 0.46 percent of available time. The frequency of fiftieth anniversaries is once every 18262 days and the party GM has planned for the Corvette is a two day (June 27-28) deal - 0.011 percent of available time. I think that means the odds of these two events colliding are around .005 percent; Five out of 100,000; 20000 to 1. Well, we really beat the odds this time.

In light of this conflict my planning activities dropped off considerably. I figured there was a good chance I could slip out of Chicago a day or so before the show ended so I made arrangements for the GM sponsored events in Nashville. But, even though I kept hoping, I tried to accept that a two week cruise to get there was not to be.

But good fortune has just come my way. Corporate plans for the NPE were recently reviewed and, as is common in these days of the sub-8000 Dow Jones, that review had budgets as a major component. I had made my desires known and, for better or worse, I am no longer (if ever) indispensable. Those facts combined to grant me a pass from the NPE. At least for the present. I can now start my own caravan planning.

While I ignored it, planning for the Southern California caravan has moved along quite nicely. Departure is from Rancho Cucamonga on Sunday, the 22nd. Lunch and overnight stops are all in place for an arrival in Nashville on the 27th. If I depart from Chicago around the 14th, things should work out well. Just another four months to wait.

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