Saturday, November 15, 2008

Off to Kimball, South Dakota – Days 1 & 2

OK, my first blog postings were an eon ago in internet time and gratuitous. This, the first in a series of intended postings, is meant to be a true blogging experience.

Luna and I got off to a slightly late departure Friday the 14th after I tied down most (but not all) of some business loose ends. We stopped in Saint Petersburg to borrow a doggie overcoat for Luna from Paul Hermes who has Luna’s half sister Buffy. As the temps are much colder than home, we figured a little extra warmth for when she’s out but not in the field would be appreciated. Plus I’m hopefully going to have the chance to buy Paul a cold beer or two in South Dakota as he too will be in South Dakota late next week hunting pheasant.

We made decent time getting into Gainesville, a little after 3:30 in the afternoon. Checked into Alachua’s Royal Inn and got Luna walked, fed and zipped in her traveling kennel (which she has learned to unzip). Picked up Ally & Jessie at 5 and headed to Applebee’s for dinner then to the Gainesville High versus Eastside game where Jessie was cheering as JV Co-Captain. An exciting high school game, but unfortunately one where the GHS ‘Canes lost in the final 5 seconds 30-27. A heartbreaker for my girls and their friends, and even with the loss, I enjoyed the excitement a high school football game offered. We all spent the night together at the Anti-Ritz and grabbed breakfast at a bagel place before I dropped them off and got on I-75 north at 10 am this morning.

Luna’s a great traveler and always has been…must be her initiation drive to us at 3 months of age, from Minden, Louisiana to Fort Myers, Florida (1,025 miles). And her commute to our office every day. Since we pulled out of the driveway at 10:15 yesterday, we’ve covered 930 miles. Today, we covered 592 miles from Gainesville to Joelton, Tennessee, from 10 am to 7 pm EST. We crossed the Florida – Georgia line at 11:05 and continued non-stop until a 3:30 break just shy of the Georgia – Tennessee boarder. Temps were in the high 40’s with strong winds, so it was a brisk walk for us both…Luna wasn’t sporting Buffy’s coat but I go back to the truck to put on my Wagon Wheel Ranch fleece. North Georgia’s trees are on the verge of peaking on their colors and the rest stop had beautiful grounds. We also filled the gas tank at $1.899 a gallon!!!

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We crossed into Tennessee shortly thereafter at 4:30 EST. In addition to the cold, it was a misting rain from the boarder until well after we cleared Chattanooga. I didn’t see the Chattanooga Choo Choo but even in the rain’s grey haze I enjoyed the colors of Chattanooga’s trees, peaking in an incredible pallet of fall hues against the Appalachian Mountains landscape. It would have been an awesome sight in clear weather and late afternoon sunlight. Three interstates, I-75 (what we were on), I-24 (what we got on) and I-59 all intersect this city. I was super glad we were headed west on I-24 because eastbound was bumper-to-bumper from Chattanooga to 20+ miles west. We were able to get west of Nashville and finally pulled of the road at 7 pm EST, 6 CTL in Joelton, Tennessee. Checked into a Days Inn and grabbed a catfish dinner at a local family-style restaurant. Was able to watch my ‘Noles Homecoming Game loss against Boston College…another football heartbreaker for the Dickinsons, although Ginster’s Vols were on a bye so she gets to skip football letdown for a change.

That’s all I’ve got in me for now…more from the road tomorrow night.

Sal and his traveling Vizsla, Egri Luna Bella of Edisonia


Paul said...

Great idea, Sal! Hope we can meet up next weekend!!

You stayed at the Royal Inn? Ooooh - yep, the Anti-Ritz for sure!!! :)

dab said...
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dab said...


Glad you enjoyed time in my beloved Tennessee. You'll note that the university gave me a wonderful birthday present on Nov. 3 in announcing the coaching change.

Wishing the both of you the best in shooting. May your bird kills be clean and the retrieves flawless.

Stay warm.

Thanks for sharing, my friend!