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Texas Road Trip – Part 1

December 22, 2009

Dear Reader – You’ve already read a little about my sister in previous posts. While I’m away she has graciously submitted the following two part post of her whirlwind trip to Texas – and I do mean whirlwind! Wishing you all Happy Holidays!

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Life is a Journey, not a Destination

 After two months of seemingly non-stop dreary weather, the sun is shining and the skies are clear as far as the eye can see.  As we say in Vancouver on days like this, “the mountains are out”.  Driving around town today I can see the Lions regally standing guard over the North Shore, the ski slopes of Grouse Mountain are on display (flanked by the new windmill that has recently altered our landscape), and Baker is sitting majestically to the south. 

 I am content to happily run about errands, basking in the warm rays penetrating through the windshield.  Stepping out of the toasty car though, the summery image is briskly thrust aside as the near zero temperatures and cutting wind harshly reminds me that it is indeed December.  The shops are getting busy and holiday stresses are starting to rise.  I find myself day dreaming as I cruise along the highway and nearly miss my exit as I am tempted just to keep on driving until I find myself in a climate where the sun is as warm as it looks and I can escape the hectic hustle and bustle.

 HPA FT565 VW R32

HPA's 565hp VW R32 on route to Texas

Two months ago in the midst of our depressing wet and windy autumn weather, my colleague and I had just such a chance to escape for a brief impromptu trip to Texas.  Spending two days in the warm dry south was a welcome respite, but the true joy of this excursion lay in the journey itself.  We were not to travel via airplane, but rather via car; and a fast one at that!  The object of the trip was to drive from Vancouver to Goliad, Texas to participate in the Texas Mile high speed event.

Attending the event would be an enormous opportunity to introduce our small company, HPA Motorsports, to the sports car enthusiasts and media who would be congregating for the bi-annual running of the mile.  A quick calculation showed us we had 2465 miles to cover, but our responsibilities back at the office only allowed us two days to do it.  Time to break out the road trip math…

After studying the road atlas, looking up the various state speed limits, and referring to Google Maps, we spend hours calculating the probability of pulling this off.  We figure 32 hours of driving at 75mph seems reasonable (assuming a few higher speed spurts offset by gas and food stops) which should allow us an 8 hour sleep break at the half way point plus an 8 hour sleep upon arrival before the event begins.

on board electronics

sheesh... how many electrical devices do you need for a road trip these days???

A plan is made, the car is loaded up with racing gear, basic pit crew kit, on-board diagnostics, radar detector, GPS navigation unit, camera gear, cooler full of drinks and snacks, laptop and mobile internet stick, clothes and toiletries, and 2GBs of road trip tunes.  The highway reports are all clear, and the weather ahead looks to be a big improvement over the rainy days that have cloaked our fair city for the past several weeks.  We are officially ready to hit the road.

 I was looking forward to some time on the road, the opportunity to see some parts of the US that I had never visited before, and a unique out-of-office chance to get to know my copilot better; and was not disappointed…

–To be continued…

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