Back home and ready to write
Arrived in South Carolina April 8, hooked back up with my old church and visited some old haunts April 9, got some temporary digs and loaded the storage unit April 10, and set up something of a work station April 12. 

Somewhere in all that, I managed to get some rest. But I'm ready to start work. Editing restarts this week.

For those who are interested (and for those who are not), the trip went something like this:

Wednesday, April 5: 

  • Left California, bright and early. Stopped off in Kingman, AZ for an In & Out burger. This may very well be my last one, so it was bittersweet. The burger chain has no plans of expanding past the Rockies.
  • Stayed overnight at Albuquerque. Mileage: 781. A long day behind the wheel with my brother Rick and me taking shifts. Nerves frayed, bad tempers all around, and we pulled into town way too late for dinner. 

Thursday, April 6: 

  • Made Oklahoma City, mileage 1,311. Barbecue dinner at Billy Sims'. Interesting story there. Sims was a running back, won the Heisman with the Sooners, was the #1 choice in the 1980 football draft (snagged by the Detroit Lions), had a few stellar seasons (three times topped 1,000 yards in a season), tore up his knee in '84, tried a comeback in '88, had some legal troubles, went broke, tried his hand at several other businesses, went even more broke, sold his Heisman, then partnered on a barbecue joint. It's doing pretty well, with 40-some franchises in six states. Pretty good barbecue, and a friendly staff. We were the only ones in the joint, though.

Friday, April 7: 

  • Made Birmingham AL, brain too fried to take down the mileage, but it was right around 2,000. Dinner at Ruby Tuesdays, a nationwide chain. No barbecue tonight.
  • On the route my brother Rick brought his late son Joe's ashes and scattered some at the In & Out in Kingman, at the midway point of old Route 66 in Adrian, Texas (Adrian is his son's middle name), a rest stop in Oklahoma, and a Joe Joe's truck stop in Mississippi. Couldn't make a stop at Toad Suck Park, Arkansas, which is too bad. Joe would have liked that. 

Saturday, April 8: 

Left the freeway near Augusta, GA because, quite frankly, we were tired of looking at it. Picked up Highway 78 at the South Carolina border and cruised in all the way to Charleston. Nice photo ops, and we're back in my neck of the woods. Hit Charleston shortly before 6 p.m. Mileage, a little less than 2,500.   

Dinner at Jim & Nick's Barbecue. Though we didn't get the chance to sample barbecue across the country, this was the best of a small lot. 

And home ... 

Missed it big time. Glad to be back. Reuniting with old friends. I'm home. 

State Of Franklin sits on my server right now, ready to be eviscerated, uhh, edited. I might even have a workable deadline soon; the last ones sure got blown up with all this upheaval.

About the photos:

(top) On Highway 78, somewhere near the South Carolina/Georgia line. Beats staring at the back end of trucks all day.

I haven't figured out how to add other photos, so they're just uploaded. They are:

  • Refueling and cleaning up some road grime. This is at Loves in Erick, Oklahoma. 
  • Rick ties in to an In & Out burger in Kingman AZ, knowing it'll be a lo-o-o-ong time before he sees another.
  • For some stupid reason, this car kept tailgating us all the way from Riverside CA to Charleston SC. Where's a cop when you need one?
  •  A view of New Mexico, as seen through a zillion dead bugs on the windshield. The bug parts do lend it some color.