Thursday. 5pm. After having a farewell lunch for Aspen and me there was a lengthy and tearful goodbye round of hugs from the men in Aspen's life (pic). Her grandfather, her brother and her step-father could not contain themselves. Neither could Aspen. Never had I felt like such a bad guy. I tried to reason with myself as I scrambled to finish packing the trailer. Mom and Aspen were being taken to the airport by her grandfather. I too get on the road. I keep driving till 1am and make it to Cookeville, TN.

Friday. 5am. I am off. My goal for the day is St Louis. I make it without incident by 1pm and finally find a halfway not entirely repulsive motel that takes dogs by the airport. I have time to take a shower and give the dog a bath (not at the same time) before Kalani and I finally meet! We hang out until 1:30am before she has to head back to her digs. She is camera shy (what!?!) (pic) and dog-hair-oil-phobic and gets up at least a dozen times to wash her hands after every time the dog gets up and moves in her corner. I tried to get her to stay but she had work in the morning (always the poster child for responsibility)..

Saturday. 9am. After a complimentary breakfast I am bound for KC to catch up with Pablo, an old Peace Corps buddy. I run into remnants of Fay, some of the most bizarre weather I have ever encountered (pic). It is on this leg of the journey that I remember I have cruise control. What a dolt! I pop it on and instantly the muscles in my right leg relax. Even though I watch the mpg meter drop from 17 to 14, I keep it on. I get to KC a bit early and find a movie theatre near Pablo's casa so I stop in and catch The Clone Wars then grab a bite. I arrive at his place at 4pm. We spend the evening catching up. I meet his wife (also a PC vol) and his 4 month old boy as well as his 14 yr old dog and 2 cats. Sooo nice to have a real room and shower to utilize, not to mention the home cooked veggie meal his wife made.

Sunday. 8am. I am once again off. This time on the longest leg of the journey. Not an hour into it the dreaded 'check engine' lite goes on. I monitor pressure and temp and sounds carefully for a good while and conclude that it is the damn O2 sensors acting up again. No big deal but it does drop the mpg down even more. They've been giving me problems for months. I make it to the state of my destination (pic). I finally arrive in Colorado Springs with absolutely no more roaming minutes. I, Sean and his son and my mom & Aspen all get to the apartment at the exact same time. 6:15. We spend the next hour unpacking the U-Haul and getting settled. Everyone leaves a few hours later as I stay at the new place with the dog. I konk out about 11pm.

Monday. 6am. I awake, take the dog for a walk, check out the view of Pikes Peak from my balcony (pic) and post. Now the dog has to get her shots, the U-Haul has to be dropped off, the phone has to be switched over and a trip to the grocery store made.