Shoving off

I’m heading for Illinois this weekend to play with Jamie, run a 10K, help my brother-in-law cover my hometown’s annual festival for the paper he edits, stuff myself with barbecue and burgers from my favorite diners, hang out with the hippies on the Makanda Boardwalk, grab a decaf cappuccino at Longbranch Coffeehouse, and catch up with an old friend. I have an assignment to cover first thing in the morning and a section of the paper to send to press in the afternoon, but as soon as that’s done, my plan is to bail out early and go hypermiling down U.S. 60 in pursuit of a personal fuel economy record in the Starlight Express. I’ll have to go some to beat the record I set in February 2006 (40.712733 mpg), but I think I can pull it off.

My original plan was to take Trymaxian (Ron’s Honda Insight) to Illinois and see if I could one-up Ron’s PR for the same route, but a pickup truck sucker-punched poor little Max and knocked out one of his blinkers yesterday. He’s still driveable, but we thought it wise to leave him in Tulsa until he’s repaired.

If I were a real smart aleck and had all the time in the world to spend on the road, I’d drive 45 mph all the way to Illinois and use every hypermiling trick in the book to see if I could post some Wayne Gerdes-worthy numbers in the Starlight Express, but I don’t have that kind of time on my hands, so I’ll just be happy if I can break 41 mpg. I came jolly close the other day. Gotta love that reformulated gas they sell here in the summer….

Anyway, I’ll post mpg figures, Jamie stories, and probably obnoxious quantities of photographs on here when I return.

Meanwhile, ponder this: We are within a few weeks of having our very own grid-tied solar power system on the roof. In your face, PSO. Heh heh heh. We aren’t quite zero-energy yet, but we’ll get there. Just watch and see.


P.S.: The Oklahoma Route 66 Association Trip Guide is finally out and in my hands in its finished form. Details (and a picture of our fab cover, shot and designed by yours truly) on Ron’s blog.