If your Ford had a Matthew McConaughey, it would be a Lincoln

That was a long but amazing week

So this post got delayed as I meant to get it out late last week but I had one of my longest weeks and here is a lengthier than I intended summary of it:

The longest week I can remember starts last Wednesday the 7th with a day trip to Chicago for a meeting. I live in St Louis and travel for work fairly frequently (about once a month usually) but this was a couple hour meeting and my schedule didn’t work for me to go up the day before.

So on Wednesday morning I got up and had a 7am flight to O’Hare on United. I almost exclusively fly Southwest (STL has become a hub of sorts of theirs) and I have no idea how but it takes United longer to board a 60 passenger Canadair Regional jet than Southwest with a 737 that holds 175.

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I get to Chicago with my 2 coworkers and we have about 90 minutes to kill which isn’t enough time to actually do anything so we take a cab to the meeting and we walk a couple big laps around the area - meeting ended up being awesome and then head back to the airport and landed home at 510, just in time for nasty traffic all way home.

Next I took off Thursday and Friday to scoot of on an adventure suggested by my wife. Last weekend I found out that Reel Big Fish and Bowling for Soup were on tour together (I don’t stay that connected) and their final shows were in Fort Collins and Denver that Friday and Saturday. I mentioned this and my Wife suggested that I go out there and see them. I responded with there isn’t really enough time to plan it and she called me an old fart and said I should go.

Being motivated by the insult lovingly hurled by my wife I took off two days and made quick plans to head to Fort Collins and catch the concert - and it was awesome!

So Thursday afternoon after too much procrastination the day of packing I headed west on I-70 at 3 in the afternoon making it to the Colorado/Kansas border at about 1 am and slept in the car at a rest stop for a few hours then headed into Colorado.

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Who needs a hotel?

Stopped by the Pawnee National Grasslands on the way to Fort Collins and frankly was not overwhelmed, but it was pretty. I much prefer forests and mountains as this looked an awful lot like Northern Missouri.

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Ominous...

I grabbed lunch in Fort Collins and then headed west into the National Forest and did some exploring, saw some beautiful sights, got caught in a thunderstorm at 9500 feet and just generally had an awesome time!

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The picture doesn’t do this justice, the color filled the entire valley and was breathtaking
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It was storming right before and after this picture, it stopped just long enough for me to take it. This is at ~9500 feet about a mile and a half from Rocky Mountain National Park
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Caught the concert that night at the Mishawaka theater in Bellvue CO up in the mountains and it was amazing! I headed back into town about 1 am and broke down grabbed a hotel.

MEST opened and rocked it hard
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Reel Big Fish was amazing!
Bowling for Soup was disappointing live
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To summarize the concert- MEST opened and played about an hour set and they were awesome. They got the crowd up and moving and hell I even went and moshed for a bit (then promptly felt rather old). Reel Big Fish came on next and they fucking brought it! The show was amazing and they were engaging with the crowd and played a fantastic show, I think they played almost 90 minutes. Bowling For Soup was the headliner and surprisingly they brought out a lot of the young people at the show (under 25) but they weren’t awesome. The show was loud as it was punk then ska-punk but then Bowling For Soup came on and cranked it to like fucking 12. It was so loud you couldn’t understand the lyrics as it was distorted. Jared was so out of shape there was no movement to the performance, their sole stage trick was to toss a guitar pick in the air, not catch it, then grab another off the mic stand. They would be so out of wind after playing a song they’d talk to the crowd for several minutes after each song. I ended up leaving about halfway through their set as it was now midnight, I’d been there for 5 hours and they were loud enough it hurt.

On Saturday morning I decided to head up into Wyoming, do some exploring as I’d never been to Wyoming before. I headed west about an hour from Cheyenne and spent a couple hours exploring in Medicine Bow National Forest.

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The Sportwagen saw a lot of gravel roads and did awesome other than needing a touch more ground clearance
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Saturday afternoon I headed east across I-80. I stopped for the night in Lincoln Nebraska and got up in the morning and headed south back towards Missouri. No pictures of either of these legs as it was boring as hell and I was exhausted. The rest of the day and Sunday was basically drive 2 hours, get out and stretch, get diesel every third stop then repeat.

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I got home about 4 in the afternoon on Sunday and in 73 hours I drove 2,029 miles, averaged 38.5 mpg, 61 mph and spent 34 hours 6 minutes behind the wheel. That sportwagen a road-trip machine and I love it!

So in 4 days I was in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska and Iowa.

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At this point I unpacked the car and checked my work calendar for Monday and realized I forgot entirely that I had a Hackathon Monday through Wednesday. So much for ditching work on Monday...

While it was a lot of fun, it was a mentally exhausting couple days in the Hackathon. We came up with an interesting project, but one of our developers kind of went rogue and didn’t follow the plan which left us scrambling and while we ended up with a functional proof of concept it did not look good.

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On top of it all my on-call shift started Tuesday which I did not need as I was already pretty wiped.

Oof - that was an amazing week, but damn was it long!

 

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