Two Breakdowns And Some Sightseeing

I left Louisville after work last Wednesday night and drove to Huntington, WV where I noticed that Lieutenant Van was leaking coolant from underneath. It was late at night and I didn’t have many options so I drove to the nearest motel with Bailey and slept there until morning. The next morning I drove the overheating van to the nearest garage 3 miles away and then proceeded to walk back to the hotel. I stayed at the hotel until they kicked me out at noon and then walked the 3 miles back to the garage with my laptop strapped to my back and Bailey on a leash. I worked in their lobby for three more hours until they had the van fixed. Turns out the entire radiator was cracked and had to be replaced, which wasn’t cheap. But I was grateful that I wasn’t completely stranded there. In stressful situations lately, I’ve been trying to analyze more what I’m feeling and recognize stress and understand it. There’s really no point in letting it overwhelm you since what will be will be.

Capitol Hill

The next day was Friday and I had it off, so I decided to wander around and see various cities for the weekend. I made the trek up to DC and visited my friend, Aaron for a couple hours at the restaurant where he works. The next day, I took Bailey to a doggie daycare and went to see the Udvar-Hazy Air And Space Museum which I’ve been wanting to check out for a while.  My favorite plane there was and old sea plane which is actually the only plane that the Smithsonian has that was actually at Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. It’s humbling standing next to it and realizing that they sent it up unarmed after the attack (with some seriously courageous guys) to scout for the enemy.

Sikorsky JRS-1

Another favorite there is the space shuttle Discovery. Again, it takes a crazy amount of courage to step onto a ship that passes through the atmosphere at such high speeds and temperatures.

Space Shuttle Discovery

Lastly, I saw the capsule that Felix Baumgartner jumped out of when he made the largest free fall in history. I just don’t understand where this kind of courage comes from, but it’s pretty inspiring.

Later in the day, I drove down to Richmond, VA and took a picture of Bailey in front of another state capitol. Only a few more and we will have seen every single one!

Virginia State Capitol – Richmond

My last stop was Kitty Hawk, NC. I came down because I wanted to see the site of the Wright Brothers’ first flight, but as I got close to town, I heard some thumping under my hood and pulled over to see that the serpentine belt had partially snapped and wasn’t long for this world. I needed to get over a one mile long causeway to get to a hotel and repair garage, but I wasn’t confident that the van would make it. I basically had to decide if I was willing to breakdown on a one lane bridge in order to get where I needed to be or if I should stay put and get towed. In the end, I decided to chance it and I ended up making it across. It was Sunday so I knew there would be no garages open til the next day.

 Again, managing stress is something I’m trying to get better at, but one can never be completely calm in every situation.

After parking the van somewhere temporarily, I went to see the Wright Brothers Aviation Memorial.

It ended up being super cool, as I expected. I can’t imagine how exciting it was to be someone who was just on the cusp of creating an invention that would utterly transform humanity. Must have been a crazy rush of endorphins when the first flight lifted off. They had several failures leading up to it, but kept going. What innovators they were.

Anyway, regarding the van…..I found a cheap hotel next to the beach and spent the rest of the day playing fetch in the water with Bailey, so it ended up being ok… it always does. I have to constantly remind myself that the chatter in our heads proclaiming the sky is falling is usually only noise.

Lieutenant Van is fixed for now and I’m headed to Wilmington tonight.

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