Sunday, October 6, 2013

Birthday Party

My friend and I share the same birthday.  This past weekend we hosted our own party.  Helene cooked the entire main meal and I prepared desserts.  She put her 99 years of talent to the task of feeding waves of family members stopping in.  My 42 years leaves me at sous-chef level!

The other purpose of the trip to Birmingham was to help her grandson, Mark, plant the Fall vegetable garden.
Mark and I have survived our 20 year friendship in spite of some subtle assassination attempts.  After his skydiving accident, he signed me up for my first jump.  Despite my fear of heights, I did it.  In retaliation, he was initiated to downhill skiing...not a great sport for someone with screws in his ankles from a high speed collision with Earth.  But, he did it.
Mark can take credit for introducing me to racing.  A few years back, we ran a 5k in Mobile with his brother and his wife.  It was a dreadful experience.  Why anyone would pay an entry fee to subject themselves to torture?  It baffled I get!  OK, I'm a slow learner.

Cole accompanied me to Birmingham.
He made it very clear that he wasn't going to be left behind.

As for my upcoming trip out West, it was almost cancelled on Friday.  I've had my route plotted for weeks and I had been waiting for my Dad to confirm his plans to travel with me before making reservations.  Sadly, a last minute snag has him stuck in Canada for another month.  So on Thursday,  I tried to reserve tent sites at my chosen campgrounds and found them booked solid.  The government shutdown has funneled all campers from National Parks and BLM lands to state and private campgrounds.  Dog-friendly motels can be hard to find, besides, it's not in the budget.  Staying at home and sulking after months of preparation wasn't an option either.
Enter the RV guru in my life:  Kim, divine goddess of road knowledge.  Within an hour of my mayday call, she had a host of options lined up for me. 

Two hours of labor, one of which was spent disabling the passenger side seat's airbags...can you guess what I'm doing? 
The Hyundai has now been converted into a mini RV.  I WILL RUN MY ULTRA IN UTAH.  Even if I have to sleep in my car to get there!  Adapt and overcome. 
Tip of the hat to the woman driving across the US right now in her converted Prius, I'm stealing all her ideas from the pictures on her blog!

This should be an interesting trip!