The second day of the ‘Fest went well. Everyone had a good time and everything got wrapped in the late afternoon. Even though there were fewer people here this year, it seemed to be a much more energetic event and the coco4.com announcement have people quite fired up. The next year or two could be quite interesting.
Tomorrow I get on the road for Thunder Bay. Hopefully the weather is much better tomorrow than it was on Friday. Either way, I plan to get a reasonably early start so it’s not too late when I get in to Thunder Bay.
The first day of the CoCoFest is winding down. As forecast, the weather was bad but that’s bearable since the fest is indoors. I did rent a table so I could set stuff up. It was definitely worth it since it gave me somewhere to sit and chat with folks as well as tinker with my CoCo setup. Not to mention it helps support the ‘Fest.
There was a nice presentation about assembly language programming by Steve Bjork among other events today. There was a pretty momentous announcement as things got underway this morning. A new web site, coco4.com went online today, dedicated to development of a more advanced emulator for the CoCo3 as well as a hardware project to allow interfacing with real hardware via a USB port on the host computer. There is also talk of creating a portable version of the CoCo Basic with much expanded features that will run on pretty much any platform. That is a very cool project which I will be watching with interest.
I also discovered that the VCC Emulator now runs under Cedega which means I can play with it now. This is good since it means I’ll possibly be able to test the results of the coco4.com project as the VCC emulator is, as I understand things, the core of the project.
The whole gang went out for supper to a place called Alexander’s just across from the hotel where the ‘Fest is taking place. This was a significantly better experience than we had with Bennigans last year and the prices were quite reasonable. Anyone looking for a place to eat in Elgin should definitely consider Alexander’s.
I also scored a spare CM8 monitor for my CoCos and an old multipack interface which might prove useful at some point. Good thing I drive to these things or I’d never get that monitor home.
I’m just about to call it quits for the day, bailing on the jam session. The folks doing the musical entertainment are pretty good but I think it’s getting on to time for sleeping. Or maybe to watch the programs I downloaded. Or maybe a movie? I’ll figure that out after I sign out.
Today dawned not quite as awful as it might have. Seems Fargo avoided much of the snow overnight so it wasn’t too bad getting underway, even if it was bitterly windy and sleeting. (That’s rain and snow together for the curious.) Of course, it didn’t take long to drive into worse weather.
I think the worst of the trip was between Fargo and Minneapolis where the road was washboard at best and slushy all over. In spots, you could see where the undercarriages of cars had plowed the tops for the snow furrows off. For a rather long stretch, traffic was driving in the left lane and passing in the right lane due to the left lane being in better shape. I think the worst was around the Avon rest area where the slip road had two ruts in the snow about a foot deep. It caused me some excitement as I ended up high centered just as a gust of wind hit and I ended up spun around in the snow bank. That was the most excitement, however, since I dug out the compact shovel from the trunk and cleared the snow from around the wheels and I was able to get moving again. (Did I mention it was heavy wet (and slippery) snow?) A kind gentleman stopped to render assistance but he tells me I had things under control.
After that, it was basically rain the whole rest of the way in with a brief bit at Wisconsin Dells that was dry. Of course, I took that opportunity to take a break and have some food so I didn’t get to enjoy much of the dry road conditions.
I have now arrived at the hotel in Elgin safe and sound and I even managed not to miss the turn for Tollgate Road. I noted in the parking lot as I was collecting my gear from my car that one of the other ‘Fest attendees has also arrived (from Minnesota so he also had to contend with the weather). Now I get to relax until Monday.
Well, I have arrived in Fargo without incident, just ahead of a blizzard apparently. I had rain most of the way from Regina to Estevan but otherwise it was clear sailing weather wise. From the forecast, it probably won’t be tomorrow since they’re forecasting several inches of snow over the next 24 hours.
I determined that I can get passable video of the highway out the windshield if I have my camera sitting on something so that it doesn’t slide away. That could be useful for creating some sort of time-lapse of a road trip. It did get me into some confusion at the US border, though, because I forgot to turn off the camera before entering the customs area. Still, I was only detained for about fifteen minutes while they did the usual search and demo thing. I have to admit they were much more polite and generally all around nice about it than the Canadians were a few years ago at Coutts.
Overall, I think I like the route via Estevan for getting from Regina to Fargo. It seems to be quite a bit shorter than going via Winnipeg (which, after studying a map for a bit seems obvious) and the road is in quite good shape. It’s easy enough to follow US-52 from the SK-ND border all the way into Fargo, after all.
I almost got to see a show similar to the one in Strathmore when I stopped for gas and food at the Husky in Estevan. Sadly, it was not to be. I guess I’ll survive.
Strangely enough, I have so far managed to avoid any significant construction zones or what have you. I’ve still got a lot of miles to go, though, so no doubt I’ll find some sort of major construction delay before the trip is done.
I have arrived in Regina safe and sound and checked into the hotel without incident. I can even see my car out the window.
The trip from Calgary has been mostly uneventful. That is to say, it was boring. I stopped in Strathmore for breakfast which was about the most entertaining part of the day so far. I happened in on a few customers who were kibitzing around with the waitress, one Wanda. It seemed appropriate to join in to some extent, and, quite frankly, it was refreshing to see folks just having fun. I suspect the customers were regulars, but still, it was entertaining.
I ended up stopping at a rest stop before Medicine Hat due to having eaten some stuff yesterday that I probably ought not to have. That was real fun since the rest stop had outhouses rather than the usual flush facilities, etc., that one often finds at such installations. Still, it provided the necessary relief. There was a speed trap along the highway between the rest stop and Medicine Hat, too. It was quite entertaining to watch the guy that went zipping past me and the rest of the folks that were travelling along at approximately the speed limit suddenly slow down to the limit. (I say we were going approximately the speed limit because the distance between us was not quite constant. Probably a very slight variation in the cruise control settings.)
That about sums up the trip so far. The rest of it was simply looking at relatively low traffic on a twinned highway. The most entertaining part of it was the rough bits in the road west of Swift Current. (No, the usual jokes about roads in Saskatchewan do not apply. The road wasn’t any better on average in Alberta.)
I did stop for food after filling up with gas at the Husky in Swift Current. Of all things, they had hash brown soup. I thought I was the only one that made that but apparently I was wrong. It was quite good, too.
Now I just need to figure out just which route I’m going to take to get to Fargo, my next stop-over point. I could go south from Regina and go via Estavan or I could take the usual route west and cross at Pembina. Either one is about the same length of time.
I’ll be setting out on my trip to the CocoFest shortly. This year I’m actually taking my CoCo setup in case I get ambitious and actually set it up. It’ll depend whether I can obtain the use of a table when I get there. Still, that’s three days away. Today, I just need to make it to Regina. It looks like the weather will be good for the first day of travel so I don’t expect any hitches today.
Well, off to finish loading up my car so I can hit the road.
I arrived home about 90 minutes ago. The drive today was much less eventful compared to yesterday. I had to scrape my car off this morning and things were just a wee bit chilly. Still, there was a nice dusting of snow along the landscape at the higher elevations and the roads were dry. All in all, decent conditions. The biggest excitement was at the border where it took over 90 minutes to get to the head of the line to chat with the customs guy. At least they didn’t decide to search my car this time.
As good as the trip was, I do have to admit that it’s nice to be home.
Well, I’ve arrived at Pocatello, Idaho. It was a long day, though. The weather was okay in New Mexico but as I progressed northward, I picked up more and more wind until it turned into actual dust storms in Utah. To make things even more exciting, for the short bit of the trip along I-70 and the first bit of US-6, the dust blowing around was so dense it might as well have been blowing snow or fog. It had the traffic on the highway slowed down markedly. To make things even more interesting, not long after passing Soldier Summit, I picked up snow which shortly turned into a full fledged snow storm which I had most of the way into Provo and then off and on again all the way to Pocatello where there is starting to be an accumulation.
I suppose the weather is no particular surprise given the time of year and the fact that this is high mountain terrain. It is an interesting transition, though, to go from 24C to -2C in the space of three hours.
At least I’ll be coming down out of the mountains tomorrow. I figure only about half of the day will be in mountain terrain so the weather should be okay. Of course, I’ll probably end up keeping all the wind since Montana and southern Alberta are both known for wind. I suppose time will tell.
I’m about to load up my car and check out of the hotel in Albuquerque. I caught the weather forecast last night and it looks like I’ll be driving through some weather along the Rockies. The high temperature for Denver today is something like 5C and they were talking snow. I think, based on that, I should probably take the western route though Salt Lake City, the same as the route I came, since the forecast for them is warmer. Still, I’ll probably make the decision once I’m out on the road.
So, for one final time, I’ll close with this. Greetings from Albuquerque.
The last day of the ARIN meeting went well enough and the affair ended ahead of schedule. Nobody was complaining about that. All in all, it has been a valuable look into the ops community and internet governance in general. I’ll have to see if I can make it next fall.
I strolled over to Old Town after the meeting and looked around a bit. I have to say, Albuquerque has practically nothing of any interest in its downtown area. Half the buildings are empty or locked up tighter than a drum. It makes me realize just how vibrant the downtown core of Calgary really is. You can find just about anything in downtown Calgary but a bit of wandering around revealed barely anything of interest. I suppose it’s all function as far as the locals are concerned but it’s certainly not all that visitor friendly in the downtown area. Still, I would have expected more from an area that apparently has around 800,000 people in it.
As fun as things have been, however, I am looking forward to getting home. There’s only so much different a person can take before it starts to wear thin. Tomorrow, I’ll be getting up relatively early and hitting the road. Not at the expense of sleep, mind, but the more distance I make tomorrow the less I have to do on Sunday.
As a side note, I did manage to find souvenir spoons and mugs so some folks ought to be happy.