I’m upstairs finishing up my last meeting. Mark’s downstairs watching The Big Lebowski. Jim’s somewhere on I-77 about an hour and a half away. Some degree of packing has been done.


… three weeks until Jim and I are digging a shallow grave for him somewhere in Arizona.

Oh, and Jim booked hotels in San Diego and Las Vegas on the wrong nights.

Jim, Mark, and I had been talking about some joint activity to mark our collective 40th birthdays for some time but never made any firm plans. Jim’s birthday came and went in October. Mark’s is three months away, mine at the end of September. Time was beginning to run short, especially for someone as prone to apathy and procrastination as I am.

On Tuesday morning I emailed the others:

Subject: Decrepitude

So, are we going to do anything together to mark the passing of our last grip on youth this year? Or are we just all too old, boring and broke these days?

By the end of Friday we had a plan, which while still far from complete had been greatly refined from the initial ‘drive across the US from coast to coast’ idea, and all the (non-refundable) flights were booked.

Wheels were in motion. Actual money had been spent. There was no stopping us now (note: unless something does stop us).

Mark’s flight, arriving in Charlotte 2pm Thursday 10th September – booked.

Car rental (‘Jeep Grand Cherokee or similar’), pick up at Charlotte airport 8am Saturday 12th, drop off San Diego airport 10pm Friday 18th – booked.

Three one-way flights from San Diego to Charlotte via Dallas-Fort Worth, departing 11am Saturday 19th – booked.

Latest draft of the itinerary includes overnight stops in Mt. Vernon Illinois, Colby Kansas, Montrose Colorado, somewhere in Utah, somewhere in Arizona, Las Vegas Nevada, and San Diego, totalling around 3,000 miles.