Not that you guys needed me. Usually when the teacher leaves the room everyone throws spitballs. You guys throw car reviews.
I just got up after being asleep for 12 straight hours. We've been getting 4 or 5 hours sleep a night on the road, and I was starting to look like one of the little apple doll women. All crabby and shriveled looking. Good to be home.
But my, what a blast we had. I just drove with the Shell team all the way from Halifax to Vancouver. I looooove that drive, I love any road trip, and this was truly great. We happened to hit the Saskatchewan border the day after my column on my Dad ran for Father's Day, and his birthday was a few days later. I didn't even pick the driver switchover spot; it was random, but right at the Welcome to Saskatchewan sign. In I hopped, and along with my coach Helen Taylor (what an awesome lady; she was my copilot the whole way) we laughed and cried our way across the province. We hit incredible headwinds, rolling black skies, blasts of sunshine, spectacular fields unrolling beneath us, and curious little tailwinds that propelled me forward. I decided Dad was in the backseat the whole way, seeing his home for the last time. Helen agreed.
If you've been following my blog in the Globe & Mail Drive section (or trying to; wifi is erratic and crazymaking in so many spots, my filing was as irregular as a kid who just ate an entire block of cheese), you'll know we were attempting to set a world record for fuel efficiency.
We were doing something many call hypermiling, though the Taylors hate the word. Don't blame them; it's associated with the idiots on the road who toss a thimble full of gas into their tank and take off for the coast, creeping down the highway, drafting trucks, sailing through red lights and all manner of dangerous stunts to save gas.
We don't. 'Hypermiling' is still a useful word, though I will always pair it with the Taylor's sigh of being lumped in with the whackos. They do do extreme things to establish records, but safety is first. I refused to drive too slow. I was on board with no speeding, which produced some interesting results at times, but I warned them I would not be a nuisance on the roads. My numbers? Excellent. It can be done.
We had a curious cast of characters, though Ice Road Trucker Alex Debogorski might just have reinvented the word 'character'. Tower of a guy with a huge booming laugh that reverberates through, well, wherever he happens to be, is a hoot. It was immediately established that, as the two drivers who would be along for the whole journey, there would be a little competition between us. Just a little. I do believe the words "I shall kick his ass" may have been mentioned. I thought the using the word 'shall' lent it a little class. As if.
I am writing like a writing demon. Washing machine is going non-stop, and groceries need to happen. Cats are giving me the 'oh sure, now you want to be friends' look. The boys are good. Ari and I hit the road first thing Tuesday morning for a Georgian Bay trek for a few days that looks awesome. There will be a shiny Land Rover LR4 in the driveway that will be our chariot.
That pic is with Alex, somewhere near the Quebec border with Ontario. In Halifax, I got to drive first. Of course I did.