Monday, October 26, 2009

First Day

Today was the first day with the Service.  Not much really to report, your basic Human Rescource type paperwork and briefings.  Fellow entrants are without exception intelligent, collegial folk; it's very easy to get along with this crowd.  For the first time since starting the move, I'm finally starting to feel comfortable.

Oh, yes, the move.  No matter how much planning, and even though they send people to pack up your stuff for you, moving is always a major pain in the ass.  Most of that stuff I won't be seeing for some time, but that's fine.  The furnished place the Department has set me up with (and is paying for) is surprisingly comfortable for one of those corporate temp housing joints.  The furnishings are not bad, and they have all the things one needs for living - towels, utensils, pots and pans, that sort of thing.  They even throw in cable and maid service, although the housekeeper is as yet unable to venture into my apartment because of my terrifying dog.

And this is my terrifying dog, as we were driving cross country.  The Department figured it would be 2600 miles, but I meandered a bit.  Final odometer reading made it 3500 miles.  From LA, I took the I-15 up to whatever secondary road that was that took me to Zion National Park. 

I went through Zion, and then down a two-lane blacktop to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

I woke up early and watched the sun rise over the Canyon, and the headed east and then north on a two lane road through Monument Valley and up to Arches National Park.

Then I met up with the I-70, and took it through Colorado.  A storm started when I hit Denver, and it followed me all the way to DC.  It was snow up on the high plains, but luckily it was rain the rest of the way.  I zipped through Kansas and Missouri, and dipped south on the I-55 to Memphis.  Checked out Graceland, and had some banging ribs at a joint called Rendezvous, which was hiding down an alley in downtown Memphis.

Then, fueled by Waffle House biscuits and gravy, I headed east on I-40 and then detoured through the Smokey Mountains, and on to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The parkway was taking a while, so I got on to the I-81, which I took up to Loray, Virginia, where I checked out some caverns.

I then finished by taking Skyline Drive through Shenandoah National Park to the I-66 and to home in Falls Church, VA.

And here I am, and boy am I tired.

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