Sunday, September 28, 2008

A weekend worthy of the title

Finally, a weekend that felt like a weekend. Friday I was jonesing all day to get on my bike and hit the Quarter Rage. Squirrel didn't disappoint with plenty of people showing up and a case of bud light to share in after putting down a good effort. I'm still out of shape, but put in about all I had to bring it home in a shade over 23 minutes. I reset my max heart rate yet again to 199 with an average of 187 for the effort. Not too shabby, I just wish I was a bit faster. I still avoided two obstacles though,the first log after the entrance into Denman's and then the flat cut angled log about halfway through. I did have some fun playing in the mud as I shot straight through most of the puddles and managed to find one that was really deep. I coated my legs from the knees down and I think was the most coated of all the ragers.

Saturday I got up and headed down to our friend's place in Indianola to help take down the swing set. We just put this thing up two months ago and it was time to pull it back down for their move all ready. Bummer, but at least it came apart pretty easily and I was done and home early in the afternoon. That left us some time to do some more cleaning of the house before our friends came into town for the cross race on Sunday. We opted to order in and I ran to Mezzodi's to pick up some great pasta and salads for dinner. Corley had a ball playing with their boys and was worn out and down for the count relatively early.

Sunday rolled around early with another gorgeous morning to ride. I met the guys at Hy-Vee for breakfast, but was running late so I fueled on donuts in lieu of being able to order something. Of course the reason I was running late is the cones in my front hub were loose and allowing over an inch of wobble at the top of the wheel. I got that fixed up, but they're due for some serious TLC with as gritty as the bearings felt. Lou, Pete, and Pig all rolled out from Hy-Vee and we hit the back end of Denman's until we met up with Squirrel about halfway through. Pig and I were just cruising, but I managed to clear all the log overs going in reverse so it was at least a good start. We lost the other 4 and so we headed over to Hillside figuring that was where the others were off to. Nothing doing as Hillside was completely quiet. Once Pig caught back up, we decided to roll up the to the top and start riding figuring they'd show up eventually and we were right.

We ran Hillside about every way from Sunday and got in a decent amount of climbing before the guys were ready to call it a day and head off to morning services. Knowing it is supposed to rain this week, I figured it might be my last chance this week to get out on the trails so I opted for another loop through Denman's. I hit stride on this loop. Another one of those perfect passes. I finally cleared the last two logs I'd been avoiding and just flew through the course with the ground having about perfect traction.

After a quick shower and brief rest, Corley and I took the cross bike and trailer over to watch our friends run and the rest of the riders as well. Corley had a blast cheering on the riders and even got into it with some cowbell ringing!

She spied a butterfly at one point and was completely entranced by it.

After the cat 4 race we took off and headed home. I even managed to take Corley down a small part of the course in the trailer which she thoroughly enjoyed as well. We said goodbye to a few friends and headed home. Of course she fell asleep on the way home and somehow managed to stay asleep through me carrying her into the house and still took a 2 hour nap. We finished out the afternoon and evening just hanging out and even catching a little football. Now that's a weekend!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Crappy start to the morning

Well, I can only hope the rest of the day isn't indicated by the start to the morning. Actually, everything went well until the morning ritual fueled on by coffee dictated that I head to the room with no windows. So far, so good, right? Ya with me? The fateful moment came when I pushed that little magic button that makes it all go away.

Hmm, that's odd, the water is rising and not falling. Uh oh, it's getting pretty close to the rim. OK, damn, where's the plunger? Oh shit, someone has absconded with the fucking plunger! Nothing to do now, but watch the brown tide roll forth. I've gotta say, I'm actually thankful our restrooms at work are completely tiled.

I hurriedly stuck a sign to the door that warned you should only enter if you have the need to empty your stomach contents and went in search of a plunger and mop. Someone thoughtfully put a plunger next to each toilet in the shop restroom, but apparently thought since the office personnel's shit don't stink, we would never have the need for one. I stole the closest one at hand and ran back to conquer the shit demon.

Honestly I think someone set me up. Not to be too graphic, oh wait too late for that, but I know what it takes to make a toilet runneth over and there was nothing this morning that even came close to that level of fury. A couple quick bouts with the plunger and now I was reduced to lead janitor in charge of cleanup in aisle 2 (or was that number 2)? Who does number 2 work for anyway?

A heaping helping of Clorox disinfectant and a soiled mop bucket later, I had things back under control. Definitely not the start I wanted for my day, but all's fair in love an war. Now, if you're still reading and not retching, hopefully I'll see a few of you at Quarter Rage tonight. Enjoy and remember, your day could always be worse...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Things that sound good in theory

Before I get to the meat of the post, I thought I'd post one of my favorite pictures I've taken lately. It was Sunday morning's mountain bike excursion. If this doesn't look close to perfection to you, I suggest you need a new outlook on things!

Now for the rest of the story. I broke free from work a shade after 4 hell bent on making it down to PRC's last Ritual Ride of the year. I'd also made up my mind to head from the end of that ride down to Giff's in Valley Junction to meet the guys for tacos and beer. After that, I'd saunter my way back home for a shower and passing out in bed. It sounded like a great plan. Actually in most ways it was. However, I learned a good lesson that things don't always go together no matter how good they might be individually.

The Ritual Ride was good and 1 loop was plenty for this out of shape guy. I hooked up with Lou for an extra mile in Water Works on the way out which put us about a 1/2 mile behind the main pack as we hit the road. Of course it was no issue for him to bridge the gap, but it took me about half the lap before I could latch back on. We worked some hills and I got a chance to chat with Kelli about her mountain bike aspirations... I split off as we hit 63rd and made my way towards sweet refreshment in the form of cheap tacos and beer.

My gluttony got the best of me as I ordered 2 tacos and washed them down with a couple tall boys of Old Style. All told, I was still out of there for $10. I hung out with the muddy yet happy taco riders and sat in on the CITA meeting. At this point I was fat and happy, but I still had 8 miles to roll back home in the dark. We left as a group, but split up shortly after hitting Grand leaving me to wind my way home alone. No biggie as I was outfitted with a blinky and headlight.

After hitting the Grand hill and trying to keep the pace a little above a slog, my stomach and legs started to rebell. I eased my way on home which involved a couple more decent climbs, but thankfully some descent as well. Once home, I pretty much lapsed into a lactic coma as I collapsed on the couch for a bit. I headed to the showers where my dinner choices began to make me rethink my decision of going for a 1 to 1 ratio of tacos to beer. I opted to head to bed as quickly as possible to hopefully avoid any more discomfort by sleeping it off.

My lovely wife comes home and finds me in bed and decides to proposition me. As my grumblings hadn't passed quite yet, we opted for door number 2 which was to see if she could arouse me out of a sound sleep when she was ready to come to bed. Somewhere around the stroke of midnight, I was awakened in what can only be described as the best way possible. However, I was still suffering somewhat so I soldiered on the best I could. What's a guy to do?! After fulfilling my "obligation" I was back to bed.

So to recap- Ritual Riding- good, Tacos and Beer- good (in moderation), being woken up to perform sexual acrobatics at midnight- good. Toss everything together and mix them up and you've got a recipe for feeling out of it, seating through the night, and the expected result of eating tacos and drinking cheap beer... Not quite the perfect mix of activities, but I'd still rate the night a success.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Whirlwind weekend

What a wild ass weekend. It involved work, but in a different kind of way. We signed up a couple months ago to do a booth at the Women's expo at Hy-Vee hall with some friends of ours. We shared space with Kee's Camp and Morning Rain Massage. We set up on Friday night after I took off early from work to go home and load up. It was interesting to say the least considering we had 3 booths within a single space and also temped together a dressing room and spray taning station.

Saturday morning found us rushing back to the expo at 8 to finish setting up and wait for customers. We had pretty high hopes with forecasted visitors we thought we'd heard to be 17,000 or more. I'd say that was optimistic by roughly double or possibly even more. Add in that we also had to donate a $100+ prize pack to get our name on this treasure hunt type card that was supposed to draw more people to our booth that got printed without our name on it... and we'd be fighting hard to make our investment back. Being a Women's expo I felt like a duck out of water when it came to selling/pushing our product. I let Miranda take lead and was hoping just to fill orders and write up receipts. I talked to a few ladies all weekend put for the most part I was about useless in the sales department. I tried making up for it by doing some grunt work in helping set up and tear down various things for all 3 of the vendors, but that was about as good as I got.

Saturday ended ok with some decent sales, but roughly only half of what we needed for a break even day. We were pretty tired and starving so we headed out in search of some food. We floated a few high brow ideas such as Dos Rios, but ended up at one of our favorite Thai places in Des Moines called Cafe Fusion. They've got the best pad thai in my opinion and the rest of the menu isn't too shabby either. they're also cheap and hardly ever crowded. We enjoyed our meal until we were pretty well stuffed and headed home to drift off into a coma before repeating our performances again on Sunday.

The alarm went off a bit early for me on Sunday as I was roused to join in on a mountain bike ride with some of the guys. Breakfast at 6 bells and riding by 6:30 makes for an early start. I hustled around and was right on time to meet up. Unfortunately as is often the case, we didn't hop on the bikes until 7. We were greeted with a pretty spectacular view as we headed out on the trail. The sun was just rising through the fog and I couldn't resist.

My revelry was short lived as I heard the hissing of a flat. Luckily it was on a different Rick's bike. He stopped to change while we hit Denman's in reverse so he could ride it forward and meet us along the way. We dropped in and took a nice uptempo pace through the woods. There were a few spills that I managed to avoid and I stayed on the back of the pack for the most part. Not having ridden more than a handful of times over the past month definitely put me in an overdrive state for heart rate and I was feeling it just a bit. We turned back around and after a pile up right off the bat (again by others) I stuck to the pack again until we hit a particular log crossing.

I'm not quite sure how many times this particular crossing has slammed me to the ground, but it's more than times I've made it over. It comes across the trail at roughly a 60 degree angle so it makes it not only wider than normal, but also a weird approach angle to get the tires to bite on without slipping. Just as the last time, I ate shit trying to cross it. Ass over appetite with the bike making sure to whack me pretty good on the way down just so I knew I indeed crash landed. I jumped back up without surveying the injuries and started pedalling again. My knee and calf were smarting pretty good, but still functioning, so on I road.

At this point I got gapped so I just held steady to the end without any more fanfare and caught up to the pack as we made our way to Hillside. As soon as we hit Hillside, I knew I was in for it. My heart rate pegged in the high 180's and didn't waiver much until we finished our loops a half hour or so later. I was hurting, but I made all the climbs without walking or falling including climbing a pretty steep new piece that I'd only ridden down once in the past. Overall a great morning of riding with about 15 miles and 90 minutes under our belts.

After busting butt home and finding my wife in a compromisable state of mind... we showered and headed off to our second day at the expo. We made a couple quick sales and then nothing. Crowds were steady but overall down from Saturday. We sold a few more lotions and candles, but the only real sales came from the other ladies within our booth finding pieces of lingerie they couldn't live without. I know we didn't break even in regards to what we spent to show up. I'm also pretty doubtful that we'll really get any business from handing out our cards and info all weekend. I'm pretty disappointed to say the least. We're dangling preciously close to that point where it's time to cut and run or really dig ourselves into a big hole by going all out with a storefront. I'm just not sure which way to go in this type of situation. We're working on a business plan to see if it's even viable as a store, but who knows since the actual financial info has to be more or less fudged.

That's the weekend in a wrap.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I'm bummed for Miranda. She is like me in that she doesn't seem to make many close friends. We've got a lot of people we're friends with, but can probably count on a single hand, the people we'd consider really close friends. As such, losing one always sucks. Miranda's closest friend is moving about 5 hours from here as her husband is making a career change. They were stuck here until their house sold and while we were secretly hoping it would never sell, they finally struck a deal on it a couple weeks ago. Part of that deal involved them being out in roughly 30 days so the hunt was on for them to find a new place. Again, we halfway hoped that wouldn't be the case, but alas, they found a new place and everything seems to be set in concrete.

It's going to be rough on Miranda as this is really her best girlfriend. They talk several times per week and almost always get together with our girls once a week as well. We all hang out a number of times throughout the year as well enjoying good food and drink. It's a good time and pretty laid back deal. They'll be missed for sure and I forsee at least a few road trips to Chi-town in the upcoming year. Actually, with us having another set of friends in that same relative area, it might work out well as we only get over there about once a year as is, so this might help that friendship as well. Its just a bum deal all around, but we wish them the best and hope it works to make their marriage stronger and lives better.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Down with the sickness

Can you catch a cold from the internets? I'm under the distinct impression it's a complete possibility. As such, I'm blaming my cold on this guy. He posted about being sick just over a week ago. I knew I shouldn't have read his blog, but I was compelled to. Of course, then I made it even worse by texting him to find out if he'd be at the Ales and Trails party this weekend. In retrospect, that was probably the final straw as sure enough, on my way home from Dubuque Thursday, I felt all the tell tale signs of disease coursing through my body.

Of course, this is all my conspiracy theory, but in reality, I'm guessing it's natures way of kicking my ass while I'm down... It was bound to happen sooner or later. A sudden shift in seasonal temps, long days sitting in an office surrounded by others with various germs, and not enough exercise are pretty prime recipes for catching a cold. I've tried hard to fend it off with a mix of over the counter remedies and herbal medecines. I switched it pretty quickly from a sinus based cold down into my chest, but that's about it thus far. At least I'm not really getting hammered at the moment, but its plenty to be annoying.

Big surprise, my weekend consisted of mostly work. I passed on hitting CITA's party at Whiterock this weekend in favor of working and recouping as much as possible. The pictures show a pretty good time, but I don't think I really saw any biking other than on hardpack. At least I didn't miss some sweet trail riding as I'd probably be kicking myself harder if that were the case. Sunday was down time hanging with Corley. She took a great nap and that let me watch some NASCAR which is finally back on broadcast TV plus snooze a bit myself.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Birthday thoughts

Thank you to Tom who interpreted Wednesday's post correctly and identified it was indeed my birthday. I got in all of my plans and had a pretty good overall day. Thinking back on it now, I gotta say I'm pretty lucky.

I had to work. So what, doesn't most everyone? I took off at my appointed time after logging about 9 hours. Can't complain too much there. I met up with some other guys for the taco ride at Rassy's. I took off at 6 and the rest of the group apparently waited another few minutes for others. Oh well, that put me into Denman's on my own and it was perfect. I just enjoyed the solitude and peace. I rode easy and played in the mud a bit. Other than a pesky log crossing that bit me, Denman's was uneventful.

I headed over to Hillside to round out the night and just past the top of the hill I had a flat. I guess you gotta have one every now and then. The downside was I spent 15 minutes fighting the tire to get it off the rim. Road tires are much easier! I did get it fixed and finished out my lap of Hillside on my own with some good fun and fast downhilling. I made my way back through to the Dirty Express and had it in my head that I really wanted to clear that dirt ledge that's formed where the trail washed out. I chickened out last time and then realized my bottom bracket would clear. Well, I got both wheels up on the trail and then promptly fell over and whacked myself pretty good with the bike.

From there it was off to the races. I had to meet my blushing bride at Cafe Su for dinner. Now I was pretty mud covered and dirty at this point. I broke out the baby wipes once I reached the truck and cleaned up any parts that would be exposed plus the layer of sweat I'd worked up. Everything else was covered up by street clothes. We ate way too much dinner and gorged ourselves further with desert before rolling home. A bit of TV, a shower to clean off the grime and I was off to bed feeling pretty content with the day. Sometime later I was even roused out of my slumber and then aroused out of my slumber if you get my drift to close out a pretty damn good day.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My day

My pledge today is to be off work by 4, to be on my bike in some way/shape/form for at least an hour tonight (hopefully on a dirty taco ride), and to have dinner with my beautiful bride after the ride. As the song goes, I'm "another year older and deeper in debt." I hope to see some of you guys out there tonight.

Monday, September 08, 2008

It's better than the alternative

I can't count how many times I've heard this saying lately. I wonder if it's just coming back around as a fad or if it's becuase people don't want to say that it sucks to be you, or what. While I think there's definitely some truth to the fact that it's better to be busy and gainfully employed, I think there's such a thing as being too damn busy.

I've been briefly unemployed. While I like to say it was a mutual parting of ways, the truth was I was fired. I was actually releived to be rid of that job though so I guess that might not be the greatest of examples. However, the circumstances I faced were still the same as most anyone else, I had a house to pay for, a car with a note, various other things to support like eating, and just had life to deal with. Funny, I had a new job in less than a week and even though it was temporary until I could find something that was really more towards my final plan, it was work and I had a paycheck coming in.

I guess I really don't have a point other than if I hear one more time that it's better than the alternative, I might just fucking scream. In case you can't tell, today has sucked pretty much from the time the phone started ringing this morning.

It was a weekend..

Well, it was at least a weekend. Of course, weekend typically means that the work week has ended and you're free to pursue extracurricular activities. While, I did get some of those fun times in this weekend, it still didn't mean that I left work. Saturday and Sunday found me sitting behind the desk for at least a few hours each day. Mercifully, I couldn't spend all day here due to other commitments.

Saturday afternoon found me putting Corley down for a nap and then dropping her by grandma's house where she'd be spending the night. After that, I met my hot wife back at home where we got ready to head to the Rassy team party. It was a blast enjoying the great people that make up the various teams that Rasmussen's sponsors. There's the triathletes, mountain bikers, roadies, and those that span multiple designations. All of them came together for a great time hosted by some amazing people Chris and Collier Schofield. Big hats off to them for providing a great party place at one of the few places in Des Moines that I've long wanted to check out.

I spent a good part of Saturday night debating about going to the time trial at the Science Center on Sunday and had pretty much talked myself out of it. Somewhere in the wee hours of Sunday AM as the alarm was ringing 6 bells, I decided to sleep in a bit, try to get a bit of action, and see if I had any legs left under me. For those keeping score, I hit 3 for 3. Alas, on the last count, I definitely did NOT have any legs yesterday. 2 weeks off the bike tends to do that to a guy. As we gathered for the race, I went out for a pre-ride of the course and felt myself getting winded even at a relaxed pace. That's not a good sign. As I lined up, my heart rate was sitting at 140 before even turning a pedal. That's an even worse sign. Ahh well, I had my dues paid and was there to have fun. I squeaked out a slow start on the pavement and was easily passed by the guy starting a minute behind me just as we started some climbing in the rose garden area. I pulled off and slowed so he could fly by. I figured why bother holding anyone up at this point.

I hit rollercoaster and was doing better by this point only to find the William's from eastern Iowa coming back up the trail as they were lost having not ridden here before and not pre-riding the course. They hopped in behind me and quickly passed me as I managed to fall over as I spun out climbing the switchback just after the creek crossings, which I at least cleaned easily. Robin was gone after that, but I kept Kyle in my sight most of the way through Hillside where I actually caught him. I guess I had the advantage of having ridden here before as I was bombing the downhills pretty well and he was getting me on the climbs. He pulled off to let me pass so I took off and hit it. That was a mistake as I quickly ran out of steam and just pulled off so Kyle could get back by and I wouldn't slow him any. I eased on through the uphills and finally hit the pavement downhill to the finish.

I haven't quite figured out where this obsession comes from, but I apparently love flying down pavement on my mountain bike. I tend to get nervous on my road bike, but with some wide tires under me, I'm damn near fearless. This was no exception as I came flying through the crowd and then hammered the brakes including a decent stoppie that brought some cheers from the crowd. I found out later that they classed the beginners in with the sport class since there were only 3 of us. I managed a 2 second better time than Kurt who I've been trading back and forth with since my Boone race debut putting me at 2-1 for wins. However, looking at the standings this morning, my time was good enough to put me in 3rd for the sport class once they bumped me up! Woohoo. Not bad for feeling like crap for half the ride and enjoying the flow the other half.

The rest of Sunday consisted of more work. Or in the words of Scott Sumpter, "you know it's Sunday?!" Yes, I'm painfully aware of that Scott... I did pick up Corley and we enjoyed some afternoon time playing, doing dinner, and bath time before I introduced her to Sunday night football. Heh, she got a kick out of it. Now it's time to hit it hard for another week, but at least I signed up for Ales and Trails this weekend.

Thursday, September 04, 2008


That's the question that struck me last night as I was standing in the office having a bitch fest with a fellow coworker at the stroke of 7 at night. Considering I'd been in the office since 6 that morning and figured I should put in another half or full hour, I considered it a valid question. It stuck with me through the night, haunted my dreams a bit, and even was pondered in the shower this morning. Why do I do what I do? Who am I doing it for? What's my end goal?

I used to think I did it for the money and all that it would buy. That's an easy, shallow, and somewhat fulfilling answer. But, in reality, it's not anywhere near why I really do it. It struck me this morning. I do what I do for my family. I do it so we can live a life that is as fulfilling as we can make it and hopefully give our daughter a great start to life. However, there must be balance. I'm realizing that the balance is quickly tipping into the wrong direction lately. While I'm not just out after money, I've worked myself into a spot where work requires so much of me that I can't give what I want or need to my family. My goal at work right now is to leave early enough that I can see Corley for a few minutes before she has to go to bed. Her bed time is at 8. That just sucks.

So, it's important for me to at least put down why I'm doing what I'm doing. I need to see that in the end it will be worth it. My family is always going to be worth it. It doesn't mean that I can't resent having to do it in the way that I'm currently doing it though. I'll make it, but don't expect me to be happy about it and I hope I won't carry too much bitterness after I get done.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Long days in the saddle equal a big ass

Apparently long days of driving, eating, and repeating, tend to expand ones ass at an abnormally fast rate. After our gravel hundy on the 24th I was weighing in at a relatively svelte 157 and change. I noticed after our road trip, my gut seemed to have a bit more hang than usual so I hopped on the scale to double check. Yup, I put on 8 pounds in roughly 8 days. Ouch... Long days at work and eating out multiple meals a day probably don't help out much either. Thankfully I'm nearing a break in the action with only another 6 or so weeks left to go.

The road trip was in all a pretty good time. Or at least as good a time as can be had when you pile 1550 miles of driving into 5 days with most of it coming over 2 days. I left early on Thursday morning and pointed southwest until I hit St Louis.

I made just over an hour stop to have some lunch with one of my car buddies I hadn't seen forever. We had a nice time catching up over some food and beverages and I had to hit the road again. I hit a few oddball back roads around Memphis as mapquest took me down some interesting roads to get to where the ladies were staying. I arrived about 4:45 and was ecstatic to see the girls. Aside from being overly joyed to see them, both Miranda and I's hormones were raging away as soon as we touched. Amazing what nearly two weeks away will do for needing some intimacy with the one you love.

We put our affection on ice as much as possible and headed down to Beale Street for some dinner and sightseeing. We grabbed some great barbecue at BB King's place on Beale. They had some live blues going on and we all had a great time with Corley bopping along in her seat to the music. We took a stroll up and down Beale and briefly contemplated a horse drawn carriage ride, but it took a half hour and we were pushing bedtime for Corley as it were. We hit the sack relatively early for some well earned nooky time along with an early morning wake up that had us out the door at 7:30 Friday.

We hit Little Rock around 1 on Friday and made our way over to visit our friends. This is the same friend that was recently diagnosed with brain tumors/cancer. It was their little one's nap time as well by the time we arrived so we headed on over to his parent's place where we'd be staying for a few days and put Corley down for a nap as well. We made sure to put our time to good use as well and that even included some napping...

Friday night we were treated to a visit to see their daughter perform at her church both in a band and in a short drama. Now most of you know I'm not a particularly religious person, but the drama they put on was about the typical trials the teens deal with today and was pretty powerful. It was very well put on by the kids. We crashed pretty hard Friday night and got up on Saturday ready to attack the day. Saturday morning we actually just hung around mostly and let Corley play with some of the cousins who came to visit. Just a quick side note about this family- we stayed with the parents and our friend is married to one of the sons. In total they have 3 kids and 2 of the 3 live within a half mile and the 3rd isn't much past that so all the kids, grandkids, etc are always getting together and it's just an awesome show of what a family can be.

Saturday afternoon we partied. It was for our friend's son celebrating his 2nd birthday and on top of that it turned into a surprise party for our friend as well. She was completely caught off guard, but enjoyed everyone's company. We all had a blast and though it thoroughly wore her out, our friend was in great spirits. On Sunday we headed over to visit the Little Rock Zoo.

Both our friends work there, but she wasn't feeling well enough to visit with us. It's too bad as we get basically an all access pass when they go with and we can into certain pens with the animals. The zoo was still fun and they've done a ton of work to make it better since we had last visited 3 years ago. We dropped by their house in the afternoon for dinner and to let Corley play with their son. We hung out and said our goodbyes so we could get packed and ready to roll back home.

Monday was just a long as slog all the way home. The scenery was much nicer through northern Arkansas and southern Missouri than anything rolling down to Memphis, but it was still a long haul. Corley did relatively well considering she had to spend over 9 hours strapped into a car seat. I'm sure that's pretty torturous when you're two and a half and full of energy. We made the best of it by stopping and letting her get out as we filled up for gas or grabbed a meal.