Thursday, February 11, 2010

It's Someone Else's Baby Now

A pic I took earlier today at the 2010 Winternationals in Pomona, California.

We have given it up…passed the baton…let someone else have all the fun. Here it is, good ol' trailer #14, occupied by someone else for this 2010 season!

It also happens to be the trailer I was standing on the top of for the aforementioned Space Shuttle launch sighting.

Do we miss it? Meh…a little bit…too soon to tell. We sure miss the people! Maybe more exciting things on the horizon—not that this wasn't exciting, mind you.

-- Posted From My iPhone

Sometimes I Just Can't Resist…

Extra funny if you've been to West Virginia or Tennessee! Hillbillies are great folk. We stayed at an RV park in Pigeon Forge, TN, run by the lesser-known cousins of the cast of HeeHaw, complete with dog. It was great! The Smoky Mountains are so gorgeous I wouldn't mind being reintarnated there, with the bus of course, and coming back as a hillbilly myself!

-- Posted From My iPhone

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Splendid Endeavour!

OK, I stole the title from NASA Television and their video from YouTube, but this is a landmark event—the last night launch of the Space Shuttle…and I'm sad.

It wouldn't mean so much to me if I had never visited Johnson Space Center, Kennedy Space Center, or stumbled by chance upon the John C. Stennis Space Center while traveling through Mississippi.

It certainly wouldn't mean as much if I hadn't taken the Cape Canaveral: Then and Now historical tour of the (now) Kennedy Space Center. The original launch sites for the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo space programs are all still there, including the most sombering Launch Pad 34 where the crew of Apollo 1 perished.

It wouldn't have meant as much if we hadn't gotten a bit “lost” on the massive grounds in my little truck and the nice facility security guard pointing us in the right direction and sending us on our way but not without handing us a couple of large coins commemorating STS-117 and STS-119 (STS-117 being the current launch, the missions were out of numerical order at that time).

It wouldn't meant as much to me if I hadn't taken the tour of the crawlerway, the LC 39 Observation Gantry, the massive Vehicle Assembly Building, and a viewing area of Launch Pad 39B complete with the Space Shuttle prepared for launch within the next couple of days. Which reminds me that I have photos, I just need to remember where I “filed” them.

It wouldn't mean so much if we hadn't driven 60 miles one way to watch a late night launch. We had to do this two nights in a row because the launch was scrubbed 30 seconds before takeoff the first night. This was before the beginning of the iPhone. I had my trusty Mac and network card with me to keep tabs on the launch status the whole time. Yes, I'm an ├╝ber nerd.

It wouldn't mean so much if I hadn't turned around last year one evening in March to see the Shuttle gracefully arcing up into the sky as seen from the roof of our N.H.R.A. merchandise trailer while in Gainesville, Florida.

And there's so much more that I don't remember right off-hand I'm sure, like waiting on the jetty at Port Canaveral for a day launch that was eventually scrubbed, scrubbed again, then rescheduled. And watching a launch on the television while being trapped in West Yellowstone for the summer—it was a lot like ”being there” having ”been there” before.

But I'm sad now and will be even more so when the very last Shuttle mission takes off, thus closing another chapter of the United States in Space. Now what?