As the odometer on the Subaru Outback 2.5 XT that I'm driving around in on Road Trip 2008 approached 3,000 miles, I saw a sign for the Hank Williams Sr. Boyhood Home and Museum.
Of course, I was tooling along on Interstate 65, heading toward Montgomery, Ala., on my way to Columbus, Ga., when I saw the sign.
Thinking that this was a chance to reach 3,000 miles at a significant place rather than on the shoulder of the highway, I took the exit and pointed myself toward the museum.
Quickly, though, I realized that the mileage wasn't going to work out exactly right. So, dear readers, in the interest of full disclosure, I will admit right here that in order to achieve what I finally did--hitting 3,000 miles on the dot just outside the museum--I had to drive around this little Alabama town for a few miles, my eye on the odometer, to make sure it worked out as I planned.
In other words, I cheated. Ah, well. What we'll do for round numbers.
It's not the first time I've done this, of course. On Road Trip 2006, I sort of did the same thing in order to hit 2,000 miles even at a lookout point with a fantastic view of Grand Coulee Dam in Washington state.
I figure as long as I 'fess up, it's no problem right?
Well, either way, I've hit 3,000 miles and it was at a pretty cool place. The Hank Williams museum is a treasure-trove of memorabilia related to the life and times of the legendary country music star. Yet it sits on a very quiet street in this tiny town. The woman behind the register said she'd had a busy day of guests, but when I checked the register, there couldn't have been more than five or six people who stopped in during the day.
Anyway, it's been an eventful thousand miles since I rolled over to two grand last week on my way to Memphis.
Since then, I've been to Memphis, where I wasn't allowed to tour Graceland, visited the land of the Delta Blues and spent two days looking at how New Orleans has--and hasn't--recovered since Hurricane Katrina.
I also got to watch the Blue Angels practice its rather incredible performance from the flight line at their Pensacola, Fla., headquarters.
Of course, given the practicalities of Road Trip, not all of these stories have run yet. Some will run in the next day or two. And some stories that hadn't run by the time I hit 2,000 miles, but which I had already done the reporting for, such as my visit to United Record Pressing in Nashville, Tenn., and my tour of NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, have since been published.
So just know that chronologies aren't always what they seem here at Road Trip 2008.
But I hope you'll stay tuned, both here and on my Twitter feed.
In the meantime, I'll try to make the 4,000 mile spot a little more legitimate. Let's just hope it's not the side of some highway.