Midnight Ride

I drove across the state on a lark back in June, trying to catch a launch of the space shuttle. It didn’t go. Since I’d gotten my hopes up, I kept trying every time NASA had a launch scheduled when I could make it to the east coast.

I spent an entire weekend waiting through two scrubbed launch attempts. I watched dolphins and manatees play in the river. I got sunburned, rained on, and once spent 4 hours coming back from the east coast in what is usually a 2-hour drive.

I tried again Monday night, and I went into work tired after getting home at 2am following another scrubbed launch attempt. Friday night I bolted across state for the fifth attempt since June. I was still smiling about it (mostly) and the topic of scrubbed shuttle launches had become something of a joke.

By my estimate, I had spent $150 in gas in all of the cross-state trips. I spent about 24 hours total driving there and back, and another 24 hours sitting by the river waiting for a launch that never seemed to come.

Until Friday night. All of that effort was worth it to see this:
STS-128 Lifts Off
Would I do it again? In a heartbeat.

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