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A Million Little Pieces Of My Mind


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Many (although not all) pages on this site include a date and possibly time at which the event described occurred, the page was posted, or the page was updated. Here you can narrow a search down to as narrow a period as you like; or, alternatively, broaden it to all of time, set the Maximum Retrievals Per Page to 1000 and browse every page here!

Picking Up Gramma at JAX

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 7/21/1970
Posted: 11/27/2023
Page Views: 311
Topics: #Florida #JacksonvilleInternationalAirport #Photography
In 1970, a trip to the airport was more fun than a trip to the zoo.

I had been to Jacksonville International Airport exactly two times before: First, on June 5, 1968, when I drove a friend's dad to catch a flight. I remember the date because I watched Robert F. Kennedy being shot live on the TV monitors in the general waiting area. The second time was when I flew to Fort Lauderdale to visit my buddy, Chris. In those days, before hijackings and security lines and no smoking, a visit to an airport was almost as exciting as actually making the trip oneself. So, in July, 1970, after my grandmother had made a trip to New Jersey to visit her best friend (who we called Aunt Connie), Mom, my sister Mary, and myself made the drive to pick her up. I had bought a special role of film for the occasion, and we got there early enough for me to do my favorite thing, then and now: explore the place with my camera.

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El-Dorado Hot Spring

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 11/19/2023
Page Views: 243
Topics: #Arizona #Cross-Country #ElDoradoHotSpring #Tesla #Tonopah
The really, truly, final day of my cross-country trip in my Tesla.

But, as I slept in my car for the first time at the El Dorado Hot Spring, I must admit I had to wonder. The Spring is hot; the weather was not. The night before there'd been a tremendous rainstorm, and though tonight was clear, the expected temperature was to plunge down to a very cold (for Central Arizona) 45°F. I noted the battery's charge when I went to sleep with the car in camping mode: 66%. (That was after driving to Tonopah from Gilbert, from a 100% charge.) According to the Tesla Navigator, if I turned around and headed home right then, I would be left with 34%. That meant I had about 30% for the heater, plus I intended to play soft music all night. I knew there was a SuperCharger in Buckeye, 22 miles away; so I wasn't as concerned as I might have been if I'd been in, say, remote Alaska. But was I surprised in the morning!

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But Wait, There's More!

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 11/18/2023
Page Views: 222
Topics: #Arizona #Cross-Country #ElDoradoHotSpring #Tesla #Tonopah
I take a 2 day extension to my 17-day of my cross-country trip in my Tesla.

When I arrived home last night, I was there alone. All three dogs were at a pet resort, and Jenny and the kids were at a Children's Olympics meet in Prescott. Moreover, I was asked to not mess up the house, because a real estate agent was doing a showing on Sunday at 11 AM. And, truly, my bedroom looked like a catalog shot. So, yes, I slept here last night, very gingerly. But I was already thinking of just continuing my trip by heading a little further west, to one of my favorite hot springs.

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And Back Home!

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 11/17/2023
Page Views: 136
Topics: #Arizona #Cross-Country #NewMexico #Tesla #Texas
Day 17, the final day of my cross-country trip in my Tesla.

As I drove west from Pecos, the landscape became more arid and barren, with sparse vegetation and few signs of human habitation…. There was also not much traffic. This is the beginning of the Chihuahuan Desert, the largest desert in North America, which covers most of the Llano Estacado and extends into Mexico. The Chihuahuan Desert is characterized by low rainfall, high evaporation, and extreme temperatures. It is home to many unique plants and animals, such as the creosote bush, the ocotillo, the prickly pear cactus, the roadrunner, the horned lizard, and the kangaroo rat (one of which startled me once when I was camping in Grand Canyon, but that's another story).

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To Pecos, TX

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 11/16/2023
Page Views: 135
Topics: #Cross-Country #Pecos #Tesla #Texas
Day 16 of my cross-country trip in my Tesla.

The route I took from Plano to Pecos, Texas, crossed two more of the four major physical regions of Texas: the Great Plains and the Basin and Range Province. The Great Plains cover the western and northern parts of the state, and are mostly flat and dry, with some canyons and plateaus. This region includes the Edwards Plateau, the Llano Estacado, the Rolling Plains, and the High Plains.

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To Plano, TX

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 11/15/2023
Page Views: 145
Topics: #Cross-Country #Louisiana #Tesla #Texas
Day 15 of my cross-country trip in my Tesla.

I must admit to entering the State of Texas with the trepidation of Santa Anna entering Texas to attack the Alamo. Unlike him, I hoped to emerge unscathed in two days' time. Texas is very proud of being big but, as they keep telling us, size isn't everything! But please understand; it's the current political atmosphere I loathe, not the state. I love Texas. Texas is very large and diverse, with different landscapes, climates, and cultures. According to the Texas Almanac, Texas has four major physical regions: Gulf Coastal Plains, Interior Lowlands, Great Plains, and Basin and Range Province. And at least the sky was beginning to clear.

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To Sulphur, LA

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 11/14/2023
Page Views: 189
Topics: #Cross-Country #Louisiana #Mississippi #Tesla
Day 14 of my cross-country trip in my Tesla.

On the 14th day of my trip (the day I had originally expected to be home in Arizona!), Eta was no longer a tropical storm, but a post-tropical cyclone that was moving away from the Southeast coast of into the Atlantic Ocean. Eta had weakened significantly after making its final landfall in Florida on November 12th, and had lost its tropical characteristics by November 13th. Eta's remnants continued to produce some rain and gusty winds along my route, however, before moving offshore. I'd had a little rain previously, but today was the first heavy weather I'd had to drive through.

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To D'Iberville, MS

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 11/13/2023
Page Views: 198
Topics: #Alabama #Cross-Country #Florida #Mississippi #Tesla
Day 13 of my cross-country trip in my Tesla, which included my first hike in over two years!

I woke in the Florida Panhandle to find the cloud cover had intensified. There was a tropical storm, Eta, that had made landfall along Florida's Gulf Coast near Cedar Key, Florida, with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph, around 4 AM yesterday. However, despite the weather, I felt surprisingly good! Good enough, perhaps, to try a short hike?

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To Carabelle, FL

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 11/12/2023
Page Views: 436
Topics: #Cross-Country #Florida #Tesla
Day 12 of my cross-country trip in my Tesla.

On the 12th day of my 17-day road trip, I drove from New Port Richey to Carabelle, Florida. Along the way, I admired the diverse and beautiful scenery of the Gulf Coast. I saw white sandy beaches, turquoise waters, lush green forests, and charming small towns. The clouds were getting heavier as I drove, creating a dramatic contrast with the bright colors of the landscape. But first, it was time to wake up, which as usual I did around 6 AM (with a plan to return to sleep), to find an awesome sunrise about to make its appearance out my sister's terrace window.

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To New Port Richey, FL

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 11/11/2023
Page Views: 248
Topics: #Cross-Country #Florida #NewPortRichey #Tesla
Day 11 of my cross-country trip in my Tesla and a visit with my elder sister Betty.

And then I had to make a decision. I had carefully planned this trip for 14 days. That's the days' worth of my prescriptions I'd brought. I had two scheduled doctor appointments for the 16th. And yet…and yet…I had learned while visiting my sister, Louise, in St. Augustine, that my 90-year-old elder sister was, at this moment, in Florida.

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