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My packet arrived from the Houston parade! It's full of all kinds of glossy color handouts, and we even get laminated badges. They must have good funding this year. Which makes me wonder why there wasn't anything in there about a travel reimbursement. I wrote to one of the organizers to ask about it, but I think if I was going to get something, it would have been in the packet. I guess I didn't qualify for anything this time. Bummer.

My line-up number is 41. I was actually expecting a lower number since I turned my application in so early. I got it in before the official announcement, because a Houston local posted to the artcarz list and I filled mine out right away. Maybe the first 40 people were all either locals, or even more on the ball than I was.

Still, it's great to be so near the front of the line: for one thing, I think the spectators are more excited near the beginning of the parade. Also, the closer to the front, the less chance we'll get tangled up in any breakdowns or logistical snarls. Plus, we can pull over at the end of the route and watch all the rest of the cars go by. So we get to enjoy the parade as participants and as spectators!

There are a bunch of maps in the packet, but I'm going to print out my own maps too. Houston is a fiendishly hard city to drive in. We get horribly lost at least once on every trip. But this time will be different!

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One nice thing about driving in Houston was that there were so many places to turn around. Any time you passed an exit on loop 610 (I guess it's the Inner Loop now), you could get down to the frontage road and take an easy turnaround.

When we moved there in '83, I was told the story of a man who was on 610 and couldn't get through traffic to reach his exit. Or any exit. He tried over and over, and ended up going around and around and around the city as his gas gauge read lower and lower. Finally he saw a gap and dived into it, getting into an exit lane as the needle fluttered on E, and coasted into a gas station, where four guys jumped out, topped his tank and slapped four tires on the car and said, "Get back in there! You're running fifth!"

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This page contains a single entry by Sarah published on April 27, 2006 10:18 PM.

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