AWS Road Trip

14 User Groups, 5500 Miles, One Evangelist

Day 4 - Pittsburgh to Roanoke

Up at 5:30, in the car shortly after 6, and on the road. I used my checklist this time and captured a nice exit video on my Contour camera.

As you can see, I missed the turn on to the highway and had to make an extended U-turn which included two trips across the same bridge. Taking the long way around is safer (and more scenic) than making erratic, last-minute driving maneuvers in heavy traffic.

I was drinking plenty of water and making an equally generous number of rest stops.

First Rest Stop

At the first stop, I happened to catch the local weather report and realized that I might encounter some rain. Sure enough, the light drizzle turned in to a torrent within minutes. It got bad enough that visibility became poor and I pulled off onto a convenient exit to let it pass. It relented before too long, only to come back once again with a vengeance an hour or so later, after I had crossed in to West Virginia:

I cranked up the music to stay alert, and rocked out with 70’s and 80’s legends (see the full list at the bottom of the post). One of the few items on my TODO list that I didn’t complete in time was to make some good “Driving Songs” playlists.

I didn’t have mental bandwidth to do much in the way of deep thinking today. I did stop at one scenic lookout point, but couldn’t get good picture. Here’s one of my car instead:

My Car

Despite the rain I made good progress until Waze told me that I was about 25 minutes away from Roanoke. Traffic came to a standstill and we inched along for over half an hour. Up ahead in the distance, I saw a truck pulling a long steel beam. I was hoping to be able to get close enough to grab a picture. By sheer luck, I was right behind it when traffic finally started to move, and it signalled to exit into the next rest stop. I was in serious need of a break myself, so I followed it, parked nearby, and captured the entire thing in a photo:

Giant Steel Beam

The driver told me that this one was 120 feet long and that he was taking it to West Virginia, where it would be used to build a bridge over a ravine. He also told me that he has hauled 180 foot beams for the same project. I posted the picture to Reddit where it generated a lot of conversation, sitting at the top of the category for more than 12 hours.

I checked in to my hotel, freshened up, and headed over to the meeting of the Roanoke .NET User Group.

Tomorrow morning I will drive to Lexington, Kentucky where I’ll be speaking at the Lexingon Tech Forum.

Here’s my MapBox for the day: