Friday, March 13, 2009

Ferries Flow a French into the Forks or Connie's Can't Swim

What that really means is ferry boat crossings have thrown a wrench into the works. I have been merrily connecting the waypoints (kinda of like connect the dots )in MapSource, creating the route(s) for NPT Part Deux in May. From MapSource I retrieve the data (read copy) and interface it into Excel (read paste) to a special MODEL ( read spreadsheet ) for calculating time for each segment, time of arrival, etc, etc between each stop and other statistics that I might deem meaniful at the time. This model accomodates adding time for gas stops, rest and spending time at each location and adjusts the arrival and depart times for each subsequent stop.

Some stops are time sensitive, such as National Parks. The rangers do have a life outside of the parks and actually go home at night, hence there is no point planning on hitting a park if you are going to arrive at 8pm to get INK (cancellation stamp). The VC (visitor center) will be closed and you will be slapping your head going DOH ! I wish I thought of that when I was planning the trip.

Ferry's are not on demand type services and one must accomodate their schedule into your schedule. You don't have control over the throttle like you do on your bike, so twisting the wrist will not make the ferry go faster.

While I knew all along (in the back of my brain someplace) that I was going to be on a ferry going down the coast from time to time, it just didn't hit me, until I started looking at the planning model. MapSource showed one segment of the trip was going to take over 2 1/2 hours to go some ridicously low miles. As I was gazing at the monitor with a tilted head (you know that puzzled WTF tilt of the head)I knew something was out-of-whack. It stilled didn't dawn on me, so I started to look at the preferences in MapSource for speeds based on the type of road. They didn't look screwed up. Then I started to scan down the little yellow line to see if I was doubling back someplace to create such a low MPH. I reached the conclusion that it is just something I am not seeing so, I re-did the route from scratch, to arrive at the exact same answer as the one I didn't think looked right. I never concentrated on the yellow line against that blue background. (blue represents water).

Then the epiphany {(noun)appearance of a supernatural being; sudden idea or thought} [actually both definitions fit the bill] and thats the rest of the story.

What did I learn; A> it is a good habit to plan on arriving at the dock before the ferry departs B> the realization Connies'(Kawasaki Concours) can't swim C> time is not relative, it is a constant.

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