While discussing time off with my manager yesterday evening (note manager's unintentional attempt at crushing my Contata trip) I received a mayday call from my daughter. It appears that the leisurely trip on the Appellation trail was anything but, or at least the professor running it wanted to get a soul crushing mountain climb in and out of the way on the first day. This was a college course trip in which other non-course takers were invited to tag along (my daughter being one of those), it appears that it was not quite explained fully to those others, and what was to be a pleasant observation of Blue Ridge mountain life with camping involved, had a big mountain climb thrown in on the first day (note since they were driven to the particular section of the trail it did seem to be a bit arbitrary choice in my uninformed opinion, but perhaps the proper class knew of this choice). This resulted in my daughter being an exhausted, ill and hurting wreck, and despite the rest of the remaining 2 week journey being described as flat out easy she and one other friend were unable to physically go on.
Wait it get's better, or worse depending on ones point of view, while in this vulnerable state and out in the wilderness her boyfriend (an actual class member) sensing the inability to fight back or throw heavy objects decided to announce that this was a good time for them to break up, so now she's an emotional wreck now too. So imagine your 20 year old driven out to Tennessee hiked until painful exhaustion and illness having the knife of her 3 year relationship being dug into her back attempting to explain to Daddy that she needs to be picked up from god knows where, on a Tuesday evening. After a bit of discussion back and forth I ascertained the closest town to her (Hampton, TN), explaining the situation to my manager (temporarily tabling my June vacation plan discussion), and launched into the journey after a quick stop home for my GPS and all round travel computer (figures the one time I didn't leave it in the car add 30Miles since I had to pass work in order to go back the shortest way), and informing the secondary on-call (yup my on call week too) to retrieve sick and distraught daughter. I drove through the night managing the 363 Mile trek from Richmond to Hampton that was somewhere near her, my last conversation with her was about 10PM she had to power down phone for night as it was down to 1 bar battery life, so she would be incommunicado until she awoke the next morning (more fun). I actually made it down there by 4:20AM but had to wait until 7:30 ish for her to power up the phone. A few things good happened over the evening, the ex-boyfriend while still being an ex did try to make the poor timing better by retrieving her abandoned pack for the mountain and did offer to help her back to civilization for her retrieval, and the professor was able to give me a better handle on where to meet them when they emerged from the trail (note if I had that info I could have saved a half hour travel time by taking a different route, but that's water under the bridge and wouldn't have mattered much anyway since I still would have had to wait until the phone was live again in the morning). I got her and another walking wounded girl back to Richmond by tonight and I'm about to pass out, bad things are the gas prices but I'm not even thinking about that and going to a place I would have enjoyed to hang out but not have any time or mindset to do so, good things I've got a new personal record for driving in 24 hours which is about 733miles and a plan to still get my Contata plans off the ground (it involves working remotely on that Saturday morning, which I would be doing anyway even if I didn't go, since that's what the manager needs from me).
Me pass out now.