If you are looking for a lively travelogue I won’t provide it tonight. I will recommend you check out Michael Palin’s “Full Circle”. It was a BBC series [check it out on YouTube] but I listened to the audio of the book, narrated by Palin himself [available from the Portland Public Library]. It is the sort of astounding quality travel writing that makes me feel like a rank amateur by comparison. I recommend it will my full enthusiasm.
I arrived at Kelley Beekeeping right at 7:30 (Central time, as I now know) and once again I was quickly loaded up and sent on my way by the incomparable Mike (who I’ve mentioned before) and set off on the slightly less mountainous Ohio/Pennsylvania route. (I was trying out a load with about 30% more bees and the mountain route through West Virginia made me nervous. In the end my dutiful little CRV performed like a champ and I’ll worry less next year.)
The threatening weather forecast resulted in only a small portion of the trip dampened with a misty rain (which is actually ideal for the bees as it allows them to stay hydrated and cool), two brief moments of fairly heavy rain (when I pulled over worrisomely but the rain subsided before I was done checking e-mails and Friendbook), and about 50% sun and clear skies.
[And I want to call out a special thanks to my wonderful friend, Margaret, beekeeper and meteorologist extraordinaire, who helped me keep a close eye on the turbulent weather that was swirling over the entire eastern US.]
I took only two photos on the journey and the second of them was the comic highlight of the day at Starbucks where I awarded the Silver Medal in the 2016 Non-Sequitur Olympics. [Why silver, you ask? Because my daughter Caity* always takes the gold. Every year. She’s like the East Germans in the 80’s.]
Really, the only thing that kept my blood pressure from returning to normal/resting was the malfunctioning of my thermometer. Those of you who have followed this story since original Million Bees Roadtrip know the importance of my thermometer [those of you who don’t may click this link for the explanation] I knew from the intermittent readings I’d get from the thermometer and from sticking my hand into spaces between packages when I stopped for gas that the trailer was filled with warmth and humidity. The new roof on the load was trapping some of that warmth but the mild day and perfect travel conditions (not only with weather but with traffic and road construction) allowed me to keep moving forward and providing fresh, cool air to the packages.
So in the end I arrived safely back at the Honey Exchange 25 hours after leaving Kentucky (including a few one-hour naps in Pennsylvania and Connecticut) and we unloaded 192 active and vigorous-looking packages with Russian hybrid queens. 100% survival on a 1,000-mile journey means we have done our best for these bees and the beekeepers who will take them home tomorrow. For tonight I’m going to climb into my cozy bed and finally get a restful night’s sleep.