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POWELL: Driving along life’s highway — 100,000 miles of it - Odessa American: Genepowell

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POWELL: Driving along life’s highway — 100,000 miles of it

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Posted: Thursday, July 19, 2007 12:00 am

Smart money would have said that my Dodge Dakota would have rolled past the 100,000 mark on its odometer during a work-related activity.

Smart money would have been wrong.

Still, it’s how I would have bet. Like most of you, I work at least five days a week. I live in Gardendale, so a great many miles — easily more than 30 a day — are logged each week coming and going from work.

Since I didn’t hit 100,000 working, it’s logical that I hit 100,000 doing something fun.

And that’s when it happened.

I hit 100,000 on the way to a softball game where we clinched the co-ed league championship. (Nothing subliminal about that selfish pat on the back.)

About 3,000 miles ago I started thinking about where I’d like to be when I passed 100,000. In nearly three months of driving I couldn’t really come up with anything.

The two exceptions?

>> 1. I wanted to pass 100,000 while driving to Austin to pick up my $20 million lottery check.

>> 2. I wanted to pass 100,000 on my way to buying a new pickup.

Hold those fingers car dealers! I’m not in the market. Especially since the first one didn’t happen.

Besides, there’s a certain kinship you feel with a vehicle after driving it 100,000 miles. And I’ve been behind the wheel on virtually every mile in my little red truck.

In the past three months, I did think a lot about what 100,000 miles actually means.

Theoretically at least, I could have driven the circumference of the earth four times and still had enough room to get to Fort Worth for the weekend. In case you’re wondering the earth’s circumference is approximately 24,900 miles according to about.com.

If there was a road, I could have driven nearly halfway to the moon since Wikipedia.com says the average center-to-center distance from the earth to the moon 238,857 miles. (Of course, we’d need gas stations as well as the road.)

In 100,000 miles you could ride the world’s longest roller coaster 64,920 times. And, since you asked, that would be the 8,133-foot Steel Dragon 2000 at Nagashima Spa Land in Nagashima, Japan.

By the way, The Rattler at Fiesta Texas in San Antonio isn’t quite a mile long, so you can have 100,000 rides on that puppy and still not go 100,000 miles.

If you believe the census, then I could have given every man, woman and child in Odessa a one-mile ride.

In 100,000 miles, I could have driven to St. Louis and back 50 times.

According to Mapquest.com, the loop from San Diego to Miami to New York City to Seattle is right at 8,100 miles. I could have done that 12 times and had about 2,800 miles to spare.

I’m telling you there’s something special about the 100,000 mark.

In that time, I can only think of one person not related to me in some way who has driven my truck.

In fact, only a handful of people have even ridden in the thing. There’s no doubt my youngest daughter has the title of “Most Miles Riding Shotgun.”

It’s been a good pickup. Dodge could hire me to do a testimonial since I haven’t done anything to it other than regular maintenance.

I wonder where I’ll be when it hits 200,000 …

Odessa, TX

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