Craig's big road trip

Day 28 - Titusville to Clearwater
The starting point
Day 1 - Seattle to Yakima
Day 2 - Yakima to Bend
Day 3 - Bend to Mt. Shasta
Day 4 - Mt. Shasta to Oakdale
Day 5 - Oakdale to Tehachapi
Yosemite National Park
Day 6 - Tehachapi to Las Vegas
Day 7-10 in Las Vegas
Day 11 - Las Vegas to Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon N.P.
Day 12 - Grand Canyon to Kayenta
Day 13 - Monument Valley
Day 14 - Kayenta to Telluride
Day 15 - Telluride
Day 16 - Telluride to Glenwood Springs
Day 17 - Glenwood Springs to Idaho Springs
Day 18 - Idaho Springs to Golden
Day 19 - Golden to Amarillo
Day 20 - Amarillo to Tyler
Day 21 - Tyler to Lake Charles
Day 22 - Lake Charles to Waveland
Day 24 - Waveland to Pensacola
Day 25 - Pensacola to Gainesville
Day 26 - Gainesville to Titusville
Day 27 - Kennedy Space Center
Day 28 - Titusville to Clearwater
The finishing point

Monday April 28, 2003.
I spent a few hours at the Astronaut's Hall of Fame, learning about the very brave men who pioneered space travel from Earth.  It's an amazing story to read about each mission, its crew, and the outcome.  What a risky and dangerous thing it was to do.  And what an incredibly exciting adventure story to be involved in.  There are actual space capsules on display from the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions.  The Mercury capsules were tiny. 

What an incredible thing it was to be strapped into a tiny capsule like that, attached to a rocket with as much energy as a nuclear bomb under you, and be launched straight up.  The acceleration exerts a force of over 6 G's on the astronaut.  I took a four minute ride in a G-force simulator, a centrifuge, while there.  I experienced over 4 G's and it was amazing (and very enjoyable!).  I could feel the skin on my cheeks being pushed back towards my ears - very strange! 

For the astronauts, they experience up to 6 or 7 G's for a few minutes at a time, but when each stage of the rocket cuts off they suddenly feel one G again except for when the last stage cuts off as they finally reach orbit and then they go from 6 G's to zero G weightlessness in an instant!  What a feeling that must be!  They get into orbit, about 150 miles above the Earth, in less than ten minutes.  And they burn over half a million gallons of fuel to do it!  Their final velocity when they reach orbit is about 17,000 miles per hour.  Incredible.
The first stage of the rocket has to be so big and powerful just to lift the weight of its own fuel.  The Saturn V rocket for the Apollo moon missions weighed about six million pounds ( 2.7 million kg ) before launch, of which about 90 per cent of that weight is the fuel.
Of special interest to me as a photographer was to see the cameras they used.  There were a few Hasselblads, a Nikon SLR, and a couple of other special made cameras for 70mm film on display.  For my photography students, I photographed the astronaut's "camera checklist" which confirms what I have been teaching about setting the camera for correct exposure.  See the photo of the checklist below.  It might come in handy if you get to take some pictures on the moon.
I left the Astronaut's Hall of Fame deeply impressed and in awe of the people working in the space program.
Going briefly north on route 1 from Titusville took me to state road 46 which in turn took me west towards the Gulf of Mexico and the west coast of Florida.  State road 46 led to highway 441 from which I turned onto state road 44 which links up at Crystal River with the main road down the west coast.
I watched the sunset at Bayport, called Janet in Hong Kong for our daily "handing over of the sun" chat, and then continued down the coast on highway 19 to Clearwater.  I arrived well after dark in Clearwater, so I'll explore the local area tomorrow.
The road trip is basically over now.  This is my final destination.  I'll post some photographs of Clearwater tomorrow, and then I'll sign off.

All images on this page copyright Craig Norris.  All rights reserved.