Trip

Short four letter words often have multiple meanings. One example is “trip.” We could be talking Trip and Trap as in Robin Hood Daffy…

Or, related, the “Oops, I tripped!” while doing field work in 2007. (This photo may have been from the same day…)

Sedge Pond, near Lake McConaughy, in the summer of 2007.

Sedge Pond, near Lake McConaughy, in the summer of 2007.

Let’s instead consider the Trip in travel.

I will define a trip as a single unit of travel to a specific destination, even if said destination is undetermined. It may be broken up by one or more stops.

For example, I drove to Menomonie yesterday from Evanston, but with a custard stop in Madison. The Evanston to Menomonie road I count as one trip.  While I was waiting at a stop light on Highway 41, taking a look at the rental SUV’s average miles per gallon, it made me think about trip odometers.

Why do I mention an undetermined destination? On all cars, there is an odometer that counts the miles on the lifetime of the car. There is also at least one trip odometer on the car.

Credit: “GoonSquadSarah” on Flickr.

As long as I have driven, Dad has recommended that I use the trip odometer per gas tank (i.e., reset it whenever I fill the tank). In that sense, the “trip” is from gas station to gas station!

Back before fuel efficiency readouts were given on cars, Dad wrote down the full odometer, gallons filled, and total price paid on a notepad, and computed the miles per gallon by hand.

My bike also has an odometer on its speedometer. I define a trip as the day’s total mileage (or kilometrage if riding the road bike… ha!), and I log it in my journal. Thus I reset the bike trip odometer daily. Obviously, there is no gas efficiency to worry about. Instead, I look at my average speed. Or, my total number of miles… such as THIS photo from the Wrigley Field Road Tour on August 27, 2011

8 hours, 6 minutes, 23 seconds in motion from Evanston to Wrigley Field to Miller Park on August 27, 2011.

8 hours, 6 minutes, 23 seconds in motion from Evanston to Wrigley Field to Miller Park on August 27, 2011.

Trip odometer: 104.70 miles. (This was before I chose to use kilometers on the Road Bike.)

Trip odometer: 104.70 miles. (This was before I chose to use kilometers on the Road Bike.)

Not average velocity, though… that would probably be the ZERO VECTOR on most days!

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NABC: 13 days.

Menomonie: 21 days.

Stout teaching starts: 47 days.

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