The SUNSPOT South by Southwest (SXSW) rock-n-roll tour drew to a close on Tuesday morning as we packed up the van in preparation for the long drive back to Wisconsin from Austin TX. Before loading, I gave the van a once over, removing trash and cleaning out the cooler with soap and hot water to remove the residual funk it contained. Wendy had wisely put the jumbo cooler ice packs in Vic's freezer the day before so they were solid and cold when we loaded the cooler with water and some snacks (mostly apples and cheese).
A little bit after noon, we all hugged it out with Vic and bid him farewell and thanks for his hospitality. Then we piled in the van and departed, heading north on I-35. In Oklahoma City, around 7 PM, we stopped at a pizza place called the Wedge that Wendy had found via the Giant Internet Brain. They had salads, so I got one in an effort to maximize my vegetable consumption. We collectively decided that we would push on through the night without stopping until we got back to Madison, taking the driving in shifts. I drove first, until I was relieved by Mike some time after midnight. In Austin, we had usually been going to bed in the pre-dawn hours and our diurnal rhythms were off, so I wasn't all that tired when I ended my shift at the wheel but it was important to rest up for the marathon drive. So I took some Benedryl and an herbal sleep aid to force my mind into a light slumber. Sleeping in the van was not especially comfortable given the close quarters, but I was eventually able to position myself in a way that was tolerable and drifted in and out of sleep.
Stuart drove the last leg of the all night marathon drive and I slept most soundly between about 7 and 10 AM. All of a sudden I awoke and we were pulling into Wendy's driveway. Yay!
Everyone but Mike disembarked the van with their stuff. Mike drove home to the east side of Madison with the van and Stuart decided to drive back to the Twin Cities, foregoing Wendy's offer to take a power nap at her place before he did so. Wendy drove me home to Middleton and I thanked her for the fun and fulfilling opportunity to join SUNSPOT's 2017 SXSW road crew. Once I had my stuff unloaded into the house, I put in some laundry and headed upstairs to power nap until Deborah came home from work.