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Viera or bust

Feb 17, 2010, 2:43 PM EST

Well, the day has come. Armed with two suitcases, a laptop, some snacks, an iPod and a handy-dandy “TripTik” printout from AAA, I’m hitting the road. Leaving the snow, the wife, the dog and several unfinished household chores behind, all in pursuit of the green pastures of Space Coast Stadium.

The itinerary for Day 1: Drive from Northern Virginia to Savannah, Ga. Distance: 568 miles. Predicted travel time: 8 hours, 29 minutes. This grand plan, of course, will all be thrown out the window the moment I hit my first traffic jam on the Beltway. Or the moment the Nats make some news that requires me to pull off the road and post an update to the blog. Whichever comes first.

Speaking of updates, I’m going to attempt to provide them along the way, for all you crazy die-hards who want to track my progress. I thought about implanting a homing device inside my car, but that didn’t seem like an appropriate way to spend your hard-earned money.

So check back throughout the day and play “Where on I-95 is Mark Zuckerman?” It’s got to be more exciting than watching Olympic curling on CNBC, right?

11:04a.m. — Well, we’re off to a rousing start. I’m currently at a standstill on I-66, still waiting to get on the Beltway. Major accident blocking two lanes. Total distance traveled so far: 12.4 miles. Good thing I only have four states to get through today.

  1. MikeHarris - Feb 17, 2010 at 2:56 PM

    Safe travels – wave as you pass Exit 58 south of Richmond. On a clear day, I could see you.

  2. ctrosecrans - Feb 17, 2010 at 2:58 PM

    nice pick for a rest stop. i do love savannah. not that, it seems, you'll have a whole lot of time to kick it there

  3. Pauloyd - Feb 17, 2010 at 3:09 PM

    Mark, quick tip: If you have a GPS-enabled smartphone you could have a honing device for free using Google Latitude.

  4. Anonymous - Feb 17, 2010 at 4:01 PM

    Use Google Latitude if possible. Also use GoWalla through the GoWalla app (iphone) or forward to tracking your progress, Good Luck and Thanks Mark.

  5. estoppel.08 - Feb 17, 2010 at 4:05 PM

    I wish your safe travel and am looking forward to hearing from you in Viera!

  6. Sunderland - Feb 17, 2010 at 4:05 PM

    Mark, you said you'd be frugal, but that "Viera or Bust" sign looks like first rate cardboard to me.

  7. Anonymous - Feb 17, 2010 at 4:16 PM

    Sunderland, cut him a break. He's gonna be sleeping on that cardboard, you know.

  8. Anonymous - Feb 17, 2010 at 4:21 PM

    Good luck!My favorite part of the drive, getting from the DC traffic jam to get to the Springfield traffic jam to get to the Richmond taffic jam, after that smooth sailing…be careful around the VA/NC border the NC State Police love setting up traps for out of staters!

  9. The Nationals Enquirer - Feb 17, 2010 at 4:24 PM

    Best wishes for an easy drive. Sounds like you're off to a great start…

  10. Steve M. - Feb 17, 2010 at 4:28 PM

    Hopefully you are way past Richmond as I am typing this 2 hours past your last post!

  11. Mike - Feb 17, 2010 at 4:35 PM

    Mark, can you stop at South of the Border on your way back and pick me up some firecrackers?

  12. Bob L. Head - Feb 17, 2010 at 4:49 PM

    Late to the party here but this is exactly what we need — thanks for taking the leap Mark! And is it too late to donate? Why not keep the link up? I don't think anyone can reasonably object to having excess contributions applied to future coverage.

  13. Sec 317 - Feb 17, 2010 at 4:58 PM

    I'm just blown away that in the age of internet, AAA still makes the TripTik! Very old-school but nice. Safe travels, Mark. I agree … leave the donation link up. I need to send you some dough.

  14. Craig - Feb 17, 2010 at 5:15 PM

    Woah. Curling is on USA. Lets not be hasty here.

  15. Anonymous - Feb 17, 2010 at 5:24 PM

    Mark. I'll see you at Panera Saturday or Sunday morning.

  16. Mrs. Zuckerman - Feb 17, 2010 at 5:26 PM

    We'll miss you while you're gone. Not to worry, though, the vacuuming will be waiting when you get home XOXO

  17. Farid in Idaho - Feb 17, 2010 at 5:50 PM

    My friends wonder why I left Washington for Pocatello Idaho.Here, a traffic jam is three cars at a stoplight. Of course, the nearest city that offers art and enlightenment is Boise, so ….

  18. phil dunn - Feb 17, 2010 at 5:55 PM

    You should hit Ralph's Barbacue at the Weldon, NC exit for a late lunch.

  19. david watts (natscan reduxit) - Feb 17, 2010 at 6:06 PM

    … hey there, Mark, and congrats on getting away in style. How I wish I could join you; no better way to wile away the dregs of winter than to watch a bunch of overweight guys in white pants run around on the lawn…. and don't be too hasty about curling. It's a helluva lot more exciting to watch than, say snooker or golf…. good luck to you, and can't wait for the next update,david watts (natscan reduxit)

  20. Nats fan in NJ - Feb 17, 2010 at 6:12 PM

    Don't forget, Mark, you have to read all the Pedro signs out loud. If possible, please record and put the audio on the site…

  21. natsfan1a - Feb 17, 2010 at 6:18 PM

    Oops, I hit the button too soon.LOL at the awesome sign! I'm also impressed that you will be updating on the road. Have a good, safe trip.BobL and 317, can you get to the donation site via the "click here to support this blog" link at the top of the post, or is it no longer active? I agree with you – might as well leave the donate option on. BTW, 317, it's possible to create one's own TripTiks online now, via that Internet thingy.Confidential to Mrs. Zuckerman, my mother-in-law always says that you needn't vacuum until the dust bunnies are bigger than you are. :-)

  22. Bob L. Head - Feb 17, 2010 at 6:48 PM

    Maybe this year we should have a Rally Dustbunny.The link is no longer active. Turn it back on Mark!

  23. natsfan1a - Feb 17, 2010 at 7:01 PM

    Fear the Dustbunny! Maybe we could give him a spring training invite. If it goes well, we'll add him to the 25-mammal roster.

  24. Bob L. Head - Feb 17, 2010 at 7:21 PM

    Are we limited to mammals? I think the sandhill crane would object.

  25. natsfan1a - Feb 17, 2010 at 7:27 PM

    Good point. How could I forget the crane?

  26. Mrs. Zuckerman - Feb 17, 2010 at 8:35 PM

    That crane wouldn't last a minute in the DR; someone would put him in a pot!





As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
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