The Autopilot – Part 1

For my part,  I travel not to go anywhere,  but to go.    I travel for travels sake.  The great affair is to move.  

Robert Louis Stevenson

Work is fast winding down on the Western Flyer with only seven more days to go before we cruise downstream out of the Columbia river.  Looking forward to only seeing Portland in our rear view mirror but wait,  we have no rear view however, we will soon have a shadow drive!  A SHADOW DRIVE,  


Today all the major parts are now installed except for ……….the “shadow drive”.  We teased each other getting a kick out of Garmin naming this one part a shadow drive. Its actually a very ingenious part that senses when someone takes control over the wheel at either helm causing the autopilot to momentarily shut off and as you let go of the wheel having gone around that floating crab pot line or something else,  the Autopilot takes back over getting you back on course. 

We soon found ourselves recounting Star trek parts with me giving Adam one or two that he had not heard of I, e., Encounter at Farpoint”!   From the Next Generation,  Picard uses this phrase however its not original like “live long and prosper”. 

Encounter at Farpoint has been in use for quite a while in military circles as a way to tell someone to proceed with a command.


Once we were done with the shadow drive talk it was on to current events where Adam tried to tell me about the race car driver Tony Stewart and how the 20 year old racer walked on the track and was struck and killed.

  I said I once saw a movie about Nascar racing directed by the “Happy Days” character,  but couldn’t remember his name or the movie.  Adam reminded me that it must’ve been before his time.  Adam is in his late 20’s.

   I said you don’t know the Fonz?  Fonzie or Ritchie Cunningham?   He said no.  Then I remembered the name Ron Howard and some of his movies; and all was again right in Adams world as this Ron Howard,  aka Ritchie Cunningham was a great director as Adam had seen Apollo 13, Cocoon and the one I was trying so hard to remember – Rush a 2013 biographical sports drama film centered on the rivalry between race car drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda during the 1976 Formula One motor-racing season.

And soon (7 days) we shall find ourselves on thr voyages of the Western Flyer,  to boldly go where there is no once again no Portland wierd; surely a violation of some sort of  interstellar law. 


On stardate 41153.7, the 137-year old Admiral Leonard McCoy inspected the USS Enterprise-D during its first mission. He commented on the great significance of the ship’s name to Lieutenant Commander Data, telling Data

“You treat her like a lady… and she’ll always bring you home.” (TNG: “Encounter at Farpoint”)


Looking forward to thd Western Flyer doing the same every time.


About trawlercat

Retired and now moving on from the cruising life jeeps, adventure bike, gardening, and travel. Always in search of the next great adventure!
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