The kolea's internal clocks are ticking just like the odometer in my beloved 1990 Miata, soon to make a serious milestone of her own. With 197,000+ miles on the dial, I believe she will make the magic 200,000 before my birds return. Not really paying attention at the time a few years ago, I missed the ritual I have enjoyed more than once in my life, of driving around in a parking lot until the odometer turns over to 100K and celebrating with a bottle of champagne. Although I did manage to have a drink with a friend when the roadster, as plucky and durable as a kolea, made 111,111 miles, my friend observing that TAO 61 had "achieved oneness."
I drive a little more than 200 miles Monday through Friday (rarely leaving home on weekends); that gives me about 15 weeks to make the milestone, maybe early to mid-July. By the time the kolea come home, I will have driven the equivalent of about eight times around the Earth, about 35 kolea roundtrips, or a good chunk of the distance to the moon (238,000+ miles), a new milestone to shoot for. All this with only one clutch replacement; my father would be proud of me! Although I did total the car once, and I blew a head gasket at 50K, but she still gets good gas mileage and runs as sprightly as a kolea across a field. And I can park anywhere, and I never have to pick up people at the airport; where would I put them and their luggage?
When you fly to Hawaii on United (and maybe other airlines too) from the U.S. West Coast, you can participate in a game to guess the halfway time based on calculations the airline gives you: airspeed, headwinds, distance, factors that kolea just know by instinct, but that actually bore me to tears. (I can buy my own champagne.) The closest winner, usually some honeymooning couple, gets a bottle of champagne, fresh from the first class galley.
Here's my game: to the person who most closely predicts the day I make my 200K milestone, I will send a bottle of champagne to drink in your own favorite parking lot in honor of TAO 61 -- and my faithful mechanic. I may even send you his phone number.
*Approximate distance, Honolulu to Anchorage and back; I don't know their individual itineraries.