*Photo: The Racer Band and cheerleaders load the charter plane on their way to Maryland at Barkley Regional Airport in Paducah, Ky. on Friday afternoon.
The Murray State women's basketball entourage left campus at about 2 p.m. Friday to head to College Park, Md., where they will play Duke on Sunday in the first round of the women's NCAA Tournament.
I had the opportunity to travel with the entourage, and will until the journey is over.
Some musings from the day:
- Filtering a pep band, cheerleaders, support staff, media and entire basketball team through Barkley Regional Airport in Paducah, Ky., went surprisingly well.
- Well-wishers who couldn't make the trip to the East Coast waved from behind the fences at Barkley Regional at the plane taxied off.
- Takeoff in Paducah's high winds was memorable, especially for first-time flyers. The group collectively yelled as the plane seemed to "drop" when it hit a hard wind gust.
- Box stores and strip malls are easily recognized even from hundreds of feet in the air thanks to massive amounts of neon signs (think Hardees and Big Lots).
- Sunsets look most impressive above the horizon line.
- According to a gaming magazine tucked into the seat in front of me, all gambling winnings should be declared to the IRS. No exceptions.
- Pace Airlines offers real-size bags of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish snacks, rather than a mini bag of five pretzels other commercial airlines offer.
- Maryland in the dark looks a lot like everywhere else in the dark.
Saturday morning will entail a visit to nearby Washington D.C., for the band and cheerleaders. The Racer women's basketball team will head to more-nearby Baltimore for less sight-seeing. The afternoon holds a press conference with the teams and open practices at the Comcast Center in College Park, Md.
Check back this weekend for more updates. The more I experience, the more I will share.