20 years ago on Sep 11, 2001

20 years ago I was in North Carolina with colleagues visiting IBM in their offices Research Triangle Park. We were on a coffee break from meetings and the TVs were on in the the lounge we were in. They showed the first plane hitting WTC, We were all like “what movie is this?” until we realized it was the news.

My boss had to be back in Seattle area by Friday afternoon as he had to deliver a presentation or speech to his community.

Obviously our flight, and all the other flights were canceled in the US air space. So we decided to drive back to Seattle. We were supposed to return our rental car to the local office that day or Wed morning to fly back to Seattle.

So, we drive to rental office and my boss went in telling them, we need to be in Seattle by Friday so is it ok if we keep the car longer and drive it to Seattle. They said no, all cars are booked. So he came back and said, let’s go, we’re keeping this car.

We drove from RTP, NC to Seattle, WA (coast to coast) in 54 hours only stopping to eat and fuel the car.

What an event and trip back home. With all the aftermath going on.

In the image is pretty accurate map of our route from RTP to Seattle. We stopped few times at airports to see if there were any flights to Seattle but to no avail, of course.

During the drive, we re-wrote (co-wrote) the speech my boss was going to deliver to his community on that Friday when we got back home. That was to make his presentation reflect the horrible event that just had happened.

Something you never forget.

Published by Pekka

I am a husband & father of two. The topics on my blog and pages are about family & friends, food, music, art, events, and nature & outdoors mainly. Professionally I am an effective program and team leader with experience in creating innovative products with worldwide impact. I have a wide range of experience in user and customer focused design from concepts to commercial products, technical evangelism to drive industry-wide adoption, account and relation management, technical sales, and consultation.