The trivial IDD sequence went well, so thisol we'll stow and go.
Stowing is easy. The hard part is going. It's hard because Spirit is so power-limited, and the solar insolation maps we have don't show much hope for us on the way to our next target, the imaginatively named Dark Rock. These maps show us a false-color overlay on navigation images, with the different colors reflecting how much solar energy we'll be able to collect at any given location. (This varies with the magnitude and direction of our tilt: tilting toward the sun is good, away is bad.)
In these images, red is bad, blue is good, green is in between. (Where "bad" means the rover doesn't get enough energy and could, in the worst case, die.) General policy is to lay out paths that are blue all along the way, just in case the drive faults out. Failing that, we choose paths that let us "hop" from one blue region (which we call "lily pads" even though they're not green) to another.
But in this case, we're climbing a generally south-facing slope, and there's not much blue to be seen. We're OK for the first few meters of the drive, but after that the landscape is soaked in red.
Well ... when all else fails, cheat. The different colors represent numbers on a scale from 0 to 1, where red is used for anything below 0.85. (The real floor on the insolation number is supposed to be around 0.83, but due to uncertainties in the way the map is computed, we add a small safety margin and use 0.85.) But Jeff and I find that we don't have to lower the low end very far -- only to about 0.78 or so -- before we start to see small patches of blue. It's not much, but it might be enough for us to hopscotch uphill.
If we're allowed to lower the threshold, that is. So I ask Kirk Fleming and Jake Matijevic about this, stressing that I'm OK with telling science we can't get there from here. Kirk and Jake hem and haw a little while, and come up with an absolute bare minimum insolation number of 0.75.
It's just barely enough, but it's enough. So Jeff and I get working on the first part of the overall drive to Dark Rock. Thisol we'll back uphill 4m, then -- using the same drive-extension trick I recently invented for Opportunity -- if we're on track, we'll turn and drive another 2m downhill, setting ourselves up nicely for the next sol's ~5m drive.
Dark Rock is only 20m away, as the Martian crow flies. With all the zig-zagging, and the short drive times imposed by the tiny amount of available solar power, it will take about a week to get there.
Back in my day, we'd laugh at 20 lousy meters.
[Next post: sol 313 (Opportunity sol 292), November 19.]
 And now, of course -- Spirit being deeply embedded in Troy, and possibly unable to get out -- we'd be happy with 20 centimeters per sol. Oh, my poor little rover.