Day Eight: Border Crossing, Kitchener, Home, With Some Drama In Between

Day Eight: Border Crossing, Kitchener, Home, With Some Drama In Between

TL;DR: Donna receives mixed news as she and Michael cross the border, and Bones is anointed (with engine grease) and crowned a Canadian citizen. Mike and Taylor make it across in Maple trouble free. After being held up at secondary for questionable circumstances, Devon in the Targa is begrudgingly allowed back into Canada. We pull into Kitchener just in time to connect with our fellow four-wheeled parade floats, and the convoy drives to City Hall. Exhausted and happy (dazed and confused) we bid each other goodbye (for now).

And as Michael likes to say to me, "Diversity is the spice of life, baby! Next only to Sriracha, which is the only thing better than ketchup."

Day Seven: Mother's Day in Springfield, A Sunset Cruise in Gotham (Chicago), A Death Defying Nighttime Drive

Day Seven: Mother's Day in Springfield, A Sunset Cruise in Gotham (Chicago), A Death Defying Nighttime Drive

TL; DR: We tell our mothers we love them and then drive from Springfield to Chicago where we take a sunset cruise, lose ourselves in deep dish pizza, relive our childhood dreams by re-enacting scenes from Batman, and drive at night in cars that don't want to be driven anymore.

We made it to the outskirts of Chicago relatively incident free, but shortly after entering the city Michael and I began to feel sick to our stomachs (and not because of the food). While the towering Chicago cityscape and immense gothic buildings exuded a haunting splendour, the city's roads were from splendid (for a car as low to the ground and as stiff as Bones, anyway). The offensively frequent expansion joints in the asphalt of the road meant that every dozen meters or so, we were bottoming out. We knew in our bones (!) that soon something on Bones would break in a bad way.  

Day Six: An Eye is Injured, Cadillac Ranch, Sonic, Springfield

Day Six: An Eye is Injured, Cadillac Ranch, Sonic, Springfield

TL;DR: Michael gets poked in the eye, and Bones and the Turbo experience more growing pains. A quick stop in Cadillac Ranch followed by a heroic effort to get to Sonic. Team Italian Stallion soldiers on alone to return the Vanborghini in time to catch their flight.   

When I asked each about their story and how they got to where they are today (sleep deprived, with more caffeine and grease in their blood than hemoglobin, and trapped inside a minivan in hot stinky middle America), they both told me tales of change and fluidity; of dancing around authority and going with the flow. Neither talked about their failures or mistakes as failures or mistakes...

Day Five: Grand Canyon, Cracker Barrel, Miles Unplugged

Day Five: Grand Canyon, Cracker Barrel, Miles Unplugged

TL; DR: We visit the Grand Canyon, drive many miles, bicker over what we're going to do with the footage, and get to know Miles.

Before we left the park we gassed up and purchased more energy drinks and DayQuil for Michael. His head cold was gaining momentum, and the high altitude was playing havoc with his energy levels and congestion. The mood inside of Bones was much more somber than it was during days before, because the remaining seven of us were all coming to realize how behind in our journey we were -another unintended consequence of staying longer in LA than originally intended.

Day Four: Angeles Crest HWY, Newcomb's Ranch, An Inn Somewhere in Arizona

Day Four: Angeles Crest HWY, Newcomb's Ranch, An Inn Somewhere in Arizona

TL;DR: Team Boner, Mike & Magnus indulge in spirited driving along Angeles Crest while Taylor & the Italian Stallion gentlemen vanish to take a much-needed nap in the Vanborghini. Team Targa leave early for the Grand Canyon. We spend the night somewhere in Arizona at the first of many truck stop motels. 

Truth be told, I didn't know what to think of Magnus at first. I'd seen plenty about him on the internet, but from an early age I'd been taught to be wary of online material (unless that material is a blog about eight Gen Y'rs gaking a cross-continent road trip, of course). It wasn't until after a lot of unexpected shit went down (see list below) and after Mike, Michael, and I, spent some time alone with Magnus, that I began to see the forest through the trees. The man beneath the mask. The face beneath the beard. 

Day Three: Hollywood Hills, Malibu, almost Palm Springs but Los Angeles instead

Day Three: Hollywood Hills, Malibu, almost Palm Springs but Los Angeles instead

TL; DR: A lazy day of fun in the sun. We drive from Hollywood Hills to Malibu catch some waves off the Pier before driving to Palm Springs and Donna does some soul searching. Our evening plans are turned upside down when we receive thrilling news from an industry icon (and personal hero).

Mike worked his Hollywood magic and managed to cancel our reservations without incurring any fees, and as Magnus -one of the most inspirational creative entrepreneurs of today, one who has years of practice putting himself out there in all sorts of mind-bendy ways- would say: We turned around and put pedal to the metal, and drove back the way we came to find a hotel in downtown LA.

Day Two: Big Sur, Big Breakdowns in San Luis Obispo, Late Arrival in Los Angeles

Day Two: Big Sur, Big Breakdowns in San Luis Obispo, Late Arrival in Los Angeles

TL; DR: Drive from Carmel-by-the-sea to Big Sur, and then Car breaks down in San Luis Obispo. All three cars get a tune up, and we roll into Los Angeles at midnight.

"I think we're a group of people that come from different backgrounds, people who for the most part, don't give a shit about cars. But we're all capable and in it together, so we attacked the problem like how a team would. We came together to find a solution. No one was phased or deterred. We just found a way to get all our vehicles to where they needed to be, partly by pushing, partly by pulling -Devon even sacrificed a leg- and all we figured it out. 

"It was fortunate the shop was open and that they were nice guys, and that they believed in us enough to help and sacrifice their evening -hopefully it pays off for them- but like I said to the guys when we topped up, I wish every day was like this. We solved an interesting problem that gave me a huge sense of accomplishment in a short period of time. What's better than that?"

Day One: The Stable, Leguna Seca, Carmel-by-the-sea

Day One: The Stable, Leguna Seca, Carmel-by-the-sea

TL;DR: The entire team assembles and meets Brian at The Stable to pick up the cars. The cars are driven from the Golden Gate Bridge to Leguna Seca Mazda Raceway, where we get the track entirely to ourselves for hours. We finish our evening eating pizza and drinking beer in a paradise house in Carmel-by-the-sea.  

What happened after that is difficult to capture in words. How do you describe what it’s like to feel as though you’re driving, no, flying, into a sea of sky, because the crest you’re approaching is so blind that for a brief moment you become convinced that the world must cease to exist on the other side? But that when you get there it’s really just a stomach-dropping 10-storey drop into a tight left curve that has you wishing you were flying into the sky, because it's safer to be alongside broad-winged soaring raptors than it is to be on the tarmac? 

The Calm Before the Storm

The Calm Before the Storm

TL;DR: Anticipation mounts. The Litts, Devon and Brittany, make it to San Francisco; and more about where the cars come from, revealed. 

The Stable is a subterranean maze, an alternate universe a gear head might be inclined to call "Heaven", in which unwitting Porsche lovers enter into and emerge from permanently changed. Because within The Stable what you find is a treasure trove of all manner of classic Porsche’s in all manner of states- a missing panel here, a broken windshield there. A perfectly preserved, gleaming, gem, winking at you from the corner. The Stable is the equivalent of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory array of detectible and irresistible treats, complete with easy-to-ignore fine print.

“I’ve read your blogs, but I still don’t know what you’re doing.”

“I’ve read your blogs, but I still don’t know what you’re doing.”

TL;DR: Donna receives manuscript rejection and following an Oh Crap! moment provides clarification on what the hell we're doing with this whole road trip thing.

Each of us, to one extent or another, craves the sense of unpredictability, of becoming lost in the pleasure and fears of living, that navigating the unknown elicits. By taking this road trip we're stripping down to our pale (read: pasty), gleaming skins and diving headfirst into the deep dark churning waters of the unknown.

The Journey Begins

The Journey Begins

TL;DR: The Litts survive life-threatening transaction in sketchy parking lot for custom 9" dish wheels from local sponsor Project Feint, and reality of the trip sets in. Some other stuff about manually driven cars going extinct.

Soon, the majority of automobiles on the road will be driving themselves. Soon after that, they will all be. The global implications of this are enormous. Virtual Reality will replace real life experiences (it already is). Literal shopping carts will become a thing of the past (sorry, Bubbles). Our life decisions are executed virtually and the consequences that impact our real lives from those decisions, manifest virtually. In other words, experiences we grew up taking for granted are becoming endangered. Soon, they will become extinct. All of us know that there are both good and bad reasons behind why this is happening. And all of us know that the future –while sometimes frightening—is something that must be respected. Preserved. We all have a responsibility to see through where these technological innovations will take us. But first, before we six get lost in the future, we’re losing ourselves in the past.