So much for striking while the iron is hot! It turns out that when you get back from an amazing adventure, your employers want you to do things like "work" instead of writing recaps and telling stories. SIGH.
We're still don't have all of our pictures uploaded because someone [read: KYLE] hasn't done it yet. However, what pictures we do have have been ordered and captioned for narrative purposes on a single album available here [link]. (To skip past the preparation part of the trip, start here [link]).
Our friends, The Motown Diesel Divas, have a Flickr album available for your viewing pleasure available here [link].
And of course, there's the slideshow from the official site available here [link]. I think people gave this slideshow a lot of crap, but it turns out that it is not an official event project but rather the entire photo collections of a couple of teams. This is why you see a lot of the same cars and people. In actuality, I feel that There Will Be Bacon is very well represented, and there are even pictures of the car smoking on startup and our invisible car on Day 4. So forgive the seemingly biased attention to certain teams and enjoy some exciting pictures.
We had a myriad of adventures which we could not administer proper justice to with the limited blogging capabilities of Blogger+iPhone, so we opted to not mention at all. I guess we thought this would maintain dramatic tension, but in actuality I think it just made it seem like not that much was going on. ANYWAY, we are going to be recapping these tales of wit and merriment as we can, retroactively adding them into the correct time-line, and linking to them on this post. As an example of how this works and an indication of our good faith in this project:
Seattle to New York Delivery Mission Recap available here [link].
In theory, this will become a comprehensive chronicle of our journey.
As a final word on the rally itself, it was a very well-organized and enjoyable experience and I would highly recommend it to almost everyone I know. The grand prize winners, team Born from Jets, were great people and really deserved it (they even left comments on this blog!) The winner of the Best Beater prize also really deserved it, an old Triumph that lost a quart of differential fluid every 200 miles and had a metal desk top as floorboards.
Best. Vacation. Ever.
ps. [shameless plug]: Rich runs a sustainable home products company called Eco Home Gear which you should check out and support.
Friday, May 30, 2008
Monday, May 26, 2008
Well, we are in the airport, waiting for an airplane to rip us from our awesome adventure and drop us back into the real world. We had a great trip, made some amazing friends, and made it to New Orleans. We have a ton of great stories which we will be filling into the blog over the next few days, and we uploaded some more pictures to the web albums. Here is an album of the beginnings of our adventure [link], here is an album of rally day #3 [link], and here is an album of rally days 4 and 5 [link]. There will be many more pictures later (I left the camera USB cord in my checked luggage, so we can't get some new pictures off of Kyle's camera, and Jason and Vik have some to add).
It is sad that our car didn't make it the whole way, but it was pretty cool that we crossed the finish line as a team anyway. I can't really imagine the journey through Tennessee being any other way than hitching with the Motown Diesel Divas and Brat Patrol.
Thanks to everyone who has been following our progress and dropping us lines of encouragement. It made it a lot of fun for us knowing that we had people interested in what we were doing and concerned for our well-being. We wish that we could have posted more regularly and timely, but we just didn't get the chances to upload and write that we thought we would.
We'll be home soon!
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Because of these guys and Hank, team There Will Be Bacon will be
completing all of our challenges (sans car). Best. Rally friends.
EVER. We'll have a better post on these awesome people later, when we
finally manage to get caught up on this whole blogging thing. Needless
to say, these guys saved our bacon on this trip.
the updates. Here is a picture of one of our adoptive chariots, the
sweet sweet Brat. Its hard to tell in this picture, but in addition to
our luggage in the back, we were also sharing the brat with a large
portion of the deisel divas' exhaust system that the bumpy roads tried
to claim as a toll.
We are on the road again for the last leg, which weighs in at 470
miles today. Vik and I are currently rolling BRAT style with Hank for
the first stretch, Grant and Jason get a shift exhaust fuming it up
Rich and Katie. Stay awake guys!
We are able to do the challenge today with a little ingenuity and some
help from our awesome new friends, which had helped lift our spirits a
Anyway, it's goodbye Fort Paine and look out New Orleans!
Oh, snd we have some new pictures in the gallery, with more to come.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
but man this is fun. Hank welded some seats in the back of the Brat,
and I think this might be the best way ever to enjoy the beautiful
I think baconmobile would have enjoyed it here, but I'm sure it's
smiling down on us now.
There Was Bacon.
I would be lying if I said I hadn't grown extremely attached to the baconmobile over the last eight days and 3700 or so miles. While I knew this painful parting would come eventually, I thought I'd have more time to prepare myself.
The baconmobile died today at 11:00am EST. It is survived by Grant, Kyle,Jason, Vikram, and thousands of epic memories. It rides now on the highway in the sky; a land where valves always seat properly and the crankcase is always full.
Team There Will Be Bacon are now hitching rides into Fort Payne with the nicest people on earth, Rich, Katie, and Hank. Kyle and Jason are rolling with the Motown Diesel Divas in their sweet rusty Mercedes, and Vikram and I are rolling with hank of Brat Patrol. I am writing this post from the back of a Subaru Brat.
Life goes on.
RIP baconmobile. I think it would be appropriate if people wanted to pay their respects in the comments.
Well, time to go. The ragtag caravan of the diesel divas, the brat patrol, and the long lost longshots are lost in Tennessee and I must focus on having the distinct pleasure of cruising in the back of the Brat over windy dirt roads.
Best wishes to everyone at home.
Friday, May 23, 2008
myriad of hilarious adventures in Cave Springs, so this is just a
little taste to whet your appetites with. More later, but we felt it
was important to share our impressive physiques with the world.
In case you are wondering, kyle is wearing child superman pajamas, vik
and I are wearing womens underwear, and that is a child size 4 shirt
I'm wearing (I think I'm losing circulation in my arms). Vik and I
made our capes out of a curtain. Jason is our straight-man, the Abbott
to our three Costellos.
costumes from material gathered at walmart (btw, did you know there's
a line of clothing at walmart for elderly people called "faded glory"?
You can't make that up), we are off to Newport all dressed as
superman. Our daily challenge today is to have a group photo taken in
front of various public buildings along the way. How is this a
challenge, you might ask? You see, we were given a list of 12 small
towns to take our team photos in, and must only choose 3. Points are
awarded based on how few other teams choose those same towns, so this
has become a 58-team chess match of second-guessing and intense
Okay, we're almost to buena vista for our first town (shhh.. Don't
tell anyone). I know we've been promising better updates and more
pictures for a while now, but we haven't had the opportunity yet to
upload off of my laptop. We are hoping our hotel tonight has Internet
access. Anyway, as tricia discovered in the comments a few posts back,
there is a slideshow on the official BABE website that you can peruse
as a taste of the glory that is to come.
So much awesome stuff. Stay tuned!
• Start rally
• Break brake light
• Get lost
• Get un-lost (thanks Rich!)
• Challenge pictures - we got 10/15
• Lunch - mmm toasty
• Arrive in Harrisonburg, VA
• Remove faulty brake light switch
• Victory beers
• Final superman costume assembly
On the docket for today:
• Rig brake lights to toggle switch
• Yell "brake" when braking
• Make Jason flip toggle switch when someone yells "brake"
• Photograph selves in costumes
• Drive to Newport, TN
• Victory beers
• Further updates for adoring public
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Egg on our face; we somehow managed to already get lost in Virginia, and are now on our way back to DC to try to figure out where we went wrong. Best part is that we managed to drag our new friends Rich and Katie of MoTown Diesel Divas in our wake of retardedness.
Question: how on earth can a car with four dudes (and 2 iPhones) who are focused intently on looking at every single road sign as part of their daily challenge miss a major interchange?
Answer: ...[awkward pause]... [looking at shoes]... ... [shuffling nervously]... answer withheld.
ANYWAY: did you hear we are now famous? Check out the comments on the Rally Time post below! Through the amazing power of mobile technology, team There Will Be Bacon was spotted and identified on the NJ turnpike! We discussed this at length (not really) and decided that stephanie and kathleen are honorary team There Will Be Bacon "Bacon Bits". Wear that badge with honor, ladies.
More updates, amazing pictures, and harrowing tales of breathtaking adventure later.
BABE 2008 is officially under way. The parade of crappy cars cruising down the Jersey turnpike is pretty hilarious.
We are hard at work on our challenge for the day,which is pretty awesome. Basically, we were given 15 pictures of street signs with the words missing and we have to find them along the way and snap pictures of as many as we can. HARD.
Stay tuned for further communications.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Vikram and Jason made it safely into New York this morning, and team There Will Be Bacon has been taking the city by storm. We'll have more awesome tales of adventure to cradle your brainfruits with later, but right now we are off to Staten Island to get all of our rally check-in responsibilities taken care of, and to network with the other rally-ers.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
beer. So far today: woke up. Got some victory bagels and victory
coffee. Did some victory wandering around in soho and union square.
Drinking some victory beer. Soon to be meeting up with ian and maybe
sara for some victory happy hour and victory going out. Oh, also we
had victory donuts. I could go for a victory hot dog right about now,
so I hope the rain subsides a little bit.
New York rules so much.
For those operating off of the BABE Rally calender, you might think of this period as days -5 to -1. Kyle and I left my workplace in SODO immediately after work on Friday and beelined it to I-90 to avoid as much sunny Friday afternoon commute and baseball traffic as possible. I think the anticipation of our 3000-mile delivery mission made Friday a lost day for both of us, productivity-wise.
I call it a delivery mission for two reasons:
1.) This trip was obviously centered around the rally, and our distance handicap had no bearing on anything to do with the rally. This mission would have been the same if we lived in New Jersey. It was about getting the car to the starting line.
2.) We made an actual delivery of 5 boxes of books from my friend Dante to her friend Anna-Marie in Flatbush, Brooklyn.
There's not much to tell about our days spent driving endlessly through the vast nothingness of much of our UNBELIEVABLY GIANT country. We drove 18 or 20 hours a day in 6-hour shifts, stopping only when we needed gas. We made a point to eat one meal per day out of the car, and this ended up being an alternating pattern of Dairy Queens and Subways. For the rest of the time we subsisted on gas station snack foods and canned coffee beverages. A lot of canned coffee beverages. Through Montana and South Dakota, we got really excited when we would pass through a town that had more than two buildings. Also, we saw a lot of deer.
We were the slowest car on the road and would get regularly passed by semis and motorhomes, even uphill. As a, um, time-efficient driver, this kind of thing would ordinarily drive me crazy, but once I got used to it it was actually quite relaxing never having to brake or change lanes.
Sleeping in the car at rest stops and parking lots is certainly economical, but holy crap does the sun rise early.
The most exciting moment of our marathon happened when we got pulled over in Pennsylvania for having our car be a different color than registered. For the full story, read this awesome recount that Kyle wrote. Personally, I was less worried about this traffic stop than any other time I've ever been pulled over, given that we had fresh paperwork and our maximum possible speed was 10 less than the limit. Although there was definitely a moment when they made Kyle get out of the car that made me wonder, "Kyle?! What did you do?!"
Kyle's account of this is awesome, but I'd just like to draw attention to this actual conversation:
Cop 1: Are you the owner of this vehicle?
Cop 1: License, Insurance, and Registra...
Cop 2: HEY! Is that the dude from Star Wars?
Grant: Yeah. From Episode 1, I think.
Cop 2: Oh man, I love those movies.
Cop 1: Oh yeah? I've only ever seen the first three, and by first three I mean episodes 4, 5, and 6.
Cop 2: No way, you've got to see them all.
Grant and Kyle: Eh, not really, the originals were a lot better.
Cop 2: NO WAY MAN! In episode 3, Darth Vader TOTALLY KILLS THIS DUDE
Cop 1: Hmm. Hey- is that a chandelier?
The only other excitement on our delivery mission came from the crazy drive into Brooklyn through Jersey City and Manhattan. We like to call the car "the rally car", but in this case it really became what most people would think of when you say "rally car". I was driving and Kyle was navigating, which mostly consisted of, "turn here, merge left, turn there, watch out for that truck, u-turn" as we flew at breakneck speeds through the spaghetti of tiny, poorly-marked and maintained roads and bridges of the city. SO FUN. Apparently, I drive like New York drivers because I was really enjoying myself.
As we tore through the city, the chandelier drunkenly swinging back and forth and tinkling with approval, Kyle noticed a tarp blow onto the road a short distance ahead of us and instructed me to hit it. Fully attuned to the constant stream of instructions from my navigator, I immediately followed his direction without thinking about it and swerved half-way into the adjacent lane and totally nailed the tarp dead-center. Cheers all around!
Well, the tarp got stuck under the car, and even swerving into potholes and changing speeds would not disengage its desperate cling. The normal operating temperature of the catalytic converter in a clean-burning, finely-tuned automobile is 500°F. The rally car was neither clean-burning nor finely-tuned, and the catalytic converter was mounted in front of and below the engine, or basically exactly where, well, tarp-like debris would most likely come to rest. Not wanting to have the car dramatically burst into flames in the Holland Tunnel (well, at least not until after the rally), we stopped, flipped on the hazards, and had Kyle extract a burned and melted tarp from beneath the vehicle. It makes me wonder how soon it would have actually burst into flames.
After completing our trans-continental book delivery, we found a parking garage near where our good friend and host-extraordinaire, Ian, lives. We pulled the tired, steaming beast into the garage among Lexus', Mercedes', and BMWs, and watched as it was whisked away by the luckiest valet of all time.
Then we showered and drank.
The first leg of our epic journey has been completed, and to be honest I'm completely blown away. TFD, Falcon, and the bacon-mobile (side note: The bacon-mobile still needs a name. Anybody have suggestions? I was thinking Bertha....) did way better than I imagined. It's not that I didn't think that they would make it, it's just that I didn't expect things to go so smoothly. Also, major bonus points for sleeping in the car, guys. I can't wait for it to already smell like dude when AB and I get there. People have been asking me if I'm excited or not, but it really hasn't hit me until this morning. I had so much other stuff going on that I didn't really think about it. But now that I'm leaving tonight, I seriously can't contain myself. I'll be having some good luck Midori for lunch, and then it's off to NYC!
PS. Thanks for all of the great suggestions on what to do in NYC. I think I'm going to spend most of the day exploring Brooklyn and Chelsea.....
Monday, May 19, 2008
View Larger Map
New. York. City.
Driving through Newark, Manhattan, and Brooklyn; FUNNEST THING EVER. Love it. (I think rally car loves it too - such a tiger when she needs to be.)
Will have more later. Right now we are basking in the warm embrace of the esteemed Ian F. King, soon to be basking in the ice-cold embrace of some beer.
Also, just had a shower. BEST SHOWER EVER.
All was going well this morning as we made our way out of Ohio and into Pennsylvania. Jacked up on coffee and free of toll roads, I settled in to enjoy my last driving shift before NY.
Barely did I even notice the cop creep past us not long after the border. Driving the rally car, one gets used to this since in most places rally car is not capable of reaching the speed limit. Sure enough, Mr. Officer zoomed ahead seconds later just like everyone has this weekend. I thought nothing of it.
Then it happened.
A few miles up the road, we came upon Mr. Officer again, parked alone on the side of the road. Waiting. My heart rate jumped. Sure enough, he pulled out a few cars back of us and I just KNEW we were his target.
Eventually he made his way up behind if us, and on came the lights. When we pulled over I noticed a second cop car pull up. Great.
So officer 1 comes up to grab our info and tells us that the reason he pulled us over was that the car is registered as being white... And obviously that's not he case anymore.
As grant is showing officer 1 the white paint inside the door, officer 2 walks up ad introduces himself by proclaiming "hey, that guy is from star wars!!!". He had noticed our dude bolted to the trunk.
We loosen up at thus point, as it seems pretty obvious that both officer 1 and officer 2 have no interest in busting us. Star wars banter goes around for a sec and they go back to run our info. Grant and I talk about what a close call that was and start to joke about officer 2 a bit...
Next thing I know, officer 1 is tapping on my window. "Mr. Heenk, please step out of the vehicle". Crap crap crap. I get out, and walk around to the back of the car. "Back over here" instructs officer 1 as he motions towards his cruiser. Judging by the expression on his face,I start to wonder what Crown Victoria hood tastes like. Craaaaaaap.
"Mr. Heenk, I know this isn't your car" he starts, "but I hope you can answer a question for us".
I think I said "of course officer".
"What exactly is that stripe on the car supposed to be? Officer 2 here thinks it's some sort of fishing lure".
HAHAHAHAHA... I almost crapped myself. When I tell them it's bacon, they bust out in big grins and proceeded to press me for details. They want to know about of the car, the rally, why we love bacon, how we are secure enough in our manhood to drive around with a chandelier in our car, etc. Best cops ever!
Grant remained clueless in the car thus whole time by the way. I had to try to explain as we got back on the road. If his reaction was anything like mine, officer 1 & 2 are still laughing at the expression I must have had on my face.
Anyway, the best part for me was when officer 1 was handing the paperwork back to Grant up in the car. Officer 2 leans in and tells me IN THE MOST SINCERE TONE "I've seen a lot of things out here in my 20 years. The batmobile, the oscar meyer weinermobile... This might just beat them all."
I thanked officer 2 and told him that's exactly what we were going for.
We're cruising down the Ohio turnpike, heading east on the last leg of our epic quest to deliver the joy of the baconmobile to the baconmobile-starved east coast. Kyle is driving, which is the first break in our alternating pattern of 340 mile shifts (a tank of gas). This is because since he got to drive through Chicago, I feel I should get to drive into NYC.
So there is this episode of My Name Is Earl where they all somehow think the world has ended so they go camp out in a department store. The next day, the store opens as usual, and Earl and the gang wake up to find people bustling around, shopping. It turns out the world didn't end, and they are NOT the last people on earth. ANYWAY, that's how I felt this morning when kyle and I woke up curled up in the rally car in the middle of a bustling, busy parking lot.
Speaking of waking up in a parking lot, it just occurred to me how funny it is that kyle spent a bunch of time blocking out the passenger side windows so he wouldn't have the sun right in his eyes in the morning when we slept in south dakota. I came out of the rest stop and kyle had rolled up a bunch of his clothes in the windows. The windows faced west. Ha ha ha.
So far the chandelier is a big hit with the toll booth people. (UPDATE: also cops)
Oh, and sorry about the weird format issues we are having. We are blogging by email, and apparently the iPhone email client is addicted to adding break tags hither and thither at its will. The problem doesn't crop up if we use gmail on the web browser, but then we can't add pictures and stuff. SIGH! Why is life so hard? Geez! Anyway, we have been sporadically editting the breaks out of the posts in the HTML editor, but it's kind of annoying, so we might just wait until we can bust out the laptop in NYC (or get Jason or vik to do it HINT HINT)
Alright, I have to get back to enjoying the open road and SOMEONE (read: YOU) has to get back to work. Suckers. Mwa ha ha.