Moose’s Great Adventure - A tale of travel to Evo East.
Travel to Evolution is always an adventure. Our group seems to have had quite the trip so far.
We begin on Wednesday. I, Faight (otherwise known as Project Pat, Iraq Pat, and “the guy with too much money”) drove up from my parent’s house in Charlotte, North Carolina. I had borrowed their van as it had two televisions in it and was spacious enough to fit all of us (6 people in total). I drove through two thunderstorms during the trip, leaving me with less than 25 feet visibility. Hydroplaning ensued, and I was lucky to make it through alive.
I arrived in Richmond, VA around 8pm. Headed over to Renegade’s (Robin Palm) apartment, and then met up with Moose (Billy Hummel). We hung out, played games, then went to bed.
The Great Adventure began the next morning. The drive to Connecticut was supposed to take about 6 hours. We had to stop off in Northern Virginia to pick up umthrfkr (Pat van Pelt), Ramza (Eric Kim), and Ypei (Alex Pei). We loaded up the van, and then all jumped inside. I was driving. I turned the key, the engine roared to life, and then promptly died.
I sat stunned for a moment, then tried to start the car again. It turned over, and then died again instantly. Moose proposed that the alternator was dead. Renegade and I were clueless. I discovered that if I kept gas running, the engine would stay alive. We speculated our next course of action: Pick up video game peripherals from Moose’s dorm room.
While waiting for Moose’s lumbering form to return from the dank dorm room he occupied, we called a local vehicle repair shop Renegade knew. The gentleman we contacted agreed to at least look at our vehicle and see what was wrong with it, as it was now able to idle. As I put it in reverse to leave the lot to head to the repair shop, it died yet again.
Our trip to the repair shop consisted of the vehicle cutting off on me several times in the middle of traffic. We finally arrived. A younger man with cropped hair and a dark blue shirt came out to check our vehicle. He asked the make and model, I replied.
“2001 Toyota Sienna”.
He stuck his head under the hood and used a device that looked to me like a multimeter of some sort. He announced that our alternator was bad.
“How long will it take to fix?” I asked curiously.
“About two hours…” he replied, trailing off.
“So… can you do it now?” I questioned.
“Not today” he replied. “I’m full until Monday.”
“Do you know any other shops that could do it for us?” Renegade chimed in. The man responded with a number for another shop which we promptly dialed. Unfortunately, he was full as well.
Our faces fell. Our planned trip to Evo East was about to fall through. Renegade, Moose, and myself toyed with the idea of just hanging out and playing games the whole weekend.
A spark popped in my head. “Why don’t we just rent a car?” I inquired. Robin jumped on his phone and called a local car place. We drove our dying vehicle to the Enterprise Car Rental lot not far from the repair shop. Upon arrival we learned that no larger vehicles were available, in the entire city of Richmond. We needed to sit six people. We inquired for the phone numbers of any other car rental places. We settled on Avis. Renegade pounded the numbers in his cell phone and began his inquiry. They began asked for silly stuff like a utility bill. Sadly, I had nothing in my name (as I was going to pay for it) due to not really living in the US for most of the year.
We packed back into the ailing vehicle and began trudging towards the Avis rental place. We got there and recieved no flack at all when renting. I gave them my license and Visa, and we were on our way in a brand new Ford Explorer. Checking the odometer, it only had 215 miles on it. This car is brand spanking new. Unfortunately, the storage space is tiny.
The time now was about 2 PM. We had lost two hours of our travel time, and we would most likely hit traffic in DC. We began our trip (finally) and jumped on I-95. Around exit 150 (Quantico) we hit some heavy traffic and jumped onto Route 1. We took Route 1 up to 123N. Traffic was horrible. We arrived at umthrfkr’s house around 4 or 5pm. After having a packing snafu as we had little to no space available, we ended up dropping down the second rear seat for luggage. We had to ditch the television as we had no room for it. Losing our mass entertainment and having to squish 3 people in the seat in the middle of an SUV is no fun. Traffic in the DC area was horrible, and we slowly drove to the local mall to get some food. After filling up with Chipotles and other various mall foods we finally began our drive north.
Being that I just bought a new phone, I discovered I could use it to get internet to my laptop. Overjoyed I instantly booted up World of Warcraft. However, my latency was horrible (around 1100 or so, almost as bad as when I was in Iraq) so I ditched that and instead started to browse 4chan. After getting our fill of large asian breasts and various other 4chan norms while in the middle of DC traffic we began browsing SRK.
That’s when this travel post came to life. Our originally estimated arrival of 8pm has already passed us, as it is now 8:30pm as I type out this post. Sitting in the car using Phoneternet to entertain the group as we post on SRK we pray we’ll make it to Stamford before midnight.
Pray for us, SRK. Pray for us. We’re guided by a broken GPS system, mildly entertaining ourself with internet in the car that cuts off randomly, and we ate mexican food a short while ago. It’s going to be an adventure.