Wednesday June 6, 2001
The Man, Alien's In Roswell, Beam Me Up
I was looking forward to today, as our course would take us through that extraterrestial hot spot, Roswell, New Mexico. The Plymouth Rock of the Alien species, Roswell was the site of an alleged alien crash landing in 1947. Our route on I-70 would wind through the Lincoln National Forest. A few miles after emerging from the forest we were back in a flat, desolate desert environment. Bringing up the rear, I thought someone must be in trouble when The Man was on my 6 lights at full tilt. The Man, actually a female officer, motioned the IS300 to the shoulder and continued on to wrangle the rest of our group. The radios were abuzz with the news immediately. After backup arrived (nine imports are a step or two above Hells Angles and Harleys in New Mexico), we were informed that someone phoned in erratic high-speed passing over double yellows in the mountains and that we were not going to get a ticket, just a license review. Our Fearless Leader handled the situation with great skill. He would later say, "These were some of the nicest, most professional officers I've ever dealt with. The girl officer was a real 'hottie'. In high school I bet she was one of those cheerleader types."
Everything was cool, we gave them a couple Trek T-shirts and hit the road. We pulled off at the next gas station to fill up and calm our nerves. I was worried what the 5-0 would say about a Skyline with its right-hand drive and so on. On the radio everyone swore they were being mellow. The plot thickened, the Skyline was not part of the pulled over crew, since it was clocking 130 mph coming down the mountain. Sean had stopped and waited for us-bad boy Sean.
The hour setback and usual late start cramped our schedule big time, as we were supposed to hit Jacobs Electronics in Midand, Texas, around 3:00 or 3:30pm. Roswell would be the sacrificial lamb, as what was to be a tour of the UFO Museum and a fine meal at the Crash Down Diner, turned into a 17 minute photo-op slash gift shop raid. I grabbed the two nearest T-shirts and a shot glass for my collection and by the time I cleared the counter, half the posse was out of radio range. We grabbed a quick bite at Mickey-Ds and blasted the 285 to Interstate 20, arriving at Jacobs at 4:30. The dyno was running, testing two Mustangs, a pair of Camaros and a 'Vette. One of the Camaros revved us and Sean was praying to see it later on the street.
Our accommodations in Midland were horrific, so we pressed an hour east to Big Spring. Before rolling, we met up with Cam Waugh, who drove from Canada with his wife and infant daughter Hanna to meet us and join in on the Trek.
Thursday June 7, 2001
We WILL Be On The Road By 8, Absolutely (leave at 9:35)Destination
Fort Worth, Texas
This would be some tough mileage because most of the crew hung out and drank beer until the wee hours. It was a good opportunity to see the other side of the empire. I did 12-ounce curls with some of the advertising representatives and confirmed what I had already known-they are into cars just like the editorial staff; only their output is different. We represent the enthusiasts, the hard-earned money they invest in the quest for power. They represent those who want to provide parts and components to realize the ultimate goal of that quest. We fill editorial pages; they fill ad pages and only with these two components do you get a magazine each month-pretty simple really. I should have reached this conclusion in five beers not nine; by 1:30 not 3:30. Anyhow at 8AM I was conscious and recruiting someone to pilot the Lexus until I got my land legs back. J-period stepped up. We were on the road late again which was fine but I would have killed for 90 more minutes of slumber. Our destination was Enkei Wheels in Fort Worth, Texas. The deal at Enkei was a four wave rave with each segment separated by a down pour. It seemed like 20 to 25 enthusiasts would be hanging out checking out the Trek cars and chatting with us, it would rain and we would run for cover. After the storm we would emerge and 20 or 25 new faces would be in the parking lot. This was toughest on the DJ, who had to "waterproof" his equipment four or five times in the span of 90 minutes.