From Phoenix to LA to Nashville

Well, this was it, our final destination was within sight. We headed on I-10 through the deserts of Arizona and California. It was hot; my watch thermometer read 116 degrees. My pocket tetris melted on the dashboard, and the pushbutton controls that would have turned the air conditioner on were scattered all over the passenger compartment of the car. Thankfully it was desert and not humid or we probably would have died. There wasn't much to say because there wasn't much to see, except for the occassional farm there was really nothing at all. It wasn't until we came over the Sierras when things started to get interesting. We drove past the wind farm on the hills there, I'm not sure how many windmills they have there but there were at least several hundred. Then, rather suddenly, we came down out of the mountains and the lush green of the southern California coast became visible. We got a little lost around LA but it wasn't too long before we found the hotel.

We finally arrived and checked in. We met up with our friends and roommates: Ken Hollis, Eugene Hamai, Eugene Lee, Hideki Saito, Bill Mcphee, and Hiroki Hayashi. Ethan picked up his membership badge, which he signed up to the convention as "EVA SUCKS". While wandering the convention and waiting in line, he would often frighten fanboys with video of him destroying the Eva LD and just general surlyness.

Some interesting things that happened at the convention:

The door to our room, Loser Central
Inside Loser Central
Hiroki checks out the bullet-hole riddled Eva LD
Ken and Eugene report in to the IRC crew, while Ryoohki supervises
Outdoor overflow from the IRC "party"
Our party was more interesting than the real one inside
How the real party got started. Ken and Ethan vent a little frustration
Clockwise from left: Bill, Eugene L., Ken, Ethan, Hiroki, Eugene H., Hiroki
By Sunday morning the convention was over. We all said our goodbyes and packed the car. We headed towards the ocean, because I wasn't about to leave without seeing the Pacific. We ended up at Golden Beach where I took a few pictures and looked around. Then we were back on the road and on our way towards Nashville.

The trip back wasn't very eventful. Sometime on the way out of California, we discovered that the passenger window would not go back up. During the day it wasn't much of a problem (except for the noise) but by the time night fell, the temperature started to drop very rapidly. We got as far as Flagstaff before the cold became intolerable. In a fit of frustration I managed to tear the door panel off trying to get the window to go back up, which Ethan found somewhat amusing "Uh, that doesn't pop off, it's screwed on". Ooops. We stayed the night and were off very early the next morning. We were both exhausted and agreed to try and make it back to Nashville without stopping. Unfortunately, the wonderFord didn't agree, and again during the hot desert day it would die for no reason. Again, I had time to take some interesting pictures on the way back. We didn't get a chance to steal a Route 666 sign but we did stop on 666 for some food.

We took turns driving and didn't stop again until we blew one of the rear tires just outside of Memphis. I noticed that the other tire was worn down to the cord and would probably blow also, so we changed the flat and drove the remaining 50 miles slowly and painfully. But, we made it back. After 8 days and 4000 miles, we ended where we began.

It was quite a hardship, but it was worth it. It was quite a learning experience and I would definately do it again. 

Golden Beach, CA
One of our breakdown spots in the deserts of California
The sun sets along the Oklahoma skyline

And so, our great voyage came to an end. However, this will not be the last journey for us. What's next? Who knows, but I'll be sure to chronicle the next grate expedition.