Before we start up on the memories, here's a few things I wanted to note:
-There were 12 of us in 6 cars. We set up a "driving buddy" and stuck with that buddy throughout the trip.
-9 of the 12 started the caravan in New York; the other 3 of us started in Charlotte, NC. We all met up on Monday, January 6th.
-We had two cell phones amongst the 12 cars. Communication, for the most part, was when we scribbled on pieces of paper and passed other cars. A bit old-school.
I wanted to add some photos, but need to scan them in. Dave has put a bunch on his website and is blogging about it as well. Until I'm able to scan in my photos, I'll be stealing some of Dave's.
Without further delay, here is my journal from the first day:
Monday, January 6, 1997
Charlotte, NC to Jackson, TN
I’m somewhere in Tennessee as I write this. It’s 2:30 PM Eastern Time, but 1:30 PM Central. In a way, this trip started on Friday, Jan. 3 when Dave Willer and Bryan Adams came down to Charlotte to my parent’s house to spend a few days. They arrived around 8 that night. On Saturday, Dave woke up around 11:15 and Bryan after noon. Bryan had a rough few days – spent New Year’s in NYC, went back to Massachusetts on the 1st, then on the morning of the 3rd (at 3am) drove back down to New Jersey to meet up with Dave. When they met up, they drove straight down to Charlotte.
We went around uptown Charlotte and ended the day at a Charlotte Hornets game against the Washington Bullets. We spent the next couple of days hanging around and on Sunday, we watched the Panthers beat the Cowboys to advance to the NFC Championship game. Of course, I packed up and prepared for the trip at the last minute. I finally went to sleep after 1am and woke up at 5:30am, packed a few minor things into the car, said an emotional goodbye with my parents, and left the house around 6:45am.
Dave and I drove our cars the first leg to Knoxville, TN. Bryan, who will be riding with me, took a nap and missed the mountains that were in Asheville, NC. They were unreal. Dave was taking pictures as he was driving. I had never seen the Smokey Mountains before, so it was cool to see the “smoky” haze over the mountains. Driving to Knoxville, we saw signs for the “Largest Fireworks Supermarket,” which intrigued Bryan, but it didn’t excited me as much as seeing signs for “Dollywood!”
We got to Knoxville and found the rest of our caravan at a designated meeting spot: a Denny’s. We met 9 other IC students, only 2 that I know: Andrew Milanese and Dave Patry. The rest seem real cool. We enjoyed a lovely (and cheap) lunch at Denny’s. I recognize most of the people in the caravan. I already knew who Mike Callahan, Bonnie Polzin, and Jen Bohbot were. The rest are Jen Monsein, Dawn Garcia, Jaime Mather, and Michelle Peterson.
When we left Denny’s, not all of the cars made it at once and there was a little bit of confusion, but we all met up again. While we drove, we kept up with these two girls in another car (from University of Tenn, I think, because that’s what the sticker said). Bryan was driving my car and kept on passing them. There was some sort of inter-car flirting going on. We needed a gas/pee break and waved goodbye to the ladies and they waved back.
When we stopped for gas, the attendant screwed up and gave Dave free gas. (I think I was charged for Dave’s gas – I guess the guy was kind of an idiot). At the gas station, it was decided that we’d skip a stop in Nashville and get closer to Memphis. No big loss. I guess we’ll have to go without seeing the Nashville Network.
We’re only 25 miles from Nashville now. Only a few more hours in the car, then we can rest.