Day 226 : Navigational errors and meal miscalculations

28 February 2011

“It is somewhere around two years now,” Steve told me when I asked him how long ago it was when he first contacted me. I could not believe it. Time flies quite fast when you are not packing your days full of wild escapades all over the globe. Since my return home from The World by Road Expedition in July of 2009, time has certainly flown by and it was a true shock to hear Steve tell me that nearly 2 years have passed since his first email.

Day 225 - New Orleans (29 of 30)Now this first email is not the ordinary one that makes its way to my inbox regarding expeditions. I suppose that none of them really are, with contents ranging from driving an electric car around the world to being the first all black expedition around the world. Some of these emails query about short trips, some long, some impossible, but Steve Moore’s request certainly the most unique. And this why I am typing a blog in a fire engine speeding down the road today.

After being shoved into the cupboard/closet room at the New Orleans fire house temporary trailer left over from hurricane Katrina, many might question their own logic of the decision to join the crew. I got excited. Day 224 - New Orleans (3 of 17)While sleeping in a small hot humid room without windows is not my idea of a good time, there are a few factors which make Follow that Fire Engine, by far, the coolest expedition I have helped to date, and why I am still excited after a seemingly rough first couple of nights:

a) Fire is cool, fighting fires is even cooler.

b) Therefore firemen are way cool, making Steve’s father an inherently cool guy.

c) Honoring cool people is cool.

d) Fire engines are uber cool.

e) Going around the world is about as cool as it gets.

Conclusion = Follow that Fire Engine = Max Cool.

So this is the point where someone still might ask, “Steve, sure this is cool, but why would you sleep in a cupboard, stuff yourself in an uncomfortable fire truck with a bunch of nutty Britons and drive 10 hours straight across the south only to end up in Birmingham, AL? That really does not sound like too much fun.” The reason is simple, you never know what you will get when you throw reason to the wind. In the case of this long day, James Morrow called out about halfway there, “Guys, we have a hotel for a discount.” “Excellent!!” we all yelled out. About an hour later he exclaimed, “Wait, now we have free rooms, free beers and a steak dinner…and the local firehouse is coming to meet us in the morning!”

Day 226 - New Orleans to Birmingham (16 of 17) It turns out I am not the only one that gets suckered in by that Follow that Fire Engine charm. Andy Peters, the manager of the Wynfrey Hotel, not only donated our rooms for the night, but offered us a meal at the Shula’s restaurant in the hotel, which is a five star steakhouse on the premises. It seemed illogical for me to deserve a meal at this point because the crew threw me in the navigation seat to start my run with them, and my rusty expeditioning skills promptly failed their initial tests.

However, my navigation mistakes were not the only miscalculations that day. James, along with the rest of the crew, had never tried a steak dinner like this before. Gemma even noted, “This is the best steak I have ever eaten.” The food was incredible, and James thought it to be so incredible that he helped himself to an entire cowboy steak, a good majority of the sides and appetizers, a good bit of tastes from everyone else’s plates, and the vast majority of a dessert I was supposed to share with him. He proceeded to roll around in bed with a stomach ache while the rest of us slept the night away.

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One Response to “Day 226 : Navigational errors and meal miscalculations”

  1. Hey there

    So you now appreciate how unique the FTFE Expedition is I guess… and hopefully so does the rest of the world by now!

    Make sure everyone you meet knows it too … these guys are self-funded and need all the support they can get.