Breaking news: Texas is flat

Posted by Corky! on Monday, 7th April 2008 at 00:50 GMT
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Texas really does have damn good views, probably as a result of being flatter than a very flat thing. The foliage is freaking me out, though - apart from the cacti, it's quite similar to UK greenery. Same trees, same hedgerows, same fields, just a bit drier.

We've said goodbye to Austin. Last night's fun was limited somewhat by the massive motor festival that had colonised all the good bars. This morning offered more varied opportunities for entertainment. By way of example, we now all have cowboy boots.

Thanks to Sidra and Dennis for braving the very scary traffic to help us out. Next stop: Beaumont.


Posted by dunkyb on Sunday, 6th April 2008 at 06:53 GMT
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Austin. Seems like it has great potential, but not today.

Screw it, lets head east.

Dunkyb out.


Posted by Corky! on Saturday, 5th April 2008 at 21:17 GMT
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Yes, I'm still alive, I just haven't managed to steal time on an internet-capable gizmo since my last post. We've had plenty of water under the bridge since then, and I may need to start backdating my posts to cover all the ground.

In brief, everything is going great. No debilitating injuries, lots of places that score highly on the better-than-Vegas scale, a whole heap of great people and huge quantities of cheap beer.

Shouts to: Catharine, Robin, Matt & co, Amanda, Kayleigh, Alison/Yukiko, Micah & roommates, Josh, Lindsay, David, Ryan (?), and Lindsay's cats. You all made us feel very welcome. If I've missed anyone off, let me know and I'll add your name.


Names changed to protect the less than innocent

Posted by dunkyb on Saturday, 5th April 2008 at 17:57 GMT
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Turns out we were in a dry county las night so that the tale that follows is clearly a figment of a fevered imagination.

The team consisted of Donkey, Scatman, Cakey and KingOfWin. They arrived in Lubbock around 1900 hours, somewhat confused by the bloody time changes that were constantly eating away ur precious hours.

After a brief(ish) tour of the university and some fasinating roadworks (what is it with roadworks following us round the country) we headed for motel country. We were then promtly rejected from 2 hotels who clearly feared for their sanity with the RPRF in town before finding an excellent motel.

We quickly dropped our bags off and decided to grab a cheeky pint and watch the sun go down. We've been trying to do this now for a week and have conclusively failed every single time. We were not going to lose that record this night. We asked for the location of some bars and armed with a map we headed off into the balmy evening.

Numerous blocks later, with only the one heart attack (don't worry folks, KingOfWin recovered quickly with medicinal beer) we realised we were completely lost. And it was now dark. And we were in the middle of nowhere. By a train depot. With lots of moving trains.

Figuring out that this wasn't necesarily the best situation to be in, Scatman asked at a petrol station where we should be - turned out the map was off by about 10 blocks.

Arriving sliently at Bash 2 (we later learned the names of these places) and terrifying the waitress we ordered a round of beers. Oh by the way, for some reason we had decided to wear Hawaiian shirts. Cakey was in grey, KoW green, Scatman red and Donkey was in a rather hideous yellow. Donkey was agreed to have lost the shirt game and was busy getting the beers in. Or trying to. Turns out the English can be a little tricky for the locals to understand. We merely had difficulty understanding that it was the whole round of beers that cost 8 dollars - not each. After some consultation with the locals we located a nifty bar and had steak. This was in an effort to not to repeat the mistakes of tuscon of getting mullered on empty stomachs.

After heading back to the first bar we were waylaid by the previous waitress, now dolled up for the night, who dragged us kicking and screaming (honest guv!) to the first Bash Ripcock's ever. It is the oldest ollege bar in lubbock - a staggering 22 years old.

We sat down and were promtly jumped on by Alison, our waitress for the evening. A few hours later we were surrounded by rapt Texans throughly wowed by the sheer brilliance of the RPRF. One of us was announced as the new batchelor in town and another had Lindsay latched onto him. (Hi! - hope you had a good night). These guys were far smarter than their brethren in Tucson and declined a drinking contest.

We were feeling very genourous and bought ourselevs drinks. And our newfound friends. And their friends. And just about anyone else in the bar. Scatman covered the tab. 45 quid. Haha! We are loving this country!

Donkeyb out

Gambling over distance

Posted by dunkyb on Saturday, 5th April 2008 at 09:26 GMT
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Today we reached the first possible important milestone - our current distance traveled is now further than the straight line distance to Miami. Well, we know it's not a good measure, but shows progress and is worth a celebration!

So we're now in some university town north and way east of El Paso. We managed to bump into (after an incredible amount of getting lost) some bars and the evening sprialed upwards from there. I'll let the guys who remember them write the details, but it was an excelent night - the RPRF were worshipped by all!

Dunkyb out

We're heading in the right direction!

Posted by dunkyb on Friday, 4th April 2008 at 06:21 GMT
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Righty, We've had another solid day driving (though probably far less than Kath - hi!) and are now actually moving towards Miami.

We're in El Paso, right on the Mexican border (which doesn't look that exciting!) and are possibly in the wrong part of town and things are pretty dead here.

We stayed in the hotel for tonight (an extremely classy place, certainly the best I've paid for) and had an extremely nice meal, good tenderloin steak and then a couple of drinks at the bar. But we're all knackered and could do with a bit of a break.

Earlier we were at the Pima Air and Space Museum, an amazing place - it's basically a large patch of desert with a few hangers and a lot of aeroplanes parked up. Star of the show was clearly the SR-71 Blackbird, but I was a massive fan of just walking around some amazing hardware. I may have geeked out a little.

Not sure where we're headed tomorrow, thataway I'd guess.

Dunkyb out


Posted by dunkyb on Thursday, 3rd April 2008 at 15:30 GMT
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Excellent day driving yesterday (I'm posting this the morning after), we covered a lot of distance, easily.

Right, I'm going to try and think through all the awesomeness of yesterday.

Well, as you can see from the tracking maps we continued north to the edge of the Grand Canyon - that is a bloody big hole. Absolutly astounding. We stopped at a couple of places on the south rim and the sheer vastness was almost overwhelming - I could feel my mind whiring like a camera autofocus as it tried to find some sense of scale.

I might have to go back there someday.

After the canyon, we drove south (well, we say that, but at several points we were heading away from miami!) through Flagstaff and Pheonix.

Amazing views but more importantaly we're now in cactus country. So far I've actually only seen one proper cactus with a central part and two arms, but there's a long way to go.

We arrived in Tucson around 1700 - skirted the rather uncesesarily large road works and headed into the middle of town on the guess that there had to be a hotel and a few bars around somewhere.

We pulled off at the first hotel we found - Hotel Congress. Great little hotel right in the middle of town, very much old school.

We checked in, completely failed to find a tabaconist (we might have accidentally wandered about three blocks too far) but then found a nice bar. Servicing pitchers of locally microbrewed ale for $13. Thats only about £1.56 in real money.

In hindsight (and yes, I'm posting this the morning after with a 'mild' hangover) that may have been where the trouble started.

We ended up in the hotel bar, where we talked loudly in the bar, whilst drinking them out of their ales.

After a small incident with some old and drunk guys we were joined by a fun lady named Cathrine (If you're reading this - Hi!) who put us completely to shame by pointing out that she drove, on her own, about 200 miles further than us.

Whilst we were chatting with Catherine, we were joined by Robin, who proceeded to laugh at our accents.

Eventeually, the night drew to a quiet close. Oh, who am I kidding? We got 'talking' to some natives and they impuned our drinking ability. Well, dammit, the RPRF is not going to stand for that, so we offered a deomnstration, in the form of a boat race.

I was a little disapointed with our performance to e honest. Russ (our number 4) hadn't quite finished his beer by the time their first man had. (Hi matt, if you're reading this - I think that was your name, but things were getting blurry by that point)

Still, to near universal aclaim we decided to call it a night (or the bar closed)

Today we're planning on hitting an air and space museum (guess who's idea that was) then belting into Texas and whatever the next state over is.

Should be able to put some serious distance towards our destination.

Lewis out

Due South

Posted by Mike Cripps on Thursday, 3rd April 2008 at 08:39 GMT
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Today we got a little bit closer to Miami, but the main point was that we got back on track. We're done with the central USA and it's focusing on the southern part of Texas that will get us to Miami on time.

Everyone we asked in the bar tonight (excepting those we'd dryunk into submission) suggest that Texas is a large place that is pretty much empty. The truth of this wll be verified in the next couple of days.

We've done Vegas, we've done the Grand Canyon and now it's the hard graft East across the USA to Miami. We can do it, and if we have more days like we had today, there will be absolutely no problem.

I have smoked too many cigars and cigarettes and so I feel like the inside of a chimney. This is in no way a good thing. On the plus side we have outdrunk several locals in a boat-race style contest. We rock, and we rock hard.

Mike calling.

Grand Canyon

Posted by dunkyb on Wednesday, 2nd April 2008 at 20:45 GMT
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More later.

Dunkyb out

First post!

Posted by Mike Cripps on Wednesday, 2nd April 2008 at 08:11 GMT
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Well, it's about time I posted on this site, given I'm part of the team! I've done only two stints of driving so far, but I'm slowly getting the hang of driving on the 'wrong' side of the road, and at odd speeds (they all end in 5!). But there's been few screams of fear from my passengers, so I reckon I'll be allowed to drive again :D

As Duncan says, we went shooting today - having something so powerful in my hands was a very odd feeling. Fun, definitely, and noisy, but so unlike anything else I've ever done. No major injuries sustained, however, so we figure we'll keep an eye out for handgun opportunities in Texas (still three days' driving away!).

The size of this country still surprises me. We've travelled 630+ miles in the last 2 days - more than enough to get me home to Inverness from London (as far along the UK as you'd want to travel tbh) and as you can see on the map, it's a small dent in the distance to go. However, we've had two short days, and if we knuckle down and really work on it in the next few days, we'll be well able to make progress across the country.

Tucson is our next target, pretty much due South. We've got to see the Grand Canyon (we're just on the outskirts on the park), and then we're heading down along the bottom of this country.

Mike calling.