left the country on June 12. The lure of the European
Soccer Championships was just too strong! Alas, Denmark
Manuel lounged around until June 16. Before his departure
he spent some time at the beach and on the fairly difficult
project: Finding a buyer for the legendary Mercury.
Marco had a new transmission installed in the Mustang.
The rip-off mechanics in Lexington didn't get paid; Marco
went as far as hiring a lawyer before going home on June
hung out at Myrtle Beach, SC for some weeks before he
returned to Switzerland in the beginning of July.
In retrospect many things could have been done differently.
Driving 8,000 miles in 23 days and still act as tourists
was tough, but we had a schedule to keep so it was necessary
for us to stay busy. A little more time wouldn't have hurt
California was our priority all along. But maybe we were
a little too narrow-sighted and forgot some of the other
interesting places that USA has to offer. But who can cover
a continent effectively in less than a month? Still, the
last few days of the return leg were somewhat of an anticlimax;
it was just a question of getting home. However, we followed
the original itinerary to the letter and made the most out
of the allotted time. No one could accuse us of slacking!
The fact that we had to go in two cars as opposed to one
van didn't spoil anything for us. In fact using two cars
meant that safety was heightened a great deal; if one car
broke down it wasn't likely that the other would break down
at the same time. If we were unlucky to have a breakdown
in the middle of a desert, the other car could go for help,
or even pull the busted car to the nearest mechanic. As
for the CBs: they were really the icing on the cake. They
allowed us to communicate between cars and the whole thing
wouldn't have been as fun without them.
There is no 'I' in 'team'
This diary was written primarily in the 'we' form. However,
at this point in time I have to let go of the 'we' and speak
for myself. With this new degree of freedom I would like
to emphasize that the diary is my recollection of the truth
and how I perceived the many days on tour, hence my travel
companions may not share some of the sentiments expressed
in the text. I could have chosen to make a more personal
journal but I opted not to go through with that. Instead
I hope this will serve as some sort of collective memory
for all of us because details will fade with time whether
we like it or not. The last few years have clearly dislodged
and reorganized some of the many wonderful impressions that
I got during the three weeks on the road. Amidst the blurring
details, one thing is crystal clear though: May 15 to June
6, 1996 will be etched in my consciousness as a monumental
experience that I wouldn't like to have been without.
heartfelt thanks goes to:
My Parents - for sending me to the States.
McCusker - for being such an outstanding guy and lending
us the hardware (CBs etc.) that made this trip so memorable.
D'Anna - for her courage to let us go off on our own.
Technical Diary Information
A few words about the traveled distance. An estimated traveled
distance is displayed for each day. The numbers are not
necessarily 100% accurate because they don't include sightseeing,
detours etc. in some cases. The numbers are based on Yahoo!'s
Driving Directions. For a more accurate measure please turn
to the fuel statistics for the Camaro.
The difference between the start/end odometer reading was
7,715 miles. The Mustang, however, must have traveled considerably
further since it was used extensively for sightseeing, while
the Camaro was used mostly for travel between cities.
Day 01: Leaving NC
Day 02: Tupelo, MS
Day 03: Henryetta, OH
Day 04: Roswell, NM
Day 05: Flagstaff, AZ
Day 06: Las Vegas, NV
Day 07: Victorville,
Day 08: Long
Day 09: Los Angeles, CA
Day 10: Thousand
Day 11: Malibu,
Day 12: Lompoc,
Day 13: Lompoc,
Day 14: Palo
Day 15: Palo Alto, CA
Day 16: Fallon, NV
Day 17: Escalante, UT
Day 18: Grand Junction, CO
Day 19: Lafayette, CO
Day 20: Colby,
Day 21: St.
Day 22: Knoxville,
Day 23: Burlington,
Epilogue: Author's notes