Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Great White North

I'm starting a new adventure! Decided to try to write a lot of it down, and thought this was as good a place as any to do so.

This new adventure is a more solitary one, and starts a little more pretentiously than the Mongol Rally. This one starts while sipping champagne at a beach front bar Hennessey's in Manhattan Beach, where Dhruv and myself both unceremoniously decide that this bar, not Tehachapi, should be the start of my road trip North. Just as we described the Mongol Rally as starting from London instead of Goodwood (because no one outside of England knows where Goodwood is), my next adventure starts from Manhattan Beach.

Why North? Shamefully, I've never been to Canada, and taking on the Great White North seems like as good an adventure as any. It's also not quite the right time of year to head South, that's more of an October-November thing, and South needs a bit more planning than taking on a single border crossing into Canada.

My vehicle is arguably more ridiculous than our trusty Malasian hatchback Seymore. It's a 1991 Mazda Miata, red/rattle can black with a 1.6 liter (.6 more than Seymore!) engine and 116 mighty Japanese horsepower. Despite the larger engine, I feel like the rear wheel drive layout and convertible makes it an equally unsuitable machine for crossing poor terrain, so don't think that the larger engine is a cop-out. If it comes down to it, snow tires may become a necessity, but I'll cross that bridge if and when I get to it.

There's a few things regarding the vehicle I should mention. It's also a race car I've taken to Willow Springs and Buttonwillow, as well as a pleasant day beating the crap out of it at Jawbone Canyon. It's safe to say I don't exactly treat it with the respect a 24 year old, 200k+ mile car deserves. As a result, there's a few pieces... missing, and a few rattles and squeaks. I didn't know before starting out that some of these rattles and squeaks existed, but you begin to notice any noise no matter how subtle after a few hundred miles of monotony.

I also haven't mentioned that it's not exactly a solo adventure, furry Yogi will be joining me to combat boredom and serve as a space heater. I'm also taking my old mountain bike, which should provide for some interesting stories/wounds. Besides some couches, camping will be the norm, at least until the cold decides a pale engineer and a dog in a Miata have no place camping in Northern Canada.

Anyway, adventure started at approximately 2 PM on April 12, and since then I've seen the Space Shuttle, tented it up in a living room, swam in the Pacific, eaten an enormous burrito, and driven 400 miles. Yogi has mostly slept, peed on things, and drank out of exactly one toilet exactly twice. Updates will come as I can make them, Elaine you can inherit/burn my things as you see fit if I fail to make it back.

From the couch of Roberto Ussery, 


 - The author is a recently homeless engineer hoping to lose a little toe frostbite so that he can brag at parties. He graduated from the University of Colorado with his Masters in Aerospace Engineering, and capitalizes certain things so that they seem more important. 

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