|May 27, 2009
Charleston, SC - Wilmington, NC (161.9miles -262.27km)
Hi friends of the solar power!!! Kenny V. is typing…actually if my teacher Marco gets to know that I am called this way, he would feel a bit disappointed…but sounds good anyway no??
Nice to see the sunrise…made a huge effort trying to open my eyes…but it was worth it!!
This morning (semi) Italian breakfast…I got coffee’s for everyone and butter CORNETTO also called in a more fancy way croissant..mmmm!!
The car is charging..Lora and I are playing POI!! Rain sun sun rain rain sun …ok let’s go!!! We leave the parking at around 9.30. Destination Washington DC…500 miles…we’ll never make it!!! But we got to get there for the presentation!! Last chance is to carry the solar car into the van and drive to Washington, clearly later we have to come back where we left!! Don’t mess with the record breaker solar car ehhh!!! We stop after a some time..a policeman wanted to check and possibly take pictures of the car. No problem then!!Amazing..there is a wireless connection in the area…Thanks RENEE!!...all the members of the solar team start connecting to the internet, like water in the desert…I am thinking about how much internet influenced our lives…crazy dependency ehh!!..there is also a guy which seems extremely enthusiastic about the car, we also get a bottle of wine from him…un buon Pinot Grigio delle Dolomiti!
Renee is gone, connection interrupted!!!Time to go guys!!I help Marcelo entering the car Lora again driving…Josh is become the contact person…he contacted the Brasilian ambassy in Washington, the press, the media…luckily Obama’s office closes at 5 p.m. otherwise he was going to call him personally. I am working on the presentation and I am quite satisfied…years and years of engineering…I got more or less the skills of making a presentation. I want my work here to be useful for someone!!! Teach someone something new!!!
A car gets close to the van and asks for an interview with Marcelo…why not?..pull over!…Write the stop on log book.. Blocks for the car..camera help Marcelo getting out!! Ok!!In the meantime Josh alredy contacted half North America…he’s doing a really good job...and he is extremely diplomatic on the phone!!!
Kenny V. the navigator back on board. Next stop another interview already 151 miles not bad!! Got some shots!!! We are going to be on the local television tonight!! My singlet does not result too professional I must confess!! Back in the street. Drive until the battery is low enough to personally ask to stop and here it comes: the ice-cream, fueling charging, consolation time…I am impressed by the good ice-cream. And the taste is further improved by the jam session topping…Ukulele-saxophone in the field…man!!Josh is getting better and better with that tiny guitar!! Leave the station and drive until there is still a bit of day light and elegant maneuver: Solar car inside the trailer, remove all the stuff from the trailer place the car extremely precisely and carefully and put back the things in the van!! Man that was strange!!!But ok done!!!now just a long breath to Washington!! Marcelo is driving, I am in the front with him writing this update Marcelo is driving, I am in the front with him writing this update and discussing about…choices!!
We all need a power nap…45 minutes at gas station..and here we are again!!!Josh is driving we are typing…Lora sleeps. I will see you all tomorrow in DC, officially the today’s update is in evolution…and our long today already merged with our early tomorrow.
By Josh Holton;
After a morning charging the array, we were ready to head towards our nation’s capitol. We drove from South Carolina up through Georgetown, S.C. We were stopped by a local reporter at a local liquor store. A man named Tom was incredibly supportive of the project. He offered his house up for lodging for us. We got a local new story on the car, and I got a call from ABC’s 20/20! They also gave me a Jagermeister pump because I had a Jagermeister shirt on. After a quick stop, we headed up through North Carolina. Passing by Pawlie’s Island, we were pulled over by local news reporters for TV33. Up in Myrtle Beach, we had a TV interview at a local NBC station. At a gas station stop in fields of grass, Valerio and I jammed out the brand new “Solar Car Blues” with reckless abandon. After a brief stop, we drove until dark, landing in Leeland. We then packed up the solar car, and headed towards D.C. The crew took turns driving until we all eventually needed to sleep around 1:00 AM. We then switched drivers a couple times until we finally made it through Virginia. It was very foggy in the early morning, and we had to drive carefully.
By Laura Peruzzi;
While waiting for the solar car to absorb sun through the morning clouds Valerio continues to teaches me how to fire twirl! I practice making x’s and double circles rotating my wrists allowing the chains to circle around and cross and ouch, sometimes hit me in the head. I’ll have to practice more before I can ignite them otherwise I’d be bald and naked! It sprinkles gently but the weather soon clears up and it is sunny enough to get a good 150 miles throughout the day. After a short minute of rain we pass dozens of white lotus flowers blossoming in the water between lilly pads. At about noon we stop at a liquor store in Georgetown, SC under the clouds. We are catching up in the support van after stopping for a photo op on the bridge. Up ahead Marcelo has pulled over with a police officer behind him. For a second I worry that this will be trouble. Of course the cop was only curious, as they most always are, and after asking the normal array of
questions, he posed for a picture with Marcelo next to the car. Meanwhile, a local newspaper reporter has arrived and is talking with Josh and taking pictures. An excited man who rode up on a bicycle is caressing the panels and smiling, oh no! Marcelo jumps up from the van to warn against touching the fragile cells. “Sorry...I never seen anything like this before! You are a genius man!!” the man exclaims. Before we depart, Thomas the shopkeeper presents us with a bottle of pinot grigio, he says we have made his day! Driving, driving, driving and people pointing, smiling, honking their horns and taking pictures with their cell phones. I love seeing the reactions the solar car gets from onlookers! People get so excited and it’s like a wave of amazement as we pass. A van pulls up next to us and a blonde woman with a professional video camera asks how she can get an interview. We pull over for a short interview for their local station TV33
Georgetown. I’m happy we are still among southern accents and smiles.
Shortly after, we arrange for another interview with the local TV station in Myrtle Beach. The Sun newspaper building is next door to the station and when we go in to talk to them they are too busy approaching their deadline for the day and cannot spare a monkey with a typewriter. The TV interview goes well, they get some good footage of the solar car driving in front of the station. About an hour later we are back on the road agin and Valerio prepares a snack for us. Inside the cooler we discover the awful lingering stench has been coming from the mango. “Whatever that is that stinks- stop it!” Josh says. Valerio slices it open saying we should not waste and the smell gets worse. Mangos are my favorite and I have never known one to smell this bad! “Throw it overboard, quick!” Josh yells from the back. Valerio opens the window and releases the raunchy mango into the wild. Next thing I know we are in North Carolina! I am getting sleepy and
could have used a good swim back in Myrtle Beach, but we are on a tight schedule. Last night after dinner and the impromptu parking lot party we had attempted to park at the coast and sleep on the beach. We were so close to the ocean I could smell it...but onward and upward to the capitol!
Close to 6pm we stop in Brunswick to tilt the array and absorb the last rays of sunlight for the day. The solar car recharges and so do we with ice cream! Marcelo treats us all to blueberry-pomegranate ice cream in waffle cones. Valerio gets coffee flavor instead and he shares with me since that is my favorite! Yum, thanks Kenny V! The ice cream shop owner grew up in D.C. and he tells us to be careful in certain areas. His wife is from England and I talk with her about where she’s from and where to visit. She came over to America all by herself when she was only 17 and loves it here. “I’m too Americanized, I could never go back, I don’t want to either. Things are bad over there.” She tells me last time she was there to visit gas cost around seven dollars a gallon, and that was five years ago. The TV news is on in the background and I hear that GM is going bankrupt. With gas so high and the automobile industry going under, this is the
perfect time for the solar car to be out and about, generating excitement and promoting sustainable renewable energy!
After we finish our ice cream cones we head back across the street to the van and the solar car. Josh and Valerio get out their instruments and in the setting sun among wild blackberries play the solar car blues. Valerio blows us away on the saxophone and Josh strums the ukulele with passion, and I shoot some good photos for the website.
Before we hop back in the van Valerio hands me a fresh picked blackberry, yum! We drive on and end up going in a bit of a circle getting on and off HWY 17 but end up on a narrow neighborhood street. We pass kids practicing baseball, a family on the porch, two girls walking on the sidewalk, all shocked by a solar car driving by; a unique and rare opportunity to see history in the making.
Just before dark we stop and the challenge begins: loading the solar car into the trailer. We take everything out of the trailer and once I see all the cargo out in the parking lot I wonder how exactly it will all fit with the car in there as well. I think to myself that this will be the most intense game of tetris ever! The ramps come out, and the car goes in fitting snug and tight in the trailer. As we pack the two dozen tires and several boxes back in, under and around the car Marcelo tells us how he accomplished this same task alone one time in Toronto. This man is a machine, or an alien, definitely not human! He tells us how the car flipped because of the wind and caused the small scratches to the panels on the right side too. His stories are epic and adventurous and despite the hardships and complications he remains ever positive and always sunny! Even though he mentions his last volunteer in the arctic begged him to turn around twice and a
jeep turned around getting only halfway after four flat tires, and a motorcyclist had to be airlifted out after crashing and breaking his wrist, and the below freezing temperatures and the rain...I still want to go, to follow the solar car to the arctic circle. I can’t imagine a better adventure than this!
|At 07:30, array is set up, clear blue sky|
|At 08:30, the blue sky is a somer dark gray. Marcelo and Valerio having breakfast, Josh and Laura catch up on some Z's|
|Valerio discover a new specie of ants, "jelly ants"|
|A new vegetarian version of Edward Sizer hands, our own "Valerio carrot hands"|
|On the road again and raining again|
|In Georgetown, Marcelo pulled over after seeing a police car following the solar car, the friendly officer was wonderfing about our green machine, asked a few questions about it and wished us well|
|Clayton Stairs from Georgetown Times interviewing Marcelo|
|Making new friends, Thomaz a local motorized bycicle fabricator was thrilled to see te solar car and meet the crew. Great meeting you too!|
|A bridge to the other side|
|A local TV station crew flag the solar car team down for an interview|
|A quick stop, a brief interview|
|Say "solar car" you are on the solar car team camera!|
|Josh and Robert Blomquist (ABC News). The interview will air tonight!|
|Zoom zoom at the network parking lot|
|Crossing unto North Carolina|
|Mirrow, mirrow, what do you see?|
|Cotton clouds in the sky|
|A brief stop in Brunswick early evening to bottle a bit of sunshine before the end of the day|
|While pulling over in Brunswick, the local Sherif follows the solar car to take a close look, holar!|
|Brunswick was a good brief stop, sunshine, ice-cream, live music|
|Clouds playing hide and seek with the sun|
|Valerio (Kenny V.) and Josh (Old sexy) in an out door concert,
Playing the solar car blues
|Kenny V. Jazzing away!
birds were invited to join in
|Old sexy, one with the ukulele|
|Laura - "block right"
|Inside view from the "A Team" van|
|Clear sky as the night fall, 12 hours late|
|Time to pull over and load XOF1 into its trailer, just follow the arrows|
|Wow, the empty trailer but not for very long|
|XOF1 inside the trailer,mpacked and ready to go. Washington ere we come!!!!|