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June 06, 2009

Ashburn, VA - Cumberland, MD - 132 miles

By Josh

First thing in the morning, we set up the array, and packed up the trailer. With the car charging, Jeff helped us to plot a route to Pittsburgh, PA. We had to charge the car almost fully knowing that we would be driving through some of the Appalachian Mountains. Laura drove us through some rather treacherous terrain, while I ecstatically got as many shots as I could. We got some great shots of the XOF1 going over some bridges, and I made sure to keep the camera straight and steady. We drove through Cumberland, VA, where we ended up stopping for the night. We were going to park at Staples, but the property owner quickly asked us to move the van. So we ended up parking in the CVS parking lot. We were all starved, and got some Thai food across the street. When we came back, we saw a faint glow over the horizon. To our surprise, it was the radiance of a full moon rising. I’ve never seen a moon rise, until tonight. It happened so fast too!  With beautiful scenery to behold, we finally were able to relax, and had some Key Lime rum and OJ drinks. It wasn’t very strong, but it did make sleeping through a noisy biker gang that had parked next to the van far easier.

by Jamie Trahan;
We woke up this morning and charged xof1 for a few hours while working on updates and trying to figure our new route to get to Pittsburgh, PA. Jeff came by the Nugen Shop to see us off but we weren't ready so he ended up sticking around for a few hours. During this time we loaded the trailer up, took extremely cold showers, and got the car ready. Before leaving, Jeff fixed the rear light on xof1 by applying silicone to keep it in place. Marcelo gave him a copy of a book called Kilowatt, we took photos, then were on the road again. We had a long drive in the appalachians ahead of us, so we wanted to make sure that xof1 had a good charge.

We made it into the mountains and they were breathtaking. The air was cool and crisp, the rolling hills smelled of honeysuckle, and the soft grass seemed to flow with the wind. This reminds me of the way that I learned of the tao, or the way. It is not something that can easily be explained, but if one were to try, you could say that it moves us the way the grass moves with the wind. We drove through several small, quaint towns with beautiful old architecture. Our elevation was getting over 2000 feet and xof1 seemed to handle it better than the van, much better in fact. Coasting down the hills was actually beneficial for the car because in this situation, the motor
would turn into a generator and put energy back into the batteries.

We made it into Cumberland, Maryland and charged the batteries for a little under an hour. We started to leave town but then Marcelo decided that it would be best to stop for the night so we parked in a huge CVS parking lot right in the middle of the mountains. Before getting to bed, we watched the moon rise, another first for me on the trip. Laura danced around in circles under the soft light.

Up early to charge the car.
Replacing the back tire with one that has the right wheel.
Jeff showing us the best route to take to Pittsburgh.
Laura drawing on Nugen's board.
Jeff fixing the rear light with some silicone.
Getting ready to take off from the shop.
On the road to Pittsburgh.
Driving through the appalachians.
More mountains. They were everywhere.
Radio check.
So beautiful.
Filming xof1 as it goes over the bridge.
Taking a break in Cumberland to charge up the array.
Marcelo on the orange phone, probably calling the mothership.
Cumberland, MD
Parking the car at Staples parking lot before we were asked to leave.
Watching the moon rise. It rose so fast above the horizon.
Moon watching.
more moon watching.
Trying to keep spoons on the nose.
Laura is trying to connect with the mothership through spoon antennaes.
Jamie got it to stick!
Finally Laura did too.
and Marcelo.
Laura, and her venus fly trap impersonation.
Um, thai restaurants are our favorite.
Turtles hanging out in the restaurant.