Monday, July 9, 2012

Twit on a Road Trip [Part 7 : Day 11 and part of 12]

Have you read the previous posts? You should... they're moderately entertaining...

Day 11 - also known as Monday, July 2nd - started off with something I've never done on any vacation or road trip I've ever been on. I had to get my oil changed. It seems that I had been on the road so long that it became necessary to get some maintenance done. So, I changed my car's oil and transmission fluid in Buffalo, NY. While I waited, I walked across the street and got a haircut.

This was apparently a looooong road trip.

Thankfully, I had a short drive on the 2nd, so I took my time getting out of Buffalo. It was nearly noon before I got back in my car, and I still had a quick stop at Home Depot to buy bricks and duct tape. Ordinarily, a statement like that will get me put on some predator website, but I had an reason for such a strange purchase: I was going to Washington, DC the next day to carry bricks around the city, following a Force Recon Marine for my third GORUCK Challenge.

Ok, so maybe the 'predator list' thing is less strange.

Since I was driving into DC and several of my fellow participants were flying, I volunteered to supply the bricks. Thankfully, I didn't have to explain my purchase to the HD employees, as they are used to seeing people buy bricks. Still, the image of me pulling the little red basket behind me through the store drew some fascinated looks.
Get in the trunk, and no one gets hurt!
Who cares if they suck?
Awesome stadium.
Eventually, my car loaded down in the back end, I jumped on the toll roads (are you freaking kidding me?) and headed southwest and back the way I'd come. This time, though, my destination was Cleveland. I took my time as I skirted Lake Erie and arrived at the city around 4PM. I had several hours of free time, so I wandered the downtown area, snapping pictures and eating at PotBelly Sandwich Works. Tasty. With my free time, I braved the scalding temperatures to walk out to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (this brings the HoF number to 3 on the trip) and past Cleveland Browns Stadium. I loved the waterfront area, and the city's passion for sports is impressive. This is especially true given their teams' less-than-stellar success in recent years. Still, they are behind them. I decided then and there that I could easily make the city my home. I was warned about cold temperatures... Yankee, please! I lived in the north until I was 10. Back the truck up.

I ended my wanderings back at Progressive Field. Not being a huge Indians fan, I hadn't realized that the name had changed from Jacobs Field in 2008 and was slightly miffed. This corporate sponsorship crap is really getting out of hand. Admittedly, "Progressive Field" isn't too bad a name, but c'mon. At least choose something related to sports. "Coca-Cola Field" was ok. "Miller Park" is great. "US Cellular Field Home of the Chicago White Sox" is unacceptable.

Let's see this fixed, people.

And, while I'm on it, can we get away from these ankle-length baseball pants? You look like a moron. Baseball is meant to be played in 3/4 pants that stop at the calf so that you can flash those bad-ass stirrups. It's in the Bible. I read it. You can't tell me Jesus would approve of full-length baseball pants. Similarly, he would denounce the Designated Hitter Rule as idolatry and/or totally lame as Hell.

"If thou desireth to pitch, thou must wield thine own mace and striketh true."

The "Jake": Most impressive
What the hell was I talking about? Oh, the Indians. So, this team royally sucks. It's true. But, I love a loser and found myself really getting behind them. Listening to Cleveland sports talk that night and the next day, I came to sympathize with the wait-till-next-year love for the team. And, the stadium is really, REALLY nice. It's top 5 for me.. possible top 3. Great atmosphere and fans. They were promoting a 4-miler race that started at the football stadium, ran through the Cavaliers' arena, and finished on the track at the Jake (Progressive Field? Bah!). I wish I lived in a city that did this kind of stuff.

Alas, I jumped in my car and drove down to Akron in an attempt to get a clean start on the next day's drive, a long one that took me through the Pennsylvania woods and past Pittsburgh. Fortunately, it was all on toll roads. (We wouldn't want to break tradition and drive on roads my tax dollars are already charging me for, would we?)

The 12th day went by in a blur as I hauled literal and metaphorical ass to DC so that I could meet up with my buddies at the hotel. As this entry is already getting long, I'll hold off till the next for GORUCK DC. Be warned, the next one will be long, strongly censored, and make liberal use of my keyboard's characters to intimate the naughty words.

It was epic. Illegally... Amorally... Alcoholically... EPIC. I hate that word. It's overused. But, oh so true.
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