Sorry for the extreme lateness of this thread. With my move to Seattle and subsequent Job in Seattle, I've been super busy. Also, because I can't make it out east to drive west this year, I won't be able to make the trip with the rest of you. Spook and Mrs. Spook will take up the mantle of leadership and hopefully manage to not drive people off the side of a mountain.
What It Is
The Cross-Country Supertrip is our pilgramage to the Penny Arcade Expo from points east. Our primary route runs the northernmost portions of the U.S. However, we have had people from points south join up to the main caravan, which is why I have already scheduled routes coming from multiple points across the eastern United States and from Canada. For those of you who are unfamiliar, we have done this for four years previous and had a great time doing it. One high point about traveling in a caravan is safety in numbers. When it's four in the morning at a travel station in the middle of nowhere, it's good to know twenty or more people in the immediate area (and a lot of fun), although it does make for long lines at the food establishments in areas far from normal civilization (I'm looking at you, now defunct Glendive, Montana McDonalds), but proper planning can help alleviate such things (props to Fargo's Jimmy John's and Glendive's Pizza Hut). It's also a lot of fun to watch all the cars changing lanes late at night, it's like a giant road snake. So, I hope you'll join us. Onward, forward and THAT WAY!
Also, check out last year's video
for a solid representation of what to expect (warning: it's 70 minutes long, but worth every second)
How It Works
The Cross-Country Supertrip, or CCST, is divided by stops known as Waypoints. A waypoint is our official stop to get gas, rest and meet up with other Supertrippers along the way. Each waypoint is allotted so much time to allow us to stretch and rest. The points are separated on an average of 250 miles (sometimes less), but not more than 300 miles. After several years of doing this, we've discovered that most people will need to use the bathroom at about half that distance. Those stops aren't explicitly scheduled, but extra time is worked into the schedule for this purpose. Everybody is responsible for finding a ride and making your way to the waypoints, should you not be taking your own car. Payment comes in the form of your share of gas, snacks, etc. Specifics can be arranged with the group leader of your vehicle.
If you want to be added to our list of participants, drop me a line to be added to the list. Use the following format for sending information.
Each car needs a unique team name for radio purposes. If names have not been chosen by a certain date close to PAX, I will choose one for you.
These are the group's go-to guys. Usually the most active on the forums/internet. Main responsibility lies in relaying status updates between their group and the CCST and for getting their group together to depart from their location.
Year, Make, Model, MPG, Miles per Tank, if it's a rental, owned by you or owned by somebody else and if it's manual or automatic transmission (this is very
Max. Desired People:
Maximum number of seats that you want to fill including your own (ProTip: it's good practice to leave enough room for at least one person to lay down in the back to get some semblance of real sleep)
City, State/Province where the vehicle is departing from
The first of our pre-selected stopping points where the vehicle will stop. (see posts below)
List the people who will be in the vehicle below (including you). This section is for confirmed riders. See below for unconfirmed. (fill out this section once per person in the vehicle)
Location B (if different from vehicle's starting location)
Waypoint X (if different from vehicle's first waypoint)
Yes/No, also indicate if they are able to drive stick
Number of unconfirmed riders not listed here (people who say they want to go but haven't made any final commitments yet)
Seats still available in your vehicle
What You'll Need
Frequently Asked Questions
A Working Vehicle - This is a long trip, and we don't want to scrape your steaming wreckage off the side of the road, so do basic maintenance before you go, meaning: change engine oil, check air filter, top off engine coolant and washer fluid. Check road and spare tire pressures and tread ware and bring extra oil, coolant, fluids (brake, power steering, anything that ends in "fluid") to top off on the road with.
A Cell Phone - You or one of your riders will need to be carrying a phone.
A Two-Way Radio - At least five-mile range. These help us keep in communication on the road when cell usage is unavailable or impractical. These are particularly useful during night driving. Many have commented that the ongoing radio chatter has helped to keep them awake in otherwise exhausting situations.
The CCST Handbook - This is a full guide on how to Supertrip. Qs23 and I wrote this up for 2009 and it worked out quite well in getting people up to speed on how we do things before we hit the road. It will also contain a full contact list of people on the Supertrip. It will be e-mailed to you shortly before departure. Given the proper amount of time, this guide will likely be in wiki form this year. Stay tuned for that.
A Gallon Jug of Water - Good for you or your car. Other drinkables are good, but can't go in your car
Non-perishible snackables - Food for the road, beef jerky is a good mainstay along with trail mixes and anything else you might like. Stay away from ideas like a cooler filled with sandwich fixin's. It may sound like a cool idea, but takes up way too much space and is very impractical, especially when you can buy a sandwich or other, more filling foods about every five hours or so.
There's a more complete list that will be posted in the summer before PAX. Stay tuned.
Q: It's hella expensive to eat and gas a car for the miles it's going to take to get there. Is it really that much cheaper than flying?
A: There's a formula to calculate the gas costs. Distance divided by miles per gallon, and the result of that divided by the national average cost of gas (or at least the average from where you are to Seattle). As for eating, with the money you save not flying, you can afford to eat and still save money. It ends up costing one car, round trip, a little less than a flight, round trip. But that one car is usually split between three or more people, and that's what makes a big difference.
Q: How much for a seat if I have no car but want to come along?
A: That depends on the vehicle and how gas is being divided up, contact the person you're riding with for details.
Q: How can I help make this baby happen?
A: Number One thing anybody can do to help make this happen is word of mouth, give people links to the official Penny Arcade Expo website and to this thread. Additionally, if you have any skills to offer, either on the road or off, let me know and I'll find something for you to do.
Q: What hotel should I stay at?
A: We'll know that when the guys at Penny Arcade announce what hotels they've negotiated deals with. Don't bother reserving a room until after they announce the hotels and discount codes
Q: When is the Cross-Country Supertrip going to arrive in Seattle?
A: We're aiming for a Thursday, August 25 arrival at about 1pm Pacific Time.
Have any other questions? Just ask them here in this thread.
Protip: It's not as complex as this image makes it look
And here, for your reading pleasure, Lessons from Geese
How Much Will Gas Cost
So, I've found something that pertains to the CCST that might help convince some of you who are still on the fence, as it were. It's called Lessons from Geese
and it was transcribed from a speech given by Angeles Arien at the 1991 Organizational Development Network.
How this pertains to the CCST
As each goose flaps its wings, it creates an “uplift” for the birds that follow. By flying in a “V” formation, the whole flock has 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone.
People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier, because they are traveling on the thrust of each other.
Traveling together is easier and feels faster because we're all oriented on a common goal. Also you save gas mileage riding in the wake of the vehicles in front of you.
How this pertains to the CCST
When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it.
If we have as much sense as a goose, we stay in formation with those headed where we want to go. We are willing to accept their help and give our help to others.
This is pretty self-explanatory
How this pertains to the CCST
When the lead bird tires, it rotates back into the formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it.
It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership. As with geese, people are interdependent on each others’ skills, capabilities, and unique arrangement of gifts, talents, or resources.
Don't be afraid of driver rotation. The people in your car are with you all the way, when you're tired, allow somebody else to drive while you rest. Everybody needs rest, and you have other skills that could be put to use when you're not behind the wheel.
How this pertains to the CCST
The geese flying in formation honk to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.
We need to make sure our honking is encouraging. In groups where there is encouragement, the production is much greater. The power of encouragement (to stand by one’s heart or core values and to encourage the heart and core values of others) is the quality of honking we seek.
Radio chatter is golden, especially during the later hours. Talk to each other and feel free to make jokes at the landscape's expense. I've been told in the past, that when everybody in the car is alseep, the only thing that kept the driver going was the fact that there were other drivers in the same situation within easy communications range (as long as your FRS radio has a 5-mile range).
How this pertains to the CCST
When a goose gets sick, wounded, or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with it until it dies or is able to fly again. Then, they launch out with another formation to catch up with the flock.
If we have as much sense as geese, we will stand by each other in difficult times as well as when we’re strong.
We help each other out. If a car should drop behind the group due to some unforeseen catastrophe--such as a tire blowout--we stay in communication, find out the situation, and slow down the pace to allow them a chance to catch up. If it becomes plain that they won't catch up before the next waypoint, we give them some extra time at that stop so that they can meet back up with the group.
I hope this has been insightful.
Okay, here it is, the Energy Information Administration's estimates for gas this year.
Typically our price is a few cents higher, here's those figures.
US Average August 2006: $2.952
Our Average 2006: $3.00
US Average August 2007: $2.786
Our Average 2007: $2.93
US Average August 2008: $3.779
Our Average 2008: $3.80
US Average August 2009: $2.616
Our Average 2009: $2.634
That gives a difference of as little as 2.1 cents and as many as 14.4 cents. Given recent gas trends, I would run high-end estimates at $4/gal. For help estimating the cost of gas for your vehicle, bigwah has created this Google spreadsheet
, just make a copy and change the yellow fields to suit your vehicle.
Listed by waypoint
- Elyria, OH
Code name, Dutchess! (Lead car!!!)
Group Leader - Mrs. Spook and Spook!! (he updates the social media way more often during the YAY PAXness!!)
Vehicle - This will be tentative for a short time, soley dependant on the number of people interested in riding with Spook and myself. We will rent a vehicle (automatic) relative to the space we need and what we can all afford.
Max Desired Ppl - I (Mrs. Spook) would prefer to rent an SUV.... in which case our team needs at least 2 other interested people. Contact me!
Start location - CLEVELAND, OH!!
First waypoint - Elyria, Oh
Confirmed Riders - Sarah King (Mrs. Alecto Spook) and Jerry King (Spook!!!) Both from Cleveland, Ohio
Driving? Mrs. Spook can drive automatic or manual. Spook can drive automatic... there is an extreme probability that we will get an automatic. This may change if someone who is interested in riding with us already has a CCST approved safe vehicle that happens to be a manual
Email - Sarahking216gmail.com
*** I have 2 unconfirmed riders (one driving, one non-driving) who are tentative pending the aquisition of tickets to PAX.
****Currently open for up to 4 more people, we can just get a bigger more awesomener vehicle!! YAY PAX!!!!